Ask me 15 years ago what I thought of my 40 odd-year-old parents, and the response would have ranged from a giant EWW to boring, with a healthy commentary of “I don’t ever want to be like that”.
That entitlement as a fresh faced teenager would slowly wane over the years, transforming into quite the opposite — a kinship, a respect, even a longing to be a little more like my parents.
With the perils of adulthood, I find myself struggling to keep up with a lifestyle devoid of responsibilities. Filing my taxes on time is like jumping through hoop after hoop, paying my rent and bills on time are like a never ending nagging ritual, ceaselessly weighing on me, financial planning for my uncertain future seeming to be more of a never-ending nightmare, grocery shopping a chore, and speaking of chores, the hassle of separating my whites from my coloured or dark clothes simply all too consuming. Plus toilet paper is always running low, and my vegetables go bad quicker.
Like the horrendous run-on line of a paragraph above, my perspective has taken a hard swing for the better; it’s been a long time coming.
All of a sudden the quirks in my parents that I once found tiresome soon became quick solutions for the problems that I find myself facing:
- Saturday mornings that seemed so dreary and boring while I spent whinging for my parents to take me to the mall were now spent book-keeping and scheduling for the week ahead.
- A brand spanking new calendar that resembles one that I scoffed at as “tacky” now adorns my kitchen wall.
- Crockery and dishes that used to sit piled up on the corner of my table were now washed before I retired for the night (I’ve even got a shelf full of recycled tupperware from take out and sauce jars, and grocery bags folded neatly into little pocket sized triangles).
- Laundry was scheduled (no more bleached pants or stained white tops!), and gone from my life is that chair (you know, the one that sits in the corner of your room piled up with dirty clothes, clean clothes, you name it).
I’ve found that I’ve even picked up some of the less-conventional — but extremely helpful — quirks, courtesy of my parents.
Father in particular, had a knack for little DIY hacks that would ultimately make things easier for us around the house. A specialty of his was putting up recycled cardboard, gift wrappers, newspapers, or unwanted junk flyers as the backsplash of our kitchen sink.
I’ll admit, they’re a sight for sore eyes, but they do their job keeping the kitchen counters splash free without dried up oil stains. Plus, they drastically reduced time and effort spent on a lazy Sunday afternoon scraping stains off (and your fingers raw), and they were a cheap, environmentally friendly alternative to high-end retail plastic stick-on disposables.
I’ve adopted the habit at DIY-ing things for myself too, I have old copies of ALDI flyers and old Christmas wrapping paper from 2017 as functional embellishments for my kitchen counter, saving me both time and money. So to my guests that snigger at the decor of my kitchen, remember, you’re sniggering at my 60-something year old father who worked his whole life to support and guide me too.