Tag Archives: truth

Confession

I have a confession. I’ve actually debated on whether or not to write about it. I mean, it doesn’t exactly make me look good. But in the interest of authenticity and writing the truth in my slices, here goes nothing.

I have a live-in maid. You may be thinking…well, I’m sure she has a big family and has an elderly parent to care for and works three full-time jobs in order to justify a full-time maid. Nope. I’m a single thirty-something with no kids. Let the judging begin.

It’s not something I planned on doing when I moved to Indonesia. I mean, I wanted to hire a maid to come in twice a week to do the major cleaning and laundry, as I have had in the other countries I’ve lived. It’s a perk of the international educator lifestyle- one that I’ve embraced with open arms. But when I visited Jakarta a couple months before the big move, a colleague who was leaving highly recommended that I hire her pembantu (Bahasa Indonesia for maid). Based on the recommendation, I was keen to hire Rohana. It wasn’t until later that I found out she was only looking for a live-in position, not a part-time one. After much consideration, I decided to go for it, mainly because I had such a big house and was worried I wouldn’t find someone who was as good, could cook well (Rohana is an excellent cook), and spoke a little English.

At first it was awkward trying to figure one another out, learning to live with someone after living alone for the past 15 years, and communicating with someone whose first language isn’t English. However, we quickly fell into a routine and I came to appreciate having someone around to help clean, do the laundry, prepare my breakfast and lunch to take to work, and cook dinner or at least help prep for dinner so I can cook when I get home. It’s also nice to have someone to deal with any repairs that need to be done during the day or bring me my laptop when I forget it at home.

For the past year and a half, I’ve become accustomed to having Rohana around and rely on her quite a bit for the day-to-day life stuff. Simply put, she makes my life easier and there’s less stress when she’s around. But she’s been away for the past three weeks and as much as I hate to admit it, it’s been hard. Like, really hard. Harder than it should be, especially considering the fact that I was used to making my own breakfasts and lunches, washing up, doing laundry, etc. before moving here. It wasn’t a big deal. It was just a part of life. I’ve come to realize that this part of being an adult is no fun at all.

Since I’m confessing everything tonight, I may as well tell you the whole truth. I haven’t done it all by myself the past few weeks. For one, I’ve learned that I have just enough clothes to last roughly a month (including undies) without having to do laundry. If she doesn’t come back this Sunday, I’m going to have to figure out how the washer works. A huge fan of Go-Jek, I have tried out a new feature called Go-Clean a few times, where I can have someone come to my house to clean on an hourly basis. It’s insane to think about, but the hourly rate is 35,000 Rupiah (about $2.50 USD). This nice lady (luckily the same one each time) has washed dishes and cleaned the counters and floors. I’ve also cooked less often than I normally do, opting to order Go-Food delivery instead, to cut down on dishes. It’s all pretty pathetic when you think about it.

So there you have it. My confessions laid out for the world to see. Hope you don’t judge me too harshly. But I wouldn’t blame you if you did.

 

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Making Changes

It’s no secret that I’ve been down lately. I’ve been under a lot of stress, some of it externally imposed, some self-imposed, and I haven’t been myself. My once joyful outlook on life was replaced by a cloud of negativity, following me around and weighing me down. This weekend I decided enough is enough.

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I realized that I was allowing the circumstances around me to control me, thus putting me in a funk. I was playing the victim, letting anger over the injustices I was experiencing take over. What I realized was that I was the one who was ultimately affected. Those other people weren’t bothered in the least and went on about their days, oblivious to my plight, but there I was in turmoil nearly every day. I found myself getting worked up over everything that didn’t turn out right. I was short-tempered, sensitive, and constantly complaining about what was happening to me. To be fair, I was wronged, taken advantage of, and not appreciated, but my reaction to the situations was ultimately what was causing me to feel that way.

I’ve decided that I can’t change how other people act, but I can change how I react to the situations that come my way. Yesterday, a few things happened where I was not respected. Normally, these things would have bothered me a lot, and I would have been so frustrated by them that I would have worked myself up and been angry. But, surprising even myself, I changed my reaction. Instead of getting angry or feeling sorry for myself, I laughed it off and moved on. And you know what? It felt good that I was able to move on quickly without dwelling on it.

Another thing I’m working on is being less of a workaholic. It’s in my nature to work hard and to do things perfectly. I have an extremely strong work ethic, and I take pride in my work and my accomplishments. As the classic overachiever, I don’t know how to say no, even when my plate is overflowing. As you can imagine, this leads to late nights and endless stress. I’ve decided to make a change. I need to find my joy again, and believe it or not, I’m not going to find it at home, alone, stressed out, and working all the time. Instead, I’m going to give it my all everyday at work, even staying a little longer each afternoon to get things done, but then I’m going to go home. I’m not going to carry the burden home with me, working tirelessly all night. It’ll be there for me tomorrow, when I’ll be well-rested and more able to tackle it anyhow. I’m taking back time for me- time to enjoy life, doing the things I want to do with people I enjoy.

So far, I’m two days in and doing well. I can’t promise that I won’t have setbacks, but I can promise that I’m going to keep trying everyday to maintain my positive outlook and find my joy again. 🙂