The source of my dismay? Well, the usual - my parents.
I've always thought my parents, or particularly my dad never fails to point out my flaws, especially when I disobey him but when I finally go along and do what I've been told, he doesn't appreciate it. If I were much younger, it would probably be valid, but little does my dad realise that I'm no longer that 7 year old kid who scraped both her knees on asphalt after falling down while running out to the front gate. I'm no longer that girl who shouts at everyone when she feels like it. In fact, I keep a lot of my emotions inside and I have nowhere to go to express how I feel, except those rare occasions when people ask me if I'm alright which never suffice because nobody really understands what I'm going through.
But since I've mentioned that this is my platform (strictly MY platform) to express how I feel and elaborate on what lemons life has been throwing in my direction, I'll just share it here.
To begin with, here are a few things my parents always fail to acknowledge, in my opinion :
1. When I do the dishes without being told
2. When I help my grandma with household chores
3. When I plan my time instead of procrastinate like the average teenager
4. When I say I'm sorry not because I'm wrong, but because I just want to end this argument
5. When I actually show up early
6. When I plan my time and things work out
7. When I plan my time but things don't work out
8. When I plan my time but things STILL don't work out
9. When I do try to help my sister but she keeps telling me off
... and the list goes on.
Regarding reasons 1 and 2, I'll have to admit, I was and still am not a fan of doing household chores, which is why I always try to escape doing them in the past. I managed to avoid doing household chores most of the time when my dad wasn't around but after his new job placement here recently, he's moved back and now he's home most of the time. The pros to his presence is that I have someone to drive me to tuition and church other than my mum but the flip side to that is that he tries to dictate everything I do and he thinks I'm ignorant over everything at home.
But after God spoke to me and convicted me a few months ago, I told myself I'd appreciate whatever my grandma does and I'll help her out in any way I can, not because I see it as a responsibility but because I loved my grandma and I wanted to show my love through my actions, which I did. I did the dishes more often - not always, but more frequently. I asked her if she needed help with anything and when she did, I would assist her. I won't say I'm always there to help her 24/7 because I do have a lot of other things to do and my priorities need to be met, but I actually do care for her and I put in so much more effort into helping her around the house.
This morning, my grandma went to Malacca for a field trip organized by the church. Since she had to leave early, she didn't have time to wash the plates so she just left it near the sink. As for the breakfast food, it was still nicely placed on the dining table for my dad since he was still at home. When I got home after school today, I found the dining table in an utter mess. The food wasn't kept in the refrigerator and the dishes were strewn on the table and near the sink.
Now, I can understand if the dishes weren't done because my dad probably had to rush off to work, but leaving the food on the table? I just couldn't understand why he didn't just put the dishes into the partial freezer. All he had to do was open the fridge door, slide open the partial freezer compartment, put the dishes in, slide the freezer back inside and close the door. It's even easier done that said! How did he not bother to do that?
In the end, I had do it all of it myself although I was rushing for tuition. I spent 5 minutes eating lunch and spent more time tending to the other stuff so my grandma didn't have to do them when she got back. And during dinner, as expected, not a word of thanks. I got used to that so I didn't really bother but what struck me was the fact that my dad started bringing up my mother's flaws on the dining table. I just briefly said something to support my mum but for some reason, my sister decided time management was key. I told her off by saying I plan my time because I have a lot to do, but still there's a lot to be done and if I had so much to do, wouldn't my mum have an even larger responsibility? Instead of expecting my mum to appreciate putting my word in for her, she just told me to calm down and not get angry. I wasn't even angry, until she told me to do just the opposite. See, no justice there!
Eventually, I left the dinner wash-up to my sister to do, although I'm not too sure if she did it. I'll have to check later and do it myself if she didn't, just to give my grandma a break.
