This year is full of changes for me and my family.  I just graduated from college, my parents are in the middle of building a new house, my brother is going back to school in the fall, and I’m getting married in September.  My fiance and I are still unemployed, so we’re planning to go live with my parents in a few weeks and stay there until we can find jobs.  In the meantime, in between job searches, we’ll be helping with the new house and preparing for the wedding.

There’s a lot of work to be done at my home this summer, and that’s what I’d like to blog about here.  Before we had decided to move in with my parents after graduation, my mom expressed how they could use a “cheerleader” around there lately.  My mom, dad, and brother all work a lot of hours at very labor-intensive jobs, and at the end of the day (or night, depending on what shift anyone is working), there just isn’t much energy or morale left to go into things like deciding what’s for dinner, let alone house-building and especially not wedding-planning.  When we move in with my parents soon, I’d really like to take on a lot of the domestic roles that could ease the burden on my parents while they finish the new house and we prepare for my wedding.  I’d like to decide what to make for lunch and dinner, to make them healthy meals that can be re-heated easily for when mom or dad doesn’t get home until late at night or early in the morning.  I’d like to do the laundry and clean up so mom doesn’t have to worry about it.  One of the bigger tasks I’d like to tackle is going through the massive amounts of stuff my family has accumulated over the years and will have to deal with once it’s time to move.  I want to split things up into categories to sell, give away, recycle, etc..  I know this is something that looms over my parents’ heads every day, and their possessions have become burdens.  Trying to deal with all of that stuff must seem really overwhelming, especially at the end of an already hard day of work.  I’d at least like to complete this cleaning process in my room as soon as possible in case we get jobs and move.  My parents shouldn’t have to be responsible for the things that have been in my room since Jr. High.  After the cooking, cleaning, and organizing I’ll try and focus on wedding preparations.  Somehow I haven’t gotten very excited about wedding planning yet and I’m not sure why.  So far it seems like my family is more excited about it than I am.  I hope that changes soon.

I know I’m probably setting myself up to fall short of my goals by hoping to accomplish so many things.  It’s something I always do, every summer, almost ritualistically =)  Even in addition to these things, I’d love to play lots of piano, draw, sew, and become more flexible over the summer.  I’ll try to keep things in perspective, though, and just try to do a few things each day.  I also want to make sure not to get too focused on helping my family and forget about supporting my fiance since I know it won’t be easy for him to be living with my family.

So I guess we’ll see if this little domestic experiment works out =)  Since college, I’ve found more and more that I enjoy cooking and cleaning.  I think it’s the whole having pride in your living space (no matter how small and cramped and old and inconvenient it may be) and having control over the food you eat (as opposed to being subject to the whims of the dining hall), just having more control over your life in general.  Still, every time I’m home with my parents, I pretty much become the same useless bum kid I was for 18 years there before, where I have to be reminded to do the one “chore” I’ve been asked to do–tending to the dishwasher when it needs to be loaded or unloaded.  Maybe I just turn into kid-mode when I’m home, which is generally unhelpful/selfish-mode.  But maybe now that I’ve graduated, I’m getting married, and I can better recognize the difficulty of my parents’ working lifestyle, I can see myself as more of a guest in their home, or even a supportive family member instead of a dependent one.  I think I should make that my primary goal for this summer, to support my family more than I depend on it.

Lucky for me, I have some laundry here at my fiance’s place to practice on 😉