Tuesday, December 30, 2014
The Build-Up to Christmas and My (Newly) Lowered Expectations
I approached the few weeks leading up to Christmas like a madwoman, creating list upon list of all the tasks that needed to be done. I had a shopping list, a housecleaning list, a list of blog posts that needed to be up before Christmas, a list of freelance articles due and a general to-do list. I did things that didn't need to be done at Christmastime, like having the bedroom carpets cleaned (which of course "necessitated" hours of purging closets and drawers). I am that person who sorts the pantry and cleans the area under the kitchen sink when guests are coming over. Tell me I'm not alone.
I crossed pretty much everything off those lists, including "find Jolene's collar." (That one took a while, seeing as she managed to misplace it out in the backyard, no doubt while poking her head through the fence in the hopes of getting a treat from our neighbour.) With apologies to my brother-in-law, we finally gave him a gift for his birthday (which was in September). Things were looking good. I never did make my own seitan or finish reading Ian McEwan's new novel. But that was what this post-Christmas week was to be for.
I was going to follow a light and easy blogging schedule, hit a movie with my husband while my parents were here with the kids and catch the Michelangelo show at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Somewhere around this past Saturday I realized some kind of illness was taking hold. Sure, I had contact with several ill and possibly ill people over Christmas, but I don't get sick. (It's not on any to-do list.) I consumed a few packets of Emergen-C and popped some oil of oregano and figured I'd be good to go the next day. That's when the chills started.
As I have lain in bed for the past three days, I can't help but think of all the activities I wanted to do, the books I wanted to read. Not to mention the nearness of New Year's Eve. (It put me in mind of one particularly bad New Year's Eve that my husband and I spent throwing up in bed while the neighbours in our semi-detached blasted music until the wee hours.)
But priorities change. Today I texted to a friend that I would be happy if I could even muster the strength to hop in the shower. And I did. (Baby steps.) Even in the clutches of illness (my scalp hurts!), I know things could be worse. My children are big enough to fend for themselves for the most part. They even bring water and treats to me (when they aren't visiting to tell me what Dad won't let them do). If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I've also watched a few great movies in bed (even if it took me several hours between naps over my laptop).
The thing is, I can reasonably expect to get up out of this bed, if not today, then maybe tomorrow. I feel enormous respect for those who suffer from serious illness and find the strength to fight for another day. I know I can count myself as only one among the many who are following the excitement of Christmas with the huge let-down of getting sick. I am taking it as a not-so-gentle sign that I need to loosen my grasp on my to-do lists (and, ahem, maybe start shopping earlier for next Christmas).
Freshly showered, my complete to-do list is as follows:
-make it down to the basement tonight to watch an episode of True Detective with hubs
(As wrong as it may be, I have to admit that, as long as I'm stuck in bed, I'm enjoying my freshly cleaned carpet.)
How is this post-Christmas week treating you my friends?