My newest philosophy in life? My newest "take" in order to not drive myself crazy? My mantra, now - THAT IS, when I can actually remember to use it? Tada (Drumroll, please):
"Will it matter in five years?"
And really, there are so few things which will. However, if I don't think this, just about everything in my life that I can no longer do takes on epic proportions. Worse, the things that DO matter, do NOT get done.
For example, each Christmas Eve and Christmas is about the same as the other. There is a tree, and yes, most years it looks so perfect that people often think that a professional decorated it. I'm too embarrassed not to have the perfect live Blue Spruce with absolute treasures adorning it. Then there are the presents that cover half the floor of the room. The hall, staircase, mantles are beautifully decorated with garlands, angels, lights. I have my Santa collection. Each sofa and armchair has stunningly gorgeous embroidered Christmas pillows. The foods at the table are basically the same, year in and year out.
And yet, we manage to NOT take pictures of the table and tree with us involved with the seemingly endless activities of each year. Yet five years later, I don't care what the presents looked like before the kids went to town ripping and casting paper and ribbons all over. Five years later, I want to see what my kids looked like at ages 5 or 10, 20 or especially 25. The tree and the table look more or less the same each year, but we, the family members don't.
I knock myself out, cooking and baking for a week (literally!) for the traditional Russian/Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner with its 13 traditional vegan dishes, but am so exhausted by the time we sit down at the table that I look like a bag lady. Consequently, there are few pictures of us on the actual day because hubs and I look like we need some emergency care, and quickly, PLEASE. We can't be bothered with dressing up a bit. I can care less about putting on a bit of makeup, much less getting out of my nightgown and into something which makes me resemble someone approaching human.
By the following day, with Christmas Day dinner, we look as if someone has tied a rope around our corpses to keep us in the chairs in order to fill in the numbers at the table. No one's dressed up - it's just too much.
And yet, five years down the line, I want to see what the kids and hubs looked like. I'd like to see us dressed, if not in our finest, then at least not in rags!
So, this Christmas, perhaps I can convince everyone, let's apply the five-year rule. It'd be great to see ourselves actually eating the Christmas Eve kutya we spent enough time and energy making! It'd be nice to see ourselves actually eating the Christmas turkey we spent so much time cooking. And Really, do I need to make five or six different desserts?
Yep. I think that five-year rule should definitely be applied to Christmas. Furthermore, it doesn't apply to just those of us living with CFIDS/ME/CFS and/or fibromyalgia, or any other person suffering from an illness. It might actually help healthy people stay that way!
As always, I hope everyone is doing their best, only better. For those who celebrate Christmas, I wish you the merriest of Christmases, full of joy, the best of health (only better!) and a life full of love and loved ones. Ciao and paka.