Friday, February 4, 2011

Extremely Difficult

Thursday afternoon, the Chinese New Year.
I was trying to get some me time; write some things that have been occupying my mind in the past few weeks, watch some movies that have been stuck in the shelves for the past few weeks, or simply sit and drink my coffee.
So I woke up and cleaning up the house as usual. Expecting to have some quiet contemplation moment in front of the computer screen afterward.
The house cleaning process which was scheduled to be completed not more than 30 minutes continued until about 1.5 hour afterwards, constantly disrupted by small requests from Mom and my daughter to do this and that, repair this and that, and also breakfast.
After breakfast, I made some coffee and sat myself on the chair, facing my laptop with high eagerness.
My quiet moments, finally.
But not yet.
Mom had this idea of going to the mall to repair her glasses. And my daughter thinks it’s a good idea. Because she wanted to have some ice cream. And a new note book. Or bracelets.
About an hour of debate (with me persistently sitting in front of the laptop), it was finally decided that we are going to stay home, and buy the ice cream from the store nearby.
Of course, my daughter’s nagging didn’t stop there. She insisted to get her ice cream, like, there and then.
And while it was continuing, Mom asked me to cari uban.
I refused politely, telling her that I got some things to do. Obviously, with the laptop open.
I think she was a bit upset but I tried to ignore it. I’ve been waiting for weeks to be able to have some quiet moments without being disrupted by any unwanted visitors or phone calls (yes, the last several weekends were full of never ending knocks on the door, children coming and going, phone ringing from time to time, from morning till late in the afternoon).
This weekend, all the relatives are on vacation. No children howling about. No non-stop ringing phone. I couldn’t be possibly let this one perfect holiday go.
I think I’d just decided to stick with my laptop and tried to make some letters appear on the computer screen, when it was suddenly time for lunch. Which was then followed with my daughter’s afternoon nap. Where I’d be needed to tuck her in her bed and accompany her until she falls asleep. Because she refused to be left alone. And would not let me read or write anything (because if I do, she’d do the same thing instead of sleeping). That, would take about half an hour.
When she finally fell asleep, my Mom had already fallen asleep to.
Some quiet moments in one quiet afternoon. Finally.
I sat in front of the TV, and start typing.
But I forgot that the second generation women in the family were not taught and brought up to live normal and enjoy their lives. A life worth living is a life where you suffer through it. Never ending house chores and lack of sleep is the most quoted example. Sleep, is not only a waste of time. It’s a sin when you do it in the middle of the day for more than 30 minutes.
Not long after I found something to write, my Mom woke up. And amazingly, while most normal human waking up feeling lightheaded and a bit dizzy and require 1-2 minutes to fine tune their coordinates with the world, my Mom (and most of the second generation women in my family), wake up, with a clear sense of objective, what to do right after they wake up. Clean this, clean that, and sorts.
So there was my Mom, waken up in full consciousness, heading right up to the fridge, and attempted to take off the waste water container.
I wondered whether she’d been dreaming of cleaning the fridge in her sleep to have such firm sense of objective right after she woken up.
She said she needed my help.
So I helped her with the water container and sat myself again in front of the laptop, when my daughter’s suddenly cried and called me from the bedroom.
And I know that my quiet moment has ended.
So that's what became of it.
Quiet moments.

Pinggiran Jakarta, 6.30 pagi hari

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