Saturday, November 17, 2012

Finding a Way to Survive the Holidays

What is special about this tree?  Not the perfect placement
of ornaments or the symmetry of the branches.  The special
thing about this tree is my grandchildren helped Grandpa
put it up and they opened the Christmas boxes and placed
the ornaments on the tree for Grandma.  It was a joy watching
them have such fun, hearing them ooh and ahh over the
ornaments,  and not worrying about whether the tree was
decorated like I would do it.  Sure, I changed a few around
after they left and I added more.  But seeing this picture
reminds me of the joy and love we have for one another.
Is there anybody else out there having a love-hate relationship with the holiday season?    Please understand, when I say hate, it is not the holidays themselves that bring that word into my vocabulary;  because I have always loved everything about them--the true meaning of being thankful to God for blessings great and small, for the fulfillment of prophecy in Jesus being born for the sake of mankind, and celebrating with friends and family.  

I suppose it is the changes in my life that have made each year more of a struggle.  Maybe, it is because I am reminded that I cannot do things the way I used to do them.  Sometimes, I wonder how I ever prepared the great feasts for my family, sang in the choir, volunteered in the community,  baked cookies and pies, wrapped presents, and not only cared for my family--but I played with them too.  Any time I could think of a way to make a special day and meal, so they would feel loved and we would spend time together I found a way.  How often I have thanked God for the creative mind He gave me, because it has been so helpful in my life.

Actually, last night I felt like something was eating at me, but I didn't quite know what.  I tried to write and there was a barrier there;  but now, I know the barrier was my feeling of inadequacy.  And I felt guilty, because I have sat  in my recliner so much the past two weeks.  In fact, after I finished working on the new background and header for this blog, I felt almost like I was waking up from a dream.  I am sure that is from a mixture of the brain going to another place during the creative process;  moreover, my routine has been decimated from being sick.

I would like to have my house at least halfway shipshape before Christmas.  It doesn't have to be perfect, only almost perfect -- just kidding.  However, I can only do what I can do, and I am not going to let myself get in a tizzy over what I cannot control.  I cannot help being fatigued:  that's a major part of the illness of FM and CFIDS.   I have to take care of myself first, or I cannot take care of anyone else.  Is there anybody reading this, who has already had the struggle of which I write?  Are you already wanting to do the fun things like decorating that take so much energy, but you dread being more tired or giving out entirely?  

My advice is to be careful to do only what you can do, because it is the spirit of the season that is important, not making our houses look like a magazine page.  I am hoping to listen to my own advice, as well, because I would love avoiding the January Doldrums, which is what will happen if I overdo.  

Therefore, I have a proposal, which may work for some of us -- I will write a day to day account of how to do some of the enjoyable holiday things without going into meltdown. Today is a new day and I am always ready to find a way to do things better with less energy, or at least save some for later.  So get ready for a new series for those of us that haven't finished all our Christmas cleaning, shopping, baking, wrapping, and decorating.  Intertwined will be honest accounts of how things are really going in my life.  Our bodies often are nervous, panic-ridden, and in pain under pressure;  however, the goal is to enjoy a season filled with peace and joy, regardless of our circumstances.  If you can find the time, perhaps you can go to my Facebook page, Balancing Life Changes / Living Better With Chronic Illness.  I am setting a goal for myself to have one useful idea added to it each day to make our holidays easier to deal with, no matter what your age, your faith, or your circumstances are.   


  1. Hi Deborah! Great post, I'm really looking forward to your advice on dealing with the holidays. This is really my first year in my own house celebrating Christmas and Hannukah and I really want to be festive, have parties, and be able to bring treats to all of the gatherings--but the fatigue is a real barrier and I want to be able to enjoy and really contribute! So I do get how you're feeling!

    1. Thank you, Llana. I think I will talk about that on my post on Tuesday. The big thing is not to overdo. I want to do everything too, but I can't. You have to pick and choose what is most important too you. I think I will put some easy decorating ideas on "Deborah Lynne's Inspirations" too.


It's always lovely hearing from you. xoxo, Deborah