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Exhausting, Exciting, Socializing, Indulging, Cutting….these are our AChronicVoice five prompts for December. Yes, December is here. It’s the last month of the weirdest year in my life. 2020 continues to be a year filled with trials, sadness, and anxiety. We have all missed out on so many things. But, as the year comes to an end we can hold our chronically sick heads high and smile. There’s hope for a better new year.

Christmas lights

This pandemic is really horrible. It has kept me from many of my loved ones and prevented everything from happening that I had hoped for. Thankfully, I still have my life and no one in my family has lost their life because of Covid-19. Although my parents (in their 80’s) became positive for covid and made it through, my father was severely ill and is still recovering very slowly.

So many people have lost someone that they love and I am so broken-hearted for them and the sadness they face. This Christmas, I will be praying for those who are grieving and those who are sick. It’s a holiday season when so many have lost their jobs, homes, and income. While I pray for them, I’m thankful that I can give more to help meet their needs.

December is a time of giving. We give gifts to our friends and loved ones and give more to charitable causes. We think of giving of our time, too. When I became too sick to donate my time and energy, I was left with fewer options to help others. So, I try to give money. Even though I’m not rich, I can give what I am able to. I also like sharing on social media about good organizations that are helping others.

December can be a very exhausting month for healthy people, so it’s even harder for those of us with chronic illness to carry on. There are so many more things that need to be done this month: extra baking, cooking, shopping, wrapping, decorating, and errands. I wasn’t really able to do all of that during any other month of the year, so December really is impossible.

All that exhaustion forced me to re-evaluate my to-do list and change my priorities. The list of things became shorter. My baking was cut by about 75% and my shopping was done online (even before covid). I had to ask for help, too. After making many changes, I will still feel exhausted, but at least I won’t collapse.

What an exciting time of year! December has a fun-filled and exciting schedule during normal years. This year the schedule is slimmer and the calendar looks pretty open, except for a few doctor’s appointments. But, December is still exciting. I can see the excitement in the eyes of my grandchild.

My family gets excited when I make homemade rolls or a batch of Christmas cookies. I feel excitement listening to beautiful Christmas carols or when we drive around and look for homes covered in lights. We may not be able to go to concerts, parades, or open-houses, but there is still excitement.

Socializing…..what’s that? It’s been so long! My family is truly sick of the quarantine. They are suffering emotionally and desperate to leave the house. I am beside myself thinking about how much I’ll miss seeing my children during the holidays. But, I’m not upset about being at home all the time. Socializing went away when I got sick. I’ve learned to be content with staying home all the time.

I don’t miss socializing with friends or groups. In order to get dressed up and go out to have a social time, I would get so worn out that I would need days to recover. It became real obvious that it just wasn’t worth it. Other than seeing my close family, there was not any energy to spend on socializing.

wrapping

After Thanksgiving, I remembered what indulging felt like. I really over-did the eating that day. It made me feel awful to indulge in a lot of sweets and heavy foods so I was glad to start eating normally again. But, December is even more problematic for those of us trying to eat right.

The entire month seems to be focused on indulging ourselves. We are pushed to indulge ourselves with too many gifts, too much rich food, lots of parties, and more. But, the result of all that indulgence is credit card bills and weight gain. I hope that I can stay away from indulging this year.

What are you cutting this year? Are you cutting back on parties, trips, sweets, spending? We’re cutting back on traveling this year. Oh, I really don’t want to cut back. I long for the day when I can get vaccinated and then travel all I want.

It feels like we’re cutting out all the fun in December, but we just have to adjust our idea of fun to be what is actually possible. Playing a board game, watching a Christmas movie or football game, or just talking can be a joy. If you’re blessed enough to live with someone you love, you can enjoy December.

I hope and pray that you all have a lot of help this month and that you can enjoy the holiday season with those you love.

@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman

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12 Comments

  1. Yes, we are all cutting back on socializing but certainly, it is important to do. I am so glad your parents recovered! It is a different and difficult holiday for sure. But I still bought presents and decorated. Still will make a dinner at home. And will drop presents off at my parents at a safe distance away, with my mask on, sometime close to Christmas itself. Just a strange Christmas. I will miss the time at my moms for sure. It will be odd for me not to go there.

    1. It’s good that you have your safe plan to celebrate. It certainly will be strange! I hope that you’ll have a good Christmas anyway.

  2. Lisa, I’m sorry to hear that your parents got covid. My dad is 87 and my mom is 84. My dad has had a rough year and a half with illness so I really don’t want to take any germs to them.

    1. I know how you feel. It’s such a worry and I won’t be traveling either.

  3. It is a strange season indeed this year. I really want to see my mum who lives 30 miles away and in a restricted area. We are allowed to visit a strict number of people over Christmas week, so I will see my mum but only briefly. She certainly won’t have the house full of children and grandchildren like she normally would. But at least she is still with us, as is my dad who I will see separately. Merry Christmas!

    1. It’s so hard! I know she will miss the big crowd, but I’m glad that you can see her for just a short visit. It will mean a lot to her πŸ™‚

  4. After a tough year we have to look for the positives, they keep us going, I love your point “If you’re blessed enough to live with someone you love, you can enjoy December”. So true xx

    1. Yes, it’s better to be grateful for the good things πŸ