While the whole world was in a quarantine due to a pandemic, my life actually became a lot more peaceful. And I became aware that I had been in the state of continuous stress for 16-18 years.
My life did not have margins.
And I look around now and I realize why so many little things that seem normal to other people people, like consistently helping their kids learn to brush their teeth, slipped through the cracks.
This is a strange moment for me, because seeing margins in my life means that the continuous stress has subsided in a lot of ways. I’ve started having time to garden, do pottery, initiate new friendships, and play games with Leah.
My current struggle is to not look back at the last 16-20 years as a failure for all the things that fell through the cracks. It’s easy for me to forget that I was doing the best I could in that moment, even if important things didn’t get done.
I recently read this passage, about an Artificial Intelligence (AI) feeling guilt after the safety measures it took led to people getting killed.
Skeptical, Alex arched an eyebrow, then winced as the act tugged at the skin beneath the bulky interface. “You’re telling me the machine felt guilt?”
Her shoulders rose in a hint of a shrug.
“It’s the only word I have to describe what I saw. Once the students began dying it devoted an increasing number of cycles to studying how the deaths had occurred and how they might have been prevented—what different branching decisions could have been taken to result in another outcome. But because of the holes in its programming those branching decisions only led to outcomes it also deemed unacceptable.
By the time it was shut down it was burning 73% of its processes on fault analysis rather than on finding a solution for those still alive. It obsessed over its failure to the point of paralysis.”
“Guilt.”Aurora Rising: The Complete Collection (Amaranthe Collections Book 1) by G. S. Jennsen
I never use the word ‘guilt’ for what I felt, but this description helped me realize that I also waste resources looking back on things I cannot change.
It’s hard to realize that you will never relive the days of your youth or your children’s childhood, and to move on.