354 // Bah Humbug

I’ve never been a big fan of the Christmas season. Oh, there are things I like about the holiday. I like the lights, and the food, and the time spent with family, but all the shopping, shipping, and stressing about gifts and cooking is just more time spent away from the things I enjoy doing for me.

Instead of giving in to disappointment, I’m trying to think of these weeks as time outside of time, a break from productivity and passions to get a little perspective before the new year begins. It’s helping, but I miss my books, my journal, my blog, my courses. I miss sitting and silence.

‘Tis the season for giving of the self, I know, but with the pandemic and so much of life and tradition put on hold or cancelled entirely, it’s hard to get into a festive mood and a half holiday or less hardly feels worth the effort.

I don’t mean to be a grinch. I wish the season found me in better spirits, but this year has been too hard on me—too hard on us all!—and I can’t seem to find my holiday cheer, or perhaps it can’t find me. My hope is that come Christmas morning when all that stress is behind me and there is nothing left but to enjoy good food and time with family, I’ll finally find the Christmas spirit that eludes me now.

I got an early start this morning thanks to discomfort and chronic illness. I decided rather than letting it get the best of me, to keep me in bed or to keep me down, to let it bring out my best. I figured if I wasn’t going to get any more sleep anyway I might as well get a move on, right?

I think I may start my mornings this way for a long while. Just having an extra 30 minutes meant I was able to slow my pace and make room to eat early, sit with a heating pad, and enjoy my shower and those few small changes made a huge difference in the day. My body may be falling apart but emotionally I’m doing better than I have all week.

Part of the positive perspective might come from the act of fighting through every day rather than despite it. Getting up daily, beating what you thought was your best, and even retreating strategically when necessary all feel like wins and looking at life from that angle, lately, I’ve been rather triumphant.

So, while yesterday was a day of rest and processing, today is a day of doing what I can while I can. I’m back up to higher doses of steroids and taking full advantage of the positive side effects. I’m even adding a half a cup of coffee to boost concentration. I’m catching up at work and making progress on the end of the year blog post drafts I started on Tuesday. I’m looking forward to the evening when I will be back home with my wife and with, for the first time this week, nowhere else I have to be.