27 January 2007

Depressing HappYness

Watching The Pursuit of Happyness brought me in a really depressed state. I should’ve known better, I should’ve watched the movie when I wasn’t already feeling down. Or I should’ve watched the movie in my happiest mood, so that the sadness I’d feel after would just balance it. Or I shouldn’t have watched the movie. Period.

It wasn’t that it was bad (because the movie was quite okay)…it was because the story made me feel really bad. And at close to midnight, when you intend to get a good night’s sleep after a very demanding day, you’d expect to sleep well, loosen up and lighten up, after watching a movie.

Boy was I wrong. Serves me right for not watching the trailer before the movie. I just read about it a bit and said, “Will Smith – yes!” and saw the movie.


I only felt relieved in the movie's last 10 minutes. 90% of it was depressing.

What a set-up.
Chris Gardner (Smith) is a bright and talented, but marginally employed salesman. Struggling to make ends meet, Gardner finds himself and his five-year-old son evicted from their San Francisco apartment with nowhere to go. When Gardner lands an internship at a prestigious stock brokerage firm, he and his son endure many hardships, including living in shelters, in pursuit of his dream of a better life for the two of them. (Sony)
Anyway, I was sleep-deprived the last few days because of stuff I had to do and because I don’t know how to manage my time anymore, LOL!

One morning, having had no sleep for 24 hours straight (like Jack Bauer, haha!), I prepared my son’s breakfast and planned to already (finally!) go to bed once he leaves for school. But while waiting for him to finish, I couldn’t keep my eyes from shutting any longer. So I told my boy, I’d sleep a bit, while he dresses up and finish his food. I also told him that when it’s time for us to wait for his school service, he just needs to wake me up and it would be okay. For some reason, my son doesn’t want to be left alone waiting in our living room for the school bus to arrive. He would always want some company, and would sometimes demand it or cry about it.

And then he asked why I haven’t slept and I told him about work I needed done. He said, “You and Dad really work a lot, huh?” I told him something about providing for his needs.

After a few minutes, I felt my son tapping my shoulder. He told me to go to my bed and really get some sleep.

Me: What about waiting for you school service?
Son: It’s okay, Mom. I’ll just turn the TV on to keep me company.
Me: All alone?
Son: It’s okay, Mom. You need sleep. You don’t sleep, you get crabby and we fight.
Me: You cry when you’re alone downstairs.
Son: I won’t. And I don't want us to fight.

I realize my 9-year old is slowly emerging from that clingy little kid, to becoming his own person. That morning, I felt really proud for him.

I also felt something sting. My son is starting to let go…

The following day, because I probably had no stamina left from all that sleep deprivation, I was feeling rather sick and weak. Yet because we don’t have our regular house help, I had no choice but to do things myself --- cook, set the table, wash the dishes, etc. etc. Surprisingly, my son volunteered to help out because “You’re sick, Mom. And you really need to rest.” He proceeded to give me a back rub, which actually just made it worse since my son's not a masseuse. :D

I used to have to drag my son so that he would help me do the chores, even when I wasn’t feeling my best. And then we’d end up fighting because he would do it with a heavy heart (and heavy feet, it's like asking an elephant to help me out!). This time, even without my asking to do it, he took initiative because he felt his mother needs him.

It is these little instances that make me really say --- being a mother is the hardest job in the world, but it is the most fulfilling.

I must be doing something right, after all.

And that, I think, is my own pursuit to happiness.