Weekly Catch-up: Dutiful Daughter

Last year, we all learnt that plans have to change and do change quickly. My goals for February quickly were tossed aside when Queensland opened their borders to NSW residents from February 1.

For readers outside Australia, I live in the capital city of NSW. Sydney was hit first with COVID. One of the first things the other states did was shut the borders. So we couldn’t cross into other states!

The first time the borders opened between Qld and NSW, I planned my trip north to visit my mother in the upcoming term break.

Then another wave hit in the southern part of Sydney and Qld closed its borders to people from that part. I thought I was safe – I’m at the very north of Sydney.

Then Qld blocked one more local government area (LGA).

Everyone was asking me if I was going north. I said I’d wait until they did one more LGA.

Ha! They went: one, two, all.

Borders reopened just before Christmas so I had everything booked to go up in January. Perfect timing as my mother was going through a sticky patch and I could help her with decisions and selling and getting rid of stuff in preparation for downsizing.

And then Sydney got another outbreak. I ummed and ahhed whether I should jump on a plane, miss Christmas with my family or or risk waiting a fortnight.

Waited and yep, borders closed.

Unexpectedly, the second day that school resumed, Queensland announced it was allowing people from Sydney in. So, even though school had not been back a full week, I took carer’s leave and hightailed it to Qld. I couldn’t risk the borders slamming shut again.

Anyway, perfect timing, except for missing Mr S’s 60th birthday. Mum’s house had sold in record time – it was on the market for less than a week. The removalists were coming the week the borders reopened.

I spent the first five days packing, helping my mum get rid of more stuff, taking that stuff to the op shop, directing removalists, dealing with electricity and phone/internet suppliers, connecting the internet, buying the needed connection to get the phone working. Exhausting. But what a dutiful daughter! Really, they would have struggled without my help.

Then I set up the mobile my sister had bought our mother. Now my patience started wearing thin. Possibly not quite errant, but not the most dutiful of daughters.

Now to explain the need of internet access for banking! They don’t have an active credit/debit card so couldn’t pay the removalists. I paid it and they needed to repay. Like the removalists, I don’t want cash. “What if we get a debit card? Can you use that to take money?” No, I’m not a business. I don’t have a card reader.

How will they pay the rent of the house they are in while waiting to buy a new, smaller property? “We don’t want this internet banking thing. Can’t we just get the bank to send the owners money?” You can try but I don’t think they will. You need to transfer yourself via online banking.

OK, I did become a bit sharp. Still, internet access established (by me) and once money is in the bank it will be my job to pay the rent regularly. DD, again.

But we are still not finished with dutiful daughter jobs. Signing my parts of enduring power of attorney. A visit to my mother’s doctor with her to get him to sign his section on the enduring power of attorney form and discuss my concerns about my mother’s health.

Add in a visit to my aunt who lives nearby and who had a stroke last year. All round it’s been a fortnight of adult offspring care tasks.

I did get to do several rainforest walks. I wish I could share some photos but the camera on iPhone is dead.

Here’s one from an earlier visit:

If I was closer, and the borders didn’t keep closing, I’d be able to spread these tasks out. But then, possibly if there wasn’t a sense of urgency with the move, my parents wouldn’t have accepted my help?

Copying Laura from The Occasional Nomads, I am going to add a regular bit below.

What I’ve just read: The Blue Zones: lessons for living longer by Dan Beuttner. This has invigorated my health goals. Adding drinking water and working on better sleep (again) to my goals. Worth a read. The Living Sea of Waking Dreams by Richard Flanagan. Interesting style but too too depressing story about adult offspring who won’t let them mother die and forced on her painful, invasive medical interventions. Strange choice for my week with my elderly parents. Lol!

What I’ve been watching: too much shit on tele. I need to be more selective. Turning the Tv off will help me with my goals of sleep and home routines. I watch too many American home makeover shows. My favourite is the husband and wife couple on The Fixer-Upper. I also watched the first episode of the new series of Wife Swap. The Australian version. And Hughsies, We have a problem. And repeats of Would I lie to you and QI. Think I should go cold turkey and not turn the TV on after dinner.

