Enjoying Life and Guilty Feelings

I realize that there has to be a balance in life, but honestly I struggle with finding it, especially on an emotional level.

In January, 2007 we boarded a Royal Caribbean cruise ship and went on one of the most memorable trips I have ever taken in my life.  I’ve had the cruise bug ever since, but our priorities changed and instead of cruises and extravagant vacations, we brought home two beautiful little girls. 

One thing Dave and I talked about during our adoption processes, was the importance of providing our girls opportunity and positive life experiences.  The opportunity of a family;  attending good schools; getting great medical care; living with a roof over their heads, food in their tummies, and clothes on their backs; getting a chance to see the U.S. and other parts of the world, etc.  These are just not opportunities they would have had in their countries of birth and while some are obviously more important than others, they are all things we really wanted to give them.

We are fulfilling all of these goals.  Lili is attending a wonderful pre-school; the girls get regular and very good medical care; we live in a nice house, with good food and they have clothes on their backs; they have seen some of the U.S. and Lili went with us to Ethiopia; and today I took a step toward fulfilling our goal of them seeing other parts of the world and my desire to cruise again when I booked our next CRUISE!!!!! 

Honestly, this is more than just a cruise, this is a celebration of our life together.  Specifically, celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary!  25 years together is truly something to celebrate, don’t you think? 

Here is where I tend to struggle with balance and guilty feelings.

To me, balancing life is about fulfilling responsibilites and also making time to enjoy life.  Fulfilling responsibilities seems to be more than a full-time job for me.  They say a woman’s work is never done and that is especially true when the woman is also a mom.  I’m never at a loss of things to do because my house never seems to be completely clean, there are meals to prepare, laundry to do, children to bathe and the list goes on and on.  However, I do enjoy escaping from those responsibilities, especially when that escape includes visiting a place I’ve never seen before. 

So, where is the emotional struggle in that balance for me?  It’s the feeling of responsibility I have to help others.  It’s the feeling of responsibility I have, especially to orphans. 

Dave continues to remind me that we are not adopting a 3rd time.  He seems to know his limits and apparently two little girls after raising 3 boys is his limit.  I, on the other hand, still struggle with the desire to adopt again versus being done versus finding another avenue to help.  There is balance in that part of life as well and that is an emotional struggle for me.  Is it okay to spend money on a cruise, enjoy moments of our life together, provide our girls opportunity to have positive experiences while seeing other parts of the world when there are millions of children without a home and family?  How do I find the balance that says it’s okay to enjoy some of the luxuries of life without feeling guilt?  Am I the only one who feels this way?  Have others found the perfect balance in their lives?   Will I find the perfect balance for me?  


  1. I wish I knew the answers. I don't. I struggle with that myself. I love providing experiences for my kids. I think that it is important for them to know what it is like to go skiing, to visit an amusement park, to explore at a zoo. At the same time, what about kids who are just struggling to eat? I really don't know the answers…just thinking about it brings up more questions. 🙂

  2. Hi Debbie – You aren't the only one that feels that way. I'm finishing my basement, and I can't help but feel guilty about spending the money on more space when there are so many people in Guatemala (and many other countries) that are living in extreme poverty. I keep asking myself, "How much space do we need?" when there are many people in Guatemala living in corrugated metal shacks. I don't have any answers, but you are not alone in your struggles.

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