Ode to Rip Van Winkle

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Happy New Year one and all.  I’m a day late, of course, but the sentiment is still the same.   May 2008 be your best year yet, and may it bring you all that you want it to.

Well, contrary to one’s wishes, an ultra low-key, fuss-free, break all the rules,  no cooking for me Christmas, still proved to be a tad exhausting.   Which is not to say that it was a horrible Christmas and week to follow.  Far from it.   But let’s just say that the enjoyment was in small doses, in between dead to the world sessions.  Unfortunate timing, but that’s just the way it goes.  This disease has a schedule of its own, and it will do what it wants, when it wants, so you just have to go with it.  Enjoy the good spells when they happen, and ride out the bad spells as positively as you can, keeping in mind that a good spell always follows.   I know the pattern now, so it’s much easier to remain reasonably upbeat during the down times.  The mood does sink as the exhaustion takes hold, and there’s nothing that I can do to prevent that.  But it’s not a big deal anymore.  I’ve just learned not to make any major decisions, and to keep to myself until the crankiness passes.   Ahem. 😉

Moving on.

Christmas was very nice indeed, or at least what I saw of it was.  Stephanie did a stupendous job with the meal, and just might have found herself a permanent job. 😉  Despite being totally vegan, the meal was delicious, very filling, and still had all of the flavours of a traditional Christmas dinner.  I hold my hand up and admit that I was totally wrong with my long-held beliefs of what a vegan diet was all about.  I truly had no idea, and all of my prejudices were unfounded.  Which is not to say that I’m planning to go completely vegan at this point, but the mind is very open, should it seem like a good idea in future.  Meanwhile, I honestly do feel better for having less meat and dairy in my diet, and I crave animal protein less as time goes on.  Uh oh!!

As already stated, it was a very, very quiet and low-key Christmas.  But that’s kind of the way we are in general, so it certainly didn’t feel odd at all.  We did most of the celebrating on Christmas Eve, as that’s when it felt right, and Christmas Day was very much a laze around kind of day.  My two Santas spoiled me terribly, as usual.   Nothing big and expensive, as that’s just not my style, but a collection of really thoughtful, really “me” goodies, each of which hit the bull’s eye in a major way.

The time between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is kind of a floaty, sleepy blur, so I don’t think that there’s anything worth reporting from those days.  Actually, most of December was kind of floaty, so I’m not quite sure where it all went!  Normally I’m sick of the tree and other decorations as soon as Christmas is over, but it honestly feels like I just put them up.  So, we’ve now set a record for the longest time they’ve been up after Christmas.   I might take them down today … or I might not.  Maybe I’ll do the twelve days of Christmas thing this year, just to say that I’ve done it.

Richard was working the evenings of New Year’s Eve and Day, so we had our traditional Chinese feast on the weekend, rather than on New Year’s Eve.  Delicious, but not quite the usual treat,  thanks to a gastric bug floating through the house.  It’s the same bug that everyone and his dog seems to have had lately.  It didn’t hit us all that hard, but everyone felt a bit queasy and out of sorts for a couple of days.  Richard worked through it, but many of his colleagues couldn’t.  Staffing was very short New Year’s Eve and Day, but they muddled through, as all health care facilities do at such times.  There was lots of overtime on offer, at very nice holiday pay rates, but Richard didn’t feel well enough to take advantage of it.  Those who did will be clapping their hands with glee when they get their next pay cheque.  There wasn’t a casual or agency nurse to be found anywhere as all facilities were having staffing problems, thanks to the bug.  Oddly it’s not affecting patients/residents, just nurses.  Which isn’t a bad thing, really.  Nothing like having a bug yourself while taking care of those in the throes of a bug.  Been there, done that, and it ain’t pretty!

So, now the festive season is behind us and we’ll see what 2008 has in store.  I don’t make resolutions per se, but I have a few things in mind that will hopefully come to pass this year.  Obviously it would be nice to get more energy back and so on, but I’m realistic about that now.  There’s nothing wrong with wishing and hoping, but I’m mainly focused on doing what I can with what I have now.  Which is the best bet, really.  The plans are still on for a move in 2009, so the hope for this year is to get a good chunk of the redecorating and sorting out done,  which needs to happen before we start preparing for the actual move.  The painting and such will have to be Richard’s job alone, but I’ll be tackling the de-junking and downsizing of our stuff, as energy permits.  I have to be absolutely ruthless when it comes to getting rid of stuff, but once I get started, I’m sure that it will take on a momentum of its own.  I grew up in a house where nothing was thrown away, so I have to go against my true nature here!  I was never a pack rat when I lived in apartments, as I didn’t have the space to be one.  But a house with a basement and extra bedroom is a whole different matter.  It will actually feel really good to get back to more spartan apartment living again, as clutter and too much stuff in general, ups my anxiety level.  My needs and wants are quite simple, and I like that concept expressed in my surroundings.  When you have to move stuff out of the way in order to dust and vacuum, you have too much stuff, period.

On a related, but less tangible note, I made a good start at decluttering of another sort in 2007, and hope to continue in that vein in 2008.  Apart from the mood swings that go with the illness and my time in life, I’m in a much better place in mind and spirit than I’ve been in for a very long time, if not my entire life.  There’s still room for improvement, but I’ve come a long way, baby!   It wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t become ill, which reinforces my belief that good will come out of bad, if you let it.  The brain is still pretty foggy and muddled a lot of the time, but there’s a new kind of clarity there, too.  Which sounds a bit muddled in itself, but I know what I mean. 🙂

My other goal/hope for this year is improved communication with friends near and far.    I have some utterly fantastic friends all over the world, and I so appreciate your loyalty and patience while I’ve been struggling with my health issues.  But I’m starting to feel isolated and a bit lonely, because I haven’t been contributing as much.   The brain fog is still there, and the fatigue still knocks me down quite often, but things are improving, very, very slowly.  Not that long ago I was still too tired and brain dead to think all that much about relationships outside of this house, but that’s changing.  So, hopefully I’ll get back to my old level of participation with blogging again, and maybe even see if I still know what to do with a pen and paper.  The spirit’s definitely willing, folks, so watch this space! 🙂

Speaking of pen and paper, I need to get off here now and get a birthday card ready for a wee niece who will be turning four years old in a few days’ time.  She’s the youngest of my five nieces, but the youngest, period, is my third nephew, who will turn four in late February.   The oldest of the bunch is ten, so Stephanie was the one and only of her generation for ten and a half years.  Then the others started coming … and kept coming!   I think that they’ve stopped now, but I’m not putting money on it. 🙂

Right, I’m off.  Toodles.

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