Steps to my goal

  • Sleep – I’ve been sleeping well here. No stress of work to keep my mind rolling over.
  • Water – will start tallying my water consumption again.
  • Exercise – four days of rainforest walks in a row.
  • Decluttering – leaving a pair of sandals in Qld. Old and worn. Goal was to wear them out this summer. ✔️
  • Main thing for the year – I have a major goal I am too embarrassed to share until it is finished. But for now, know I haven’t done anything for it this week as my focus was helping mum move.
  • FIRE: I’m starting to think about the FIRE movement – Financially independent, retire early. Thinking but not doing much. Actually becoming more aware my purchases are working against it. $55 for lace bunting? Why? Jeans with beading for $250. I don’t really need them. Anyway, thinking and awareness are the first steps.

19 thoughts on “Weekly Catch-up: Dutiful Daughter

  1. Being a dutiful daughter is hard work! I feel for how the border closures have added to your difficulties. Well done on getting it all done. My Mum has decided not to drive, and I love that she made that decision herself. However, it means that she needs to be driven to medical appointments, of which there are a few at the moment. I have brothers and a sister, so we share the load. However, i would love to meet up with her by taking her to lunch, not the doctors.

    • Oh yes, to be able to do something fun, pleasurable or non-duty related. My mother doesn’t walk so bush walks are out. She now finds nearly everything all too much bother. Maybe on my next visit we can go out for lunch!

  2. We accidentally discovered a good exercise for mindful spending when we were prepping to retire and move to Hawai’i: Before we bought anything we would ask ourselves, “Am I going to want to pay to move this to Hawai’i?” or for clothing, “Is this something I would wear in Hawai’i.” I was surprised by how often the answer was a resounding “no” and I wouldn’t buy the item. I still do this even though we’re in Hawai’i – is this something I would pay to move? Is this something I want to lug around in my suitcase? So, you can imagine yourself moving somewhere far away (England maybe?) and ask yourself when you’re tempted to buy something if you want to pay the cost of moving it overseas. It works!

    You are a dutiful and good daughter. I got out of most those efforts with my mom because I was not close by; my sister and her kids, who lived close to Mom, put in most of the effort when she downsized and at the end of her life. But that was also was my mom preferred – I was never at the top of her hit parade.

    P.S. missed commenting on the last post before this one came up, but I’m right with you about getting a hybrid next time.

    • I like the use of the question. I am doing it with clothes. Will I wear this next year? (When we have the year off.) Except for a little jacket for my current outfits, I’m not buying anything that constitutes work wear.

      I have left the regular checks and jobs to my sister who lives a 2 hour drive away. Given I could come up and I have leave available, the move help had to be my job.

  3. Good on you for being a dutiful daughter. Even when it is painful. And frustrating. And annoying. Because we are nothing, if not human. You did a good job. While my folks are long gone, DH’s folks are well up there in years, but we live 2,000+ miles away. Luckily, his parents live in the same neighborhood as his brother’s family, so they tend to meet any extraordinary needs–for now. Haven’t been able to see them for more than a year and a half due to pandemic. It will be a tough situation when one of them goes. Can’t see either living on their own.

  4. It must have been nerve-wracking knowing what was going on with your mom, and waiting to pounce on a border opening. I was glad you didn’t have to miss Christmas at home. I would be impatient too, about the lack of credit, debit or online banking. My dad still complains he can no longer use a “bank book” nor get paper bank statements in the mail. He won’t do online banking, so he goes to a bank teller and ask to check his balance. He does use debit and credit cards, though! Meanwhile, Link’s last landlord insisted on post-dated cheques, so Link had to pay for an order of cheques ($$). I haven’t written a cheque in several years!

  5. Hellooooo! 🙂 Long time but so lovely to be back & hearing updates!

    You are a very DD. That is the fastest move ever…amazing timing to pull it off between the closures!

    Can imagine the convolutions with trying to get the parents into online banking, new rent, new utlility accounts…! I hope they’re settled in & hope you are not too frazzled after doing all that on top of new work year start-up (I’m exhausted just imagining it!)

    Looking forward to reading back through posts I’ve missed! 🙂

    • Not frazzled – well not beyond the usual. Work has its normal demanding workload. So lucky about the timing. Let’s hope the borders stay open – and that includes Victoria. My sons were planning on going down for a concert. Not now! 😦

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