Wednesday, May 6, 2009

what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger

So recently I've been getting more irritated, angry, and stressed out than I've ever been in a fairly long time.

Reason? I'm back home, sans my indonesian maid.
And being the only one with 'lots of free time', I was the obvious choice to take over her chores.

Lest you start thinking I'm a good-for-nothing lazy bum, let me explain that the household chores are not the reasons why I'm so upset.

1. My efforts are not appreciated. I feel like what I'm doing is EXPECTED. Sometimes I start feeling like a maid obeying orders from her boss.

2. I feel as if I'm not trusted. Well, this applies mostly to my grandma. She's always reminding me about chores and tasks that I have not done, or didn't do properly. But the thing is, the way she reminds me is so berputar belit that I have to scratch my head to figure out what she wants. I mean, hello! I'm 23 years old for god's sake. I have stayed on my own for almost 5 years (2 years college plus 2.5 years university). I know how to run a house. Really. But the feeling of not being trusted to do what I do, does not feel good.

3. My grandma (again!) and her complaints. She can't do any housework (because of her slipped disc which never recovered) and somehow she feels guilty that she can't help out. So she goes around saying things like "Oh, I'm old already, useless already, cannot help you all to do things. What to do, what to do...." And sometimes she'll throw in a "Aih, I'm going to die soon.." for good measure. (!) I mean, when she says that for the first time, I still can layan her nicely and tell her, oh don't say that, it's our duty anyway, you're considered very healthy for your age, bla bla know, the standard things we say to pacify old people. But when she says that for the freakin' 20th time, I really have to refrain myself from yelling at her. Of course I succeed (in refraining, not yelling!) but it's really stressing me out this way. Doing my chores is already quite tiring, and plus pacifying her, I'm drained physically and mentally. Sometimes I feel like I have got nothing more to give, and yet she's still taking, and taking, and taking......

Actually there are more issues, just that I don't feel like relating more of them. Reminding myself of unhappy stuff makes me unhappy.
Perhaps you would think I'm this ungrateful and unfilial brat that snaps at her grandma.
But really, not all grandmothers are made equal.
Like when Cyik was telling me about how her grandmother would make bak zhangs specially catered to her tastes for her, I was so...envious. And sad. Because I knew my grandmother would never do that for me.
Actually I guess I can't blame her for that. She belongs to the generation of people that puts their sons and grandsons above everything else. Daughters and granddaughters are just people that 'belong to other people once they're married.'
And she doesn't make a secret of her biased love for her male heirs.
In other words, I know she doesn't love me.
And I can never make her love me, no matter how much I love her or how much I do for her.

Then today I woke up and it struck me.

Fact no.1: I have to do my chores and deal with my grandma.
Fact no.2: I can be happy or unhappy about it.

Either way I still have to do what I'm supposed to do.
So why don't I choose to be happy when I'm doing it?

I don't need people to appreciate the things I do.
Whatever I do, I do for myself.
I cook nice meals so the people I love can have a healthy and wholesome meal.
I clean the house so the people I love (and myself) can live in a clean place.
I wash the clothes so the people I love (and myself) can have clean clothes to wear everyday.

So even if they don't appreciate my efforts, I myself am still benefiting from what I have done.
In other words,
I am not doing this for them.
I'm doing this for myself.

And as for my grandmother, I don't NEED her to love me for me to survive.
I still have my parents. And my friends.
I don't have to let her affect my moods.

In other words,
I realised that, nothing is personal.

My grandma's not loving me is not because I'm not good enough.
It's because of her olden ways of thinking.

My uncle's not liking the food I cooked is not because my cooking is horrible.
It's just because he's not used to eating western food.
(FYI, he found the pasta I cooked for him to be one word: Yuck!)

Other people who say unkind things to me are not because I am a bad person.
It's because THEY are bad people. Or perhaps they've had a bad day.

You see,
When others scold you,
it's because THEY are angry.

When others irritate you,
it's because THEY are inconsiderate.

When others say something unkind,
it's because THEY choose to say unkind stuff to you.

Either way,
It's not you.
It's them!

So why should we be affected?

Accepting this fact has made me a happier person.
Nothing should, and would be taken personally.

Till I get my visa,


milochel said...

You just made me see things in a whole new perspective :) THanks dear.. :)

Now I wish I could be your housemate, then you can be the maid and be happy about it XD haha jkjk...