I have a lot going on right now and I am feeling extremely stressed out. Life in general is not going well for my youngest daughter, and in order to help her cope I have decided to leave work and stay home with her for her second semester of school this year. Also, I have just found out that I require surgery on Dec 7th which will take me out of commission for awhile (not to mention I am scared shitless of having the surgery), and I am panicked as to how I will prepare for Christmas around this surgery. I just can't seem to get it together, and the looming Christmas season isn't really helping. Christmas #2 without Ben.
In any case, I'm just going to be straight up honest and tell you all that I can't cope with writing a new blog post this week, but I am going to post something that I wrote at the end of November 2015. When Christmas was looming and I was really stressed out. I guess November does that for me. I feel essentially the same today, except Ben was alive back then and I could still see him and touch him and hear him, even if he was mostly sleeping. So life may have actually been better back then.
November 29, 2015.
I have no idea what happened to me today. Possibly I am just worn out, maybe I am just not getting enough sleep in the night, but today I crashed. Crashed. It was one of the few days when the only thing on the agenda that had to get done was getting Raegan to her volleyball tryouts by 8:30 am, and picking her up again at 11:00. I managed to do that but not much more. I spent most of the day drifting in and out of sleep on the couch. I was not a good caregiver today.
I love going to Church on Sundays. I look forward to going to Church. I planned on going to Church today. And in the end I just could not get myself off the couch. Big mistake, as it is now 8pm and I still have not even brushed my teeth.
Ben had his first treatment of Nivolumab on Friday. He has experienced the normal fatigue, but other then that he seems to be ok. We even went out on a limb last night when prepping all his meds for the week ahead, and left out the Metoclopramide which he has been using for months to prevent nausea. I haven’t reminded him today that he hasn’t taken it, and he hasn’t complained at all of feeling sick. So that is good news.
After bringing Ben home from the hospital, I drove to the ferry to pick up Lisa who came in for the night. I put her to work immediately and she helped me decorate the Christmas tree that my friends had put together for me the night before. I knew if I didn’t decorate it while Lisa was here, it was likely to remain undecorated until I take it down after Christmas.
It is now Sunday night. The weekend has passed and I still have not brought out the tree skirt (or any of the other household decorations), but at least the tree is done. Thank you, Lisa.
Ben slept. I want him to rest and let his body heal, but man do I ever miss hanging out with him. I think it all hit me while the house was quiet today, as it sometimes does. I looked at the tree and wondered why I have to find the energy to decorate? Does that stuff really matter?
The tree and the gifts have nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas. Ben and I have had many discussions about this, and we both agree that we are definitely not interested in the gifts this year. Really….who cares? Where does all the hype fall on the scale of what is important to us now? Way below zero. Even the kids do not seem overly excited for the holidays, which does make me a bit sad because we usually have a lot of fun at this time of year. How I wish life could be ‘normal’ for them. We will do our best to make this Christmas enjoyable for them, but our focus will definitely not be on the commercialism of the holidays. I am glad that we have always tried to keep a focus on family in the past, but it is true that we have been very guilty of falling victim to the extreme gift giving. Not so this year.
All we want is to have peace, calm, quiet, and time to spend with each other. Gifts with no meaning …. not interested. There is nothing to be purchased that can give us more joy than all of us being with each other. I am very glad that the kids are not toddlers – I think at this point I would lose my mind in the midst of that chaos. Peace is important.
So this year, if I find the time to do any more decorating, then I will do it but only if it brings me pleasure. If I don’t find the time, so be it. Gift shopping for the kids is mostly complete. I have picked up things here and there but I do not enjoy going to the crowded malls and I am literally incapable of going alone, so anything else will be done online.
Its not that I don’t want to recognize Christmas – I do. And I do want the kids to have a memorable one. But my ideas of memorable Christmases no longer have anything to do with the hype, the food or the gifts.
Simple. I long for simple. Stress free. Quiet. Together.