My old dear friend Jack used to help me work through what has become such a problem for me: guilt. Most of my behavior, sometimes perceived as altruism, is motivated by guilt. I stay late at work because I feel too guilty to leave people with work to do. I get to work early so I can help pick up other duties to help our department run seamlessly (or at least attempt to run seamlessly). I went to a cardio bootcamp class at the gym for three months because I was guilted into it, I just couldn't tell the instructor that his class just wasn't for me.
Guilt is really starting to keep me from doing all the things that I love and want to do. I usually don't get out of work until 5:30, but there are classes at 6 p.m. that I really want to attend, most notably a spin class. But I stay late to meet other peoples deadlines, and therefore I miss the class.
Today, I'm going to change all that. I'm leaving at least 15 minutes early to go to that class. No one better stand in my way, and I'll be damned if I'll feel guilty about doing something for myself. Finally.
I hope that Jack would be proud, whatever the heck he's doing these days...