About three weeks ago, I was packing my possessions, excited to be heading for the east coast and what felt like myriad new opportunities to move forward with my life. After a few setbacks and side swipes this year, I was 1000% ready to be moving into a new phase.
The universe, however, had other ideas.
Four days after setting off, car loaded with gear and excellent playlists, I received a call from my sister informing me that Mum had been hospitalised with pneumonia and it was serious. She’d even been moved from our cute little country hospital in Tanunda to the big smoke. Her house and dog needed looking after. My sister didn’t ask me to come back, nor put any pressure on me to do so – bless her.
But after first thinking capslock “NO WAY!”, I realised that I wanted to help and I wanted to be there. I also realised that sometimes, being a good person is really, really annoying.
Two days of driving across the Hay plains back to South Australia gave me ample opportunity to reflect on how I was feeling – which was really angry and resentful. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I was angry at Mum for not taking care of herself, for putting everyone else first and allowing her health to deteriorate to this point before seeking help. I was resentful that I had to drop everything, ditch my plans and sacrifice my hopes to step in and be a grown up.
Adulting against my will? Not my favourite flavour.
For the last two weeks, I’ve been dog and house sitting and visiting the hospital a lot. Mum will be able to return home very soon and is doing much better, which is great. I’ve worked hard on my book and seen my therapist and dealt with that anger and resentment (well, most of it). I’ve also spent time my sister and mates, and get to attend my niece’s high school graduation next week.
Coming back to SA was the right thing, not just for Mum, but for me too.