Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's the Most Exhausting Time of the Year!

Yes, yes, it's also a wonderful time of year, but I'm pretty worn out at the moment.

We enjoyed a very nice weekend with my family in Connecticut.  I always love spending time with my niece and nephew (and everyone else, too!), we ate delicious meals (thanks, Mom!), and there wasn't a single emergency or emotional break-down.  So, all in all, a fun weekend.  We spent a lot of time watching videos from our recent family vacation in Jamaica (along with the DVD I spent all last week preparing) and reliving good times together.  Amazingly, we had no trouble with traffic on the way there or home, a first for the New Jersey Turnpike!

Even though it was a good weekend, of course it was tiring for me.  I didn't DO anything physically, but I don't sleep well away from home, and it's tough living with ten other people, even just for a couple of days, when you have CFS.

Back home, I just spent two days in a row shopping, and you know what that means.  Yesterday, I made my one and only trip to the mall.  I went to the smaller mall in our area, so it wasn't crowded or too large to get around, but I was already worn out.  I just needed a couple of items for Craig that I couldn't get online.  I tried hard to take it easy - walked very slowly, stopped to sit on benches, etc. - but it was still the mall.  I used to get worn out going to the mall BEFORE I had CFS!

Today was Craig's last day of school before winter break.  Jamie and I drove to see our Lyme doctor in NJ, then stopped at Target across the street to stock up on necessities and to give Jamie a chance to finish his shopping.  It wasn't too bad - Jamie now drives all the way there and back (!) and he pushed the cart - but it was still another day out and about and on my feet.

I still have a lot to do this week, but it should be easier from here on out.  Those were the two big days.  I still need to wrap presents, finish Christmas cards (I did most of them in the car this weekend!), mail a bunch of stuff, and get groceries (though maybe Ken can do that).  Our dear friends are taking a turn hosting our annual cookie-Grinch party, so that will help.  We've upheld this tradition with our two families for almost 20 years now.  For awhile, before CFS, it turned into a big party with other families invited, but we've held onto one of our favorite traditions by scaling it way back to just the two of us...and I buy my cookie dough now! 

How are you holding up so far this holiday season?  What are your strategies for getting through all this extra activity?  I hope you're finding time to enjoy the season - I plan to do that this week, as things slow down and we have a few quiet days alone, just the four of us.


Anonymous said...

Very lovely story that painted a beautiful picture of your Christmastime with family, Sue!

I am looking forward to enjoying Christmas day with my daughters and their dad, not to mention our pets! It is always a mixed time for me emotionally as I pretty much have no choice but to be estranged from my family of origin, who will all be together in Washington state where they live. I will not be talking to them.

It saddens me to feel down this time of year that I love so much. I know it is not due to any fault of my own though, so I just have to move through it. Even at Christmastime they say or do things that hurt me deeply, and this year was no exception, but since they don't allow me to feel such things, and since they won't acknowledge any mistakes or ever apologize, there is nothing I can do to fix things! I spent my whole life trying and now I am done for good.

I'm so grateful for my small, loving family here, grateful that their dad and I are friends even tho separated, grateful for my small circle of friends here in San Diego, and grateful for my online communities. And so much more!

My CFIDS probably has improved 65% over the years; that's just a guess, I have no idea how to measure it!
I'm now sober for good no matter what.
My teen girls are absolutely amazing young women!
Yes, I have a lot to be grateful for!

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! And I thank you so much for allowing me this needed purge?


Renee said...

It IS such a busy week, isn't it. I remember when we had 8 kids (our 7 and a foster daughter) and I had to shop for all of them plus buy gifts for them from 3 different grandparents... close to 70 presents total with stockings...it was challenging to say the least.....but I started shopping in January at clearance sales and it went all year. Only way we could afford it! The kids helped with any baking and the wrapping was done as I got it which helped. Still there was alot of push and crash back then.
Now I have little I do...Joel and I made pumpkin bread for him tonight...working together is helpful. Our Christmas was celebrated with family at Thanksgiving so that part was done early. I start my cards right after Thanksgiving and have them all out by third week of DEc.~ around 130 of them. Phone calls will be the biggest part of our Christmas and will be spaced and limited too. Maybe there are others who can tell you more of how they manage it, as Joel probably does more than I do by far!
Hope it ALL goes well for you Sue and you and your family have a wonder Christmas.

Baffled said...

This is my first year with CFS. Everything is new. I guess I'm getting a bit blue over the whole Christmas thing. I've missed every Christmas event that we've been invited to. I did make it to a Christmas ice show but crashed hard the next two days for my efforts. I miss going shopping and cooking. I miss having the house decorated. Not that I put much up before but at least that was by choice not forced upon me by being couch ridden. I guess I don't like the loss of control and the loss of choice. I can't choose which events I go to. It is dictated by how I am doing on any given day. I also miss my extended family all of whom are off doing other things this year and I can't travel. So I am not in the best of moods and I'm not dealing with it very well. Instead of going to my husband's Christmas party I'm sitting at home preparing my appeal for LTD. Oh what fun.

Bloomin'Chick Jo said...

I am completely wiped out, have been for a couple of weeks, no end in sight! But I'm staying positive regardless because I want to enjoy Christmas!

dominique said...

Wow! You are amazing! You post just about wore me out! :-) I'm so glad you got to spend quality time with the family, though.

I won't mention how I'm doing because I know you already know.

I can only imagine that you and your family are going to have an amazing Christmas!

Sue Jackson said...

Wow, looks like I hit a nerve here! Sounds like we're all dealing with the challenges of the season in our own ways. It's very hard when our pre-illness (and societal and family) expectations far exceed what we can actually manage.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night and couldn't get back to sleep for over an hour, worrying about how I was going to manage all that I still need to do when I was already wiped out (then worrying that not being able to sleep was making it worse!).

This morning, I split my must-do-today list into two lists - one for me today and one for Ken tomorrow when he's of work.

I hope we can all find a healthy balance this week so we can actually enjoy some of the holiday season!!


Anonymous said...

Having dealt with this for so many years and because it crept up on me gradually over a period of 5-6 years, I've learned a little bit more each year about how to scale back and preserve energy from day to day. I have a list for the week. I do what I can each day and made a rule that I would never do more than two things in a day. Oh my other rule is never feel guilty if I can only manage one task or none on any given day. I start early with the decorations, shopping and wrapping. Holiday dinners are at someone else's house and everybody brings a dish or two. I make two but they're done early in the week, one day at a time, and frozen to wait for the big day.