Home sweet home
My sister and I have had the house to ourselves for the past week. The parental carbon units have been off around the country dropping off Christmas presents to various relatives, and having a bit of a holiday at the same time.
It’s always something of a bittersweet experience for me. On the positive side, it’s great to have more control over my life; to be able to eat when I want and play Singstar at 11 o’clock at night! I actually enjoy being responsible for the household chores. As I do the laundry, put the bins out and experience a short-lived dalliance with dusting, I feel independent. It gives me such a sense of achievement. I begin to think that maybe I can look after myself and that my recurring nightmare of getting chucked into a nursing home at the age of 40 need not come true.
The bitter part comes to the fore at the end of the week; the realisation that if I was required to take on all these responsibilities for more than a few days, I’d be a total wreck. Every little chore becomes more of a trial and my energy levels deplete worryingly quickly. I turn into a hungry, cold, gibbering shell of a Jenny because I haven’t taken the time to eat properly or put the heating on. Gah! The frustration! I never seem to learn from it at all. Every time the opportunity presents itself I throw myself headlong into being a super-house-daughter, with a superhero motto of ‘Do first, think later.’ Catchy.
The strange thing is that it’s very unlike me. I am the queen of logical thinking, even if I do say so myself. I love to plan, make lists and get everything in order. But give me a house to tend and it all goes out of the window! Maybe it just comes from a desperate need to be independent. At 23 most people have been out in the big wide world and lived away from home. Even if they’ve ended up back in the nest after university, at least they know that they can be independent. I guess it all comes down to the ultimate aim of being content; grateful that I have people to help me out and hopeful that one day I won’t need that help.
In the meantime, thank goodness for washing machines and dishwashers. Never mind being exhausted after a week, if it wasn’t for them I’d be a wreck by the time a mere weekend was up.
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