So the question here is, what kind of system is my family practicing? They always point out all my flaws, complain when I don't do anything but when I do something, they just brush it off and see it as if I've never contributed anything. When I disagree with what they say, I'm being rebellious and apparently God does not tolerate rebellious children. But how can I not rebel when the system imposed here is obviously justified by age and not common sense? I am not slaves to my parents, I am their child. When I do chores, I do it out of love, care and concern, not out of obligation although I admit that responsibility is important too. But what I'm saying here is that I want to do the dishes without being told. I want to step in and help out without people complaining that I never do. I want to take a step without being nagged at. I want to be voluntary and not forced to co-operate. I want to work out of love. Even the scriptures say that if I do so much and give to charity and the works, but I do it without love, all of it would be meaningless. How do you justify my case then if this is what God's word says?
But then again, God also said "honour your father and mother". So I have to work hard in that department despite the injustice shown against me. Well, you do appreciate what I do, don't you, God?
While reasons 1 and 2 are to do with chores, the other reasons are all founded on one topic - TIME. And mostly, it's about time management. I've been criticized to the core about my time management issues since I was old enough to understand what it was and until today, when I'm doing so much and I'm relatively good in my time management as compared to most of my peers (most, not all - nobody's perfect anyway!), I am still being doubt for my inadequacy to adapt to sudden change of plans and my time management skills.
Before you judge me, let's just be clear - having SPM means having extremely limited time to complete a day's work all in a day. There are a tonne of assignments to be handed in, homework that continuously piles up everyday, co-curricular activities that are compulsory to attend, intensive revision classes for SPM and other outside activities that are equally as important too like church. I admit, I had my struggles and I broke down really easily at the beginning of the year.
It's already the end of April now and I do feel that I've adjusted to my hectic schedule and I'm becoming more adequate with last minute changes. I adapt to situations a lot easier now, well, compared to how I was 3 months ago - I'm better now. And while work continues to pile and Math equations demand solutions, I'm slowly dealing with my emotions and work my way through the year with God's strength, favour and everlasting grace and mercy.
Despite growing and becoming better at managing my time, I do realise that sometimes, things still don't work out and we have to come to terms with it. Life isn't fair after all, and most of the time, we don't get what we want. For me, I go through a stage of withdrawal before facing the truth, but the point is, eventually I do. I understand that it's a process and that we are all still learning so it's normal to freak out and panic at times, as long as we get back on our feet and figure out how to solve the issue at hand.
Unfortunately, my parents don't understand that because at the moment I get grumpy, my parents see panic written all over my face and they judge me for being so incompetent and unreliable in such situations. They start nagging me on what I should have done, complain about my time management skills and tell me to just relax. They simply make up their minds that if I had planned my time more effectively, things would have worked out better. They do assist me in the end, but when compared to the amount of time they spend bringing up the past and trying to nag me and say I never learn from my mistakes blahblahblah, it's not much help at all.
That being said, I don't entirely trust my parents. There's something else that happened that made me doubt them as well, but I don't feel comfortable to share so I guess I'll just stop here.
Out of all my family members, my grandma is most understanding and the best. She is super patient, cooks good food and cleans after she cooks (unlike my mum...) and uses her own money to buy household items when my parents don't do it. She also taught me the value of responsibility, common sense and a few other values that have become some of my traits now. Ultimately, she's shown unconditional love and is kind towards others. She's a person I really admire, respect and look up to.
When I was in primary school, I remember my BM teacher told me to write an essay about my favourite family member. I immediately chose my grandmother while most of my peers chose to write about their mothers. Only one or two wrote about their fathers. After a brief discussion with the BM teacher which mainly emphasized on points about mothers, the entire class switched their final essay to one about their mothers, but I stuck with my essay about my grandmother.
I realise I mistreat my grandmother sometimes, but I'm not going to let that get in my way now. I'm doing my best to make her happy, ease her responsibilities and be more attentive towards her in conversations all because I love my grandma. And I'll uphold her in my prayers that she may live a long, healthy and fruitful life.
I believe I may have bored any of my existent readers with my talk, but it doesn't matter. Because I don't write for you. I write for myself. Ha.
An hour on a blog post. Heh. I'm out.