I’m on “vacation” at my parents house. Visiting my family is never a vacation, today I spent the day helping Dad out with some yard work, and tomorrow I plan on spending the morning organizing Mom’s “sewing/junk” room, heading out to Staples to get special paper, pens, and ink for my thesis. So while there is perfect summer weather here and I could totally use a tan, I’m hard at work.
This happens often when I’m home. I feel this obligation to help get things done. Mom is still working to fight the Sarcoma and well Dad isa pack rat who has decided to finally clean out the garage. Oh and did I mention they recently renovated the house so everything is just chaos.
The thing is when I don’t help I feel terrible, though I have gotten better at sometimes just doing things for me. I do plan on having a fun night out with some of my friends on Saturday and tomorrow afternoon will be spent curled up with a book in a swimsuit getting a wicked sweet tan!
Though I am home to visit the family, I am also home because on Monday I’ll be defending my thesis. My parents live about an hour away from where I did my masters degree and so it worked out nicely that I was able to come home for some “rest and relaxation” and finally be done with my masters stuff.
I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t function well in chaos which is why I am always helping to get my parents house in order. I also think for Mom and Dad’s sake if the house was in order I think that my parents wouldn’t feel so depressed.
Lately, I’ve noticed that my parents seem so down. They’ve been through a rough two years with their being sick, and my sister, and the renovations; they can’t seem to get out of whatever rut they are in.
I want so desperately to help them. My whole life I have watched my parents work so hard and as they get closer to retirement I am now seeing them struggle with getting their house in order, and frankly, it is so difficult to just stand back and watch. I refuse.
I’m young and can help them, it’s just that there have been times when I’ve tried to help with, for instance, organizing ,only to return and see the same disaster.
This afternoon I was sitting in the kitchen with Mom and she just looked so depressed. I can tell it’s because she can’t find any peace of mind in her house. We all work best in an orderly space.
There are a lot reasons why the house is upside down:
1. Dad thinks he can do every project himself and is, at times, cheap.
2. Mom is undergoing chemo and well, that takes it out of her.
3. Dad starts a million projects, never finishes any of them, and well right now the house has about 10 unfinished projects.
4. Dad gets overwhelmed by the projects and doesn’t know how to work efficiently.
5. They don’t have any help, besides me and I don’t live in the same state as them any more.
These are just a few reasons, but I find that as I’m getting older I find it a lot harder to come home, stay home, and not leave to return to my peaceful and neat apartment.
As I start my aggressive job search, I hope every day that I find something that makes me happy, helps alleviate the stress of paying the bills, and will be something I can do for a while. Since I’ve graduated from college, I haven’t been able to find a job–partly because I have moved and partly because of the economy and its impact on education–that I would want to wake up to and go to everyday for twenty years.
Dad has been a high school teacher for FORTY years. FORTY. 4-0. I know I could not do that but then I see how his and Mom’s life turned out, and I think I better get shit figured out real soon.
Nothing some R & R to put things into perspective.