Chalk up my absence to Christmas festivities and medical side effects. My high plans to keep blogging during December lost to a shortage of time and energy. Ah…the common December lament.
The first skip happened with a fantastic, quick trip to San Francisco to visit family. The tasks of leaving town replaced my plan to write my post in advance. Plan B was to write a post during our visit. The discipline needed for that plan lost to sheer fun: a trip to Half Moon Bay to buy crab from fishermen still on their boats, napping to the sound of falling rain, a crab dinner with melted butter and sour dough bread, games of Cranium and Scattegories, and the Ferry Building’s Farmers’ Market. I think the high point of Cranium was when I had to pantomime “vibrate.” I don’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. Let your mind wander, and you might know what I mean.
I packed Christmas shopping, mailing, groceries and decorating into just a few days after we came home. I got much of it done, but not everything. As I stood in line or sprawled on the sofa in recovery, I wrote my blog in my mind. I practiced describing what I saw, heard, and felt. Although I didn’t actually write, maybe my practice will pay off. I hope so, because the blog ideas became like Christmas cookies that disappear from the kitchen island: delicious in the moment, then only a blurry memory.
Part of my current journey is learning not to try to do EVERYTHING. We finally decorated our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve morning and our daughter-in-law hung ornaments made in nursery school by our sons. That fun wouldn’t have happened if we’d decorated the tree earlier, as planned. One son and I wrapped presents together, taking twice as long as needed because we were so wrapped up in our conversation. The first Christmas cookies of the season were baked on Christmas morning and became part of a relaxed day. My other son and his fiance arrived later and we did the rest of Christmas in a new way as our family grew. All told, it was one of the most upside-down, atypical Christmases I can remember…and it was lots of fun!
December was a time for setting aside Christmas patterns and expectations of the past, and deciding which other ones to keep. To be honest, I often paused for deep, cleansing breaths and intentionally imagined stress being washed from my system and dripping from my fingertips and feet. But it was worth the change in perspective. I’ve named our new Christmas tradition, “What happens, happens, and it’s not just O.K.; it’s good!”
The other side of why you haven’t heard from me is fatigue that took a major toll, and side effects I developed from some medications. These became noticeable in mid-November and by December were getting rough. When I tested my hypothesis that meds were the source of the problems, my symptoms decreased. Hooray for the scientific method of testing one’s hypothesis!
My own impatience in getting those meds out of my system and my exuberance at how much better I felt may, however, be why I spent a night in the hospital under observation this week, puzzling every doctor who saw me. The good news is that tests show me to be as normal as I ever am, and I was discharged quickly. I feel more like myself than I have in over a month. We may never know what caused my own particular drama on Sunday, but that’s part of life, too: some things can never be explained. We live with mystery and ambiguity. Onward into the great unknown of a new year!
Learnings: Adapt to new situations, even when initially you don’t want to, because this newness brings unexpected gifts to your life.