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?

21 comments:

  1. Hope you will be feeling better real soon. Holiday illnesses are the worst! Linda@Wetcreek Blog

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    1. Thanks so much Linda. I appreciate that! :)

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  2. oh no to holiday illness! I'm glad you got to rest up though and spent recovery time in bed. We've had a quiet post-Christmas week and have nothing on for new years and I must say it's a relief. My plan for next year is to take it easy and not try to do too much at once (I had a handful of pre-Christmas blog posts I was supposed to publish but that went nowhere!). Though like every year, I plan on starting off the new year with a big household de-clutter... we have a spare bedroom that has been the 'junk room' for about six years running... Get well soon!

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    1. Yes, I'm lucky I can stay in bed and be served. ;) I like your plan to not do too much at once. I think most women need to work on that one! I hope you find some time to get to that junk room. I have to say it feels good when it's done. (I got our spare room emptied out before Christmas so my dad could sleep there!) I moved a lot of stuff to the basement though, so we have to tackle that jungle some time!!

      Thanks!

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  3. I hope you feel better soon!! The flu is going around something wicked in my city as well.. As a hospital worker (and to answer the question - my Christmas has been filled with work as hospitals never close!) I have seen the severity as the ER is swamped with people who look like it sounds you are feeling! :( I guess if anything, enjoy the time to sleep and take the time you need to recover!

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    1. Hats off to you and all the other busy hospital workers. So right - hospitals don't close. Thank goodness for people like you! I'm one of those people who tries to avoid going to the doctor unless I feel I can't breathe. ;) But sometimes it can't be helped. I hope you get some time to rest! Thanks for your kind wishes. Jo

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  4. Get well soon Joann. Take lots of vitamin C, and D3. If you can muster up the strength to make some homemade soup that will help a lot too.

    My post Christmas is quiet and that is exactly how I want it. I never cared much for going on on New Year's eve. I get out of work early today. When I get home I am going to lean my kitchen, strip my bed and do laundry. I always do all the laundry on New Year's eve. I just do not like any dirty laundry going into the new year. After I put clean sheets on my bed I will take a long hot bath, put on clean pajamas, sit up in bed with some light snacks and watch old movies as 2015 rolls in.

    Btw, I just had my oriental area rug professionally cleaned, as well as 2 of my sofas and 6 dining room chairs.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Good ideas. Vitamin D is something I keep forgetting and it's so needed around here this time of year! No sun in evidence. So funny you mention the laundry. I was just saying to my husband, can we get these sheets changed...I don't want to start the new year on these sheets I have been lying in for days. I was doing so well with my laundry, doing one load a day, but nary a load has been done while I'm in bed. I hinted to the kids but I think a direct order is needed. Their clothes are the most challenging to keep up with.

      I love, love, love your plan for New Year's Eve. Sounds perfect for me right now. Unfortunately I don't think my family will agree. They understandably want to visit cousins.

      I would love to have the area rugs cleaned. They could use it!

      Enjoy your New Year's Eve and Happy New Year!

      Jo

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  5. Oh, no! I hope you're back to your old self ASAP. In the meantime, I'm glad you're enjoying some downtime. Too bad you aren't feeling well enough to really enjoy it!

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    1. Thanks so much! Today is better than yesterday, so that's good. I've got a little humidifier going now and I'm watching Dan in Real Life. Things could be worse. ;) Jo

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  6. Hope you feel better! I have been busy cleaning and purging stuff at my house. I am putting it up for sale and needed to have pictures taken.

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    1. Thanks Liz! Oh boy, preparing to sell a house is challenging. Keeping it clean and all that. (Eat lots of takeout food. ;) Best of luck to you!

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  7. Oh no!! Feel better-- baby steps and all!!

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    1. Thanks so much Taby. I have my puppies around me and the family is bringing me sushi for lunch so it's not all bad.

      Happy New Year!

      Jo

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  8. 2014 is gone, I wish you discover a new brand health, and sun in your heart and your bogy !! :-) Best wishes for 2015 !!

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    1. Ha ha. I was wondering what a bogy was. Thanks so much for your kind wishes Nikole!! Happy New Year!

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  10. Hi Jo Jo I hope you feel better soon. I had some kind of bug last week, good thing mom was there to help out as much as she could.

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  11. Sorry to tell Nancy but mom is not who she used to be. There was very little help from me, ( if any ).

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    1. It was great having you to spend time with the kids!

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