Fun times with my sister (and my aunt)
Saturday, Apr. 27, 2019 - 3:34 pm.

I'm having a peaceful and quiet moment while my sister and aunt are charity-shop-hopping. These two weeks with them have been great, on average. Had it been only my sister, I would say they were outstanding, but my aunt's presence brings down the score a bit.

I don't want to sound unfair. My aunt is enjoying herself, does not complain about anything, and insists on paying for nearly everything. It's just that my initial complain remains. She merely came along with my sister without talking to me. She's my sister's guest, not mine.

In fact, I first resented my aunt for coming to my home without consulting me, but I now mostly resent her for sticking to my sister. My aunt is overall in good health, but she's over 70 and my sister is always looking after her. We didn't do or eat some things I wanted my sister to try, because they wouldn't be good for my aunt. Again, my aunt doesn't complain, nor actively keeps up from doing anything, but my sister is the one to accommodate herself to her needs.

My sister has a vocation for taking care of others, and she does seem happy to be traveling with my aunt. They get along like sisters, they enjoy wandering around, and they both wish joy and freedom to the other. But soon after they both arrived here, I noticed the patterns. I quickly resented that my sister was not traveling alone, and thus had no chance to focus on herself and do whatever and go wherever the hell she wanted to. In my head, that's what this trip of hers was for. 

Nevertheless. I've spent the whole week taking them here and there. Our biggest trips were on Wednesday, to London, and on Friday, to Liverpool. The first one in particular was rough, I was trying to cover a lot of ground based on what they wanted to do and see. We've overall succeeded, in that sense. They're very happy, they've had fun. I've snapped a bit a few times, stressed because I'm the one in charge of schedules and routes, but nothing that makes me a terrible person.  

They leave on Monday morning. Speaking of being a terrible person, I feel guilty for feeling relieved about this, but I do miss my homely routines with Andrew and having time to myself.

As consolation, and simultaneously as a source of immense stress, I'll be seeing my sister again, and my parents and two of three brothers, in less than a month. Andrew and I are going to New Mexico and Houston. I've already asked Andrew to please not divorce me after this trip. 

Andrew's been nothing but a sweetheart to my aunt and sister, so that comment above is mostly me (to which he replied, he'd beg me the same after I spend time with his family). I've spared him spending days keeping them company while they shop. He's made some nice meals and went with us to Liverpool. He's good at all the emotional labor involved in dealing with the particularities of my family, and at supporting me while I deal with them myself. I'm grateful to him for that.

In other news, Andrew's viva (the PhD exam) is on June 10th, and mine is on the 14th. We got the news yesterday. My stomach sank when I learned that. I will read my thesis this week. I want to take my time to study it (God, the amount of mistakes I'll find!), but I don't want to get overwhelmed by it. And I also want to do other things unrelated to academia. That is, writing and drawing. 

Anyway. I have the rest of the weekend to enjoy with my sister. I'm thankful that I got to show her around this beautiful place, and she's spent her days here with a smile on her face. That's all that matters. 

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