Saturday, December 12, 2009
And the Challenges Go On.. Part 7
It seems that the word "CHANGE" was the theme of this year in many places worldwide. And now at the end of 2009, I, too, am going through a transition.
When I wrote the last post of this "challenges" series, I was still looking for a part-time job, and my biggest concern was my parents' condition, especially mom's. My plan was earning a little money every month as a part-timer and studying translation at home for the rest of the time so that I can work as a sort of free-lance translator in the future, taking care of my parents. But dear readers, on the 1st of December, I started working as a data-input operator. And it's a full-time position, though only for three months.
Why the change of plan? Because I want money.
I want money to do and buy some things that are related to my new interest: the local geopark project. As I wrote on this blog (and another one), I have helped the project once in a while in the past couple of months. Sometimes I was pretty stressed, but after going through some rough times, now I'm interested in being something like an eco-tour interpreter myself, not as a professional of course but as a volunteer. Then there are books to read and workshops to attend, which will cost some money, if not a fortune.
I was still hoping to find a part-time job that would pay me enough to pursue my new interest, but I had no luck. Then finally, at the end of November, I felt that I had no patience left and went for a full-time position that was available then. I knew it was a challenge, but since it was just for three months, I thought that we --my family, especially mom-- might be able to handle it.
Now it has been about two weeks at my new workplace. I work with another new employee and we enjoy working together. More than anything, for me it's so great to be able to talk with someone about my age every day. Oh it's a long-forgotten feeling!!
And how mom is taking this? Well, so far so good, I would say.
In my first few months here at my parents' house, I often wondered if my existence at home was making her mental condition worse, because though I didn't mean to, my presence brought a roll confusion in the house; I was a threat to her position as a housewife. If I be in charge of the kitchen and shopping, she would have no other choice but to stay in her room as a useless old woman. However, obviously it wasn't possible for her to keep things in the house (especially kitchen) under control on her own. And it wasn't possible for me to completely withdraw from the kitchen, either. As the readers from my previous foodblog probably know, the kitchen had been a special place for me -- a special part of me. So, yes, I often thought that mom may function better if I found a job, started working and established "my world" where I can belong to outside this house. But I was still reluctant to give her "mother's role" back. If I'd do so, then what should I be? Just a daughter? After being on my own and being a monarch of my own kitchen for more than 20 years?
But I have to admit this: After I started to work full time and gave her the "mother's role" back at least on weekdays, she seems to be functioning much better, perhaps from the sense of responsibility? She still has memory problems, but now she tries harder not to forget important things so that she can prepare lunch and dinner on her own.
On weekdays, every morning mom and I talk about what to make for lunch and dinner. Every day at work, I call mom in lunch break to remind her what the dinner plan was (she doesn't remember about 3 out of 5 times) and ask her what I should buy on my way home. And after work, I do grocery shopping and go straight home. Most of the time, the dinner is ready waiting for me. If not, I help mom to do the last part and then set the table. That's how we have been handling it. It is obvious that she spends hours to fix dinner because of her memory problem, but so far she is doing fine.
But honestly, I'm not sure if we are doing a right thing.
And in Mar. 2010, I'm going to have to make another big career decision... :(
Dad had a health checkup and got a Swine flu vaccine injection in the first week of December. Same diabetes, same uric acid level, but he doesn't stop eating the food that are not good for him. *sigh*
My younger sister emailed me yesterday and said that she and her kids are not coming to visit us for the new year's holiday. She still can't get rid of the bad cold. Gee... the New Year's Day with my parents without my sister, niece and nephew... My very first experience. Would I be able to handle it?
I wonder how many new challenges are waiting in 2010...
Oh, and last week, I killed a huge centipede walking across my room. (Come on, it's December!)