Friday, December 20, 2013

When It's Not It the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I was mentally exhausted last night.

A challenging day at work. A conversation with a dental surgeon's office that left me feeling at loose ends, unsure what to do next.  I am trying to juggle a pending dental problem with the fact that I will have caregiving duties for a relative with cancer in the near future, causing me to be away from home for a few days.

After work, spouse takes me to pick up new glasses.  We crawl through holiday traffic.  After glasses, a trip to Sams Club to pick up food for Christmas Eve. Another crawl through holiday traffic. Upon arrival at Sams Club we see a number of registers closed, and long lines have gathered at the other registers.  We pay for the privilege of shopping there - why can't they afford labor to shorten the lines?

Tired, stressed people look at each other as they wait patiently to be checked out. We make our selections and join the line. Finally, after a million years or so, we are free to leave.

Still another crawl through holiday traffic, only to find, when we get home, that we missed a call from the oncologist's office. We needed information, some information had conflicted with other information we had gotten from a different person in the office, and person #2 had asked person #1 to call us.  Now we had missed person #1's call and #1 person was going to be off tomorrow.  Try again Monday....

My new glasses hurt.

It's all part of what we call The Holidays here in the United States. The Holidays are that time between Halloween and New Years Day when we are supposed to be happy but instead, too many times, we are just plain stressed.  I will tell you what I would like to do with the man who sings "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!" (it involves termination with extreme prejudice, in particularly inventive ways.)

But I read a blog post after I got home with various tips on how to reduce stress during the Holidays.  And I thought - I needed to think about what else had happened yesterday.

I thought about the nurse at my family dentist's office and the good news she gave me after I didn't know what to do after talking to the surgeon's office.

I thought about the woman in front of us on that long Sam's Club line and how she insisted we, with our four items, go ahead of her. She must have been just as tired as we were.

I thought about the people at the oncologist's office, who have been patient with us as we try to learn the ropes of dealing with cancer on a closer level than either my spouse or I (neither of us have ever had cancer) have ever experienced.

I thought about the co worker I wouldn't see until after the New Year, and when I wished her a Merry Christmas, she hugged me.

I thought about my spouse cooking dinner for me.

Not that we have a whirl of parties and other events to begin with (that isn't our style)but we are trying to take care of ourselves in small ways.  Perhaps buying premade and not making ourselves.  Asking a family member to shorten Christmas dinner and make the start time a little earlier.

We will try to care of ourselves, and take it one day at a time.  And those glasses? I've put them aside for now. I will get them adjusted, but all in good time.

Do the Holidays stress you out?


  1. I have become way more selective about what I do and have reduced a little each year what I do. It is refreshing and granted most of that was planned. What I sympathize with especially are those accidents/medical issues that push already over-scheduled people and services to their limits. My mom had heart surgery one year very close to Christmas and I think it was my most stressed holiday ever. Hope you have a Merry Christmas and I like the link to the stress tips!

  2. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Go to any hill station, I think it is the great idea to reduce stress.


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