I feel like I haven’t had a moment to myself over the past few days. I’ve had all my family here – they came to watch the football. I dunno what happened – I decided I wanted to go to the footy for the first time in about 10 years (I kinda go for Adelaide and so does Andrew, the rest of the team go for St Kilda). So my mum decided she wanted to come along and booked a flight over from Tassie, then my other sister and her bf decided to come down from Sydney as well.
Mum got here on Thursday. We went shopping and eating on Thursday night. Friday night we went to the football and my team lost. Boo hiss. Still it was an exciting game but bloody freezing. I didn’t bother looking for any healthy eating options at Telstra Dome, I just had the world’s dodgiest chicken burger. I’m sure it wasn’t even real chicken in it.
It’s a weird thing – every time I see my mum, I’m surprised at how old she is. Well, not so weird since she’s over 60 now but she just seems really old and tired. I have this picture in my head of her as very strong and capable, not afraid of anything. Then I see her after months and she’s not like that at all.
Over the past 10 years or so, she’s gotten really worn down by injuries and just the strain of having worked in factories for years. She has a lot of pain in her wrists and siatic nerve that never seems to go away. Then, because of the pain, she’s a lot less active and has trouble getting around. She also doesn’t have the confidence she once have – once she’d do anything because she never really thought about not being able to do it. Now she won’t even have drive around Melbourne when she visits.
My sister (the one from Sydney) and I have never gotten along very well, not since we were little kids. Over the past few years that’s changed but I didn’t realise until this visit how much of that change is because of me. I just don’t let her get under my skin like she used to. Whenever she comes to Melbourne, I’m the one who fits in with her plans and does all the running around. I don’t mind, normally she’s here on business and has limited time. It was only seeing her with Mum that I realised how much that is her attitude though – she really expects everyone to put themselves out for her and never mets anyone halfway – like our time and effort is much less important than hers. She was really quite awful to Mum and didn’t seem to comprehend that Mum shouldn’t be made to run around too much.
She wanted Mum to drop the football tickets off at her hotel since she was getting in late but was very vague about the hotel address. Mum couldn’t find the place (my sister hadn’t told her it was in Docklands – I really don’t think anyone who doesn’t live in Melbourne would realise that Bourke St has now been extended that far). Just lots of little things like that that showed she didn’t really think about anyone else.
I really think one of the reasons she’s like that is because my other sister and I have both had illness and problems while she hasn’t. We can put ourselves in someone else’s place and realise that something you find simple when you are healthy and fit, isn’t so easy for other people. You’re got to have some patience and understanding. I guess that is the plus side of those kind of misfortunes – you learn a bit of empathy and compassion.
I took Mum to the airport today then came home, happy to have some time to myself. I swear I’ll have put on a shitload of weight this week – no exercise since Wednesday and lots of bad food. Mostly I didn’t even want it, just got in a situation where it was meal time and there was nothing else on offer. What can you do? It’s only a few days and things are back to normally from tomorrow. I went to the gym tonight, tomorrow I’m going for a run then later on planning to try Bikram yoga. I think the temptation of a very hot room is more the drawcard than the yoga itself though.