Each month I like to join Sheryl over on A Chronic Voice with her writing prompts for the Chronic Illness Community. This gives us a chance to write about how we are doing while following a set of prompts. This months prompts are closing, treating, rationing, reminding and embracing.
I will start with Embracing
It’s December! For so many years I embraced the Christmas season. How could I not, with a family that fully embraced it from food, to presents to just being together to celebrate. For many years now I have been without most of my family and, December and Christmas has just felt, well, different. Having children always makes the Christmas season special, but even my little ones are all grown up now, well almost, and again changes are happening. The holiday season is also when I felt sick. We had just got through a very eventful Christmas in 2015 and I ended up in hospital on January 1st 2016 for two weeks. It seems like a lifetime ago now.
But that doesn’t mean that I won’t be embracing Christmas this year. It’s a special holiday and I will always do my best to make some memories just like my family did for me when I was young.
Closing Things Down
I’ve found life difficult lately and the things I loved I don’t seem to enjoy so much anymore. I can’t crochet as much as I used to because it actually causes me pain in my hands and arms. I’ve tried different ways of holding the hook, but nothing helps. I did have hopes of being able to churn out lots of lovely items and be able to sell them online. But I have to face the truth, I’m just not prolific enough and I never will be. I will continue to crochet. But I am planning on closing my crochet shop on Etsy in the new year.
I am also thinking of closing my Word of the Week Linky. I have had some lovely people stick with me since I took over the linky and more people join in. But it does seem to be dwindling now and I haven’t been able to encourage a bigger community. I might think of something new that will be more appealing, but the truth is, I don’t think linky’s are so popular anymore. I know the American sites love them. But, they also put a huge amount of work in running them over several blogs and I don’t have the time and energy for that. So I’m afraid it may be goodbye to Word of the Week. I haven’t totally made my mind up yet.
Christmas is the time for treating yourself and others with gifts and food and all those things you don’t normally have throughout the year. Honestly, I feel like a real treat would be to spend a couple of days in bed watching television or listening to my books, and having my food and drinks brought to me. I’d love to treat my body to a whole lot of NOTHING. But my mind wouldn’t be happy, I’d be up and helping get everything else done.
I feel that treats come in many ways, and I find that just spending some time with my family playing games or watching something together is really lovely. We have been some power saving evenings lately and we switch everything off (except the light) and play games like Jenga or Uno. It’s been fun.
Of course, we will be treating ourselves to some extra food this Christmas, I’ve been saving up vouchers and rewards and we can go overboard with our shopping.
I do tend to overdo things but this year I’m definitely going to ration my work and save some energy. I don’t want to burn out. I’ve been thinking about how sad it is that the children are growing up and we won’t have that Christmas morning frenzy of wrapping paper and building toys. They can open their presents and sort out their own mess this year. I don’t know if that counts as rationing but when I think of how worn out I used to be at the end of Christmas day when they were little, I’m sure it will be a bonus.
We have also had to ration our presents this year. With the cost of living so high it’s been difficult to afford luxury gifts. I usually buy early and save some money, but this year I haven’t even known what to buy so it’s all a last-minute frenzy of shopping. There will definitely be a rationing of spending. It’s not all about the gifts though, and thankfully my family know that. (so, long as there is plenty of food and treats and that will be sorted!)
Sheryl talks about remembering unpleasant events and we have sure had enough of those over the Christmas period in the past. I don’t need reminding that my Mum died on Christmas day, but it was 14 years ago now (although sometimes it feels as raw as if it were yesterday.) I always take time to remember those no longer with us and know that we live in the present, so the memories are always good. You can’t change the past, but you can choose what to remember and how to feel about it.
I will also need reminding of everything on the run up to Christmas. My brain fog leaves me not knowing what is happening and where, so everything is on my phone with reminders set. We have lots of things happening before Christmas including hospital appointments. I am really worried because I will be in hospital the week before the Christmas weekend and I’m hoping that I won’t be suffering from horrid side effects. I will just have to keep reminding myself to drink plenty of water and take pain relief. I also need to remind the hospital staff to make sure my infusions are done slowly.
Christmas day can be a little tense at times, but we all try our best to embrace it. Gifts are just a small part, food is a big part. And just being together and enjoying it is the best part of all. I know that I’m not old, but I do have to remember that I have a chronic and progressive illness and we never know how long this can last. I’m glad that Sheryl chose the word Embracing. I will remember that and make sure that it’s what we do, embrace it all.