Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Switch Back

Now I am feeling depressed.  Not clinically depressed of course.  Just back to the negative feelings about younger daughter (recap, age 25,  had good job, has given it up to slave in a ski chalet for 65 euros a week, no holiday and one day off a week for five months).

At first we got no emails at all - a sure sign that EITHER
a) she was having a fantastic time or
b) they had been put to work as soon as they arrived and were working flat out from Sunday morning onwards.

It turned out to be (b).

Hubby and I read her ghastly descriptions when they were finally emailed, and told each other "She'll soon get this out of her system, no worries, after five months of this she'll be glad to go back to a professional job".

But no.

Today's email reported that she was getting the "boring accountant" out of her system, and was confident that she was well on the way to become a "fun" person.

I am sad.  Is this what I gave my all for, over 20 years of education, paid for, no debts, endless support, endless comfort and taxi service, home cooking, etc etc etc?

It appears that her sole ambition is to be a "fun" person and to have "fun".

I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart that never in all my 59 years has it ever been my ambition to have fun.

I wanted to do good in the world, to contribute something, to be part of a team doing something worthwhile, to communicate, to be intellectually stimulated.   Not altogether! In roughly that sequence.

It's still my ambition, even after being humiliatingly dismissed earlier this year from my main job, to contribute something to the household budget, to be as near as possible financially independent, to keep myself fit and intellectually occupied, and to waste no time watching daytime television.

So it was with some sadness that I read her words.  I still haven't decided how much to tell her dad, who is even more serious than me, who has slogged even harder than me, and longer, to give her the privileged start in life she so carelessly dismisses. 

Will she grow out of this?


  1. Well, for what it is worth, and please do forgive my impertinence, but in order to give yourself a break and not worry so, you perhaps need to consider that your work is fed, watered and 'edumacated' her, and financially kept her buoyant......perhaps wishing her well and letting her keep herself from now on, might be a way to go? and as she has a professional qualification there is light at the end of the tunnel...she can always return to that. Chin up.

  2. Thanks for your sweet and thoughtful comment libby. I actually came back here to delete the post, because I don't really like the person who I am turning into on this subject. I think I do need to give myself a break, you are right, and I need to go to bed now with a hot water bottle and forget all about it (let her go, as you say).

    Thanks for your advice.

  3. I can understand your sentiments on this, but think back to when she first went to nursery and you had to let her get on with it, out of sight out of... no scrap that, not out of mind. :)

    My dearly beloved is currently on a two-year time out from work, aged over 50, because he never had time to do the fun stuff when he was young (he trained to become a medical specialist) and he reckons now is his last chance before he gets too old and his health goes wonky. He has felt frustrated for the last 25 years that he didn't make the most of his youth, but did nothing about it.

    Your daughter has detected, while there's still time, this desire to get it out of her system. She will find her way back to her career when she's ready. Don't panic.

    If you want a laugh and a glimpse at life as a chalet girl, read this

  4. Thank you Sarah, and thanks for taking the time to post the link, which I will follow up in a sec. I certainly would love a laugh.

    I really appreciate your constructive and helpful comments, which have given me some perspective on the issue.

    I am now coming to the realisation that I have never really had to let go, in the sense that nothing she has ever done before has been so out of my experience and imagination. It's probably been a lot longer coming than for most parents.

  5. I do sympathise. Our two daughters, though absolutely lovely in themselves, have married 1) really nice chap who suffers from depression and has currently been off work for 6 months (baby 2 due in Feb) and 2) a not-very-successful actor. Sigh.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I've been reading back in yours - how I agree re Christmas letters! I love them!

  6. Welcome, Isabelle, and thank you for your sympathy. Your comment about your daughters is interesting. There was I envying you because all your children are married! Clearly the anxiety never ends.

    I'm glad you found things to enjoy here.

  7. well it looks like from what you've said, that growing up in an uber-serious hosehold where fun wasn't really on the to-do-list, your daughter has done what many kids before have done and's no bad thing to have some fun. SHe's not exactly given up on life and turned to drink and drugs though, she appears to be working very hard, taking care of herself and enjoying's hard believe me I know but let her go flap her wings!!

  8. Hi, Young at Heart! You certainly live up to your name! Yes, we are a serious household. ANd you are absolutely right, she hasn't done anything bad. Thanks for the new perspective - I am certainly getting some helpful feedback to this post!

  9. I hope that despite giving our girls a sensible and serious start in life we will also have instilled the need for balance. If she is only responsible for herself, finding some pleasure and fun must be a good thing, and she can always come back to her career. (I don't think parents ever stop worrying about their children - at least, that's what my Mum says!)

    1. Thank you, hausfrau, for your balanced view. I agree, and have also been told that parents never stop worrying about their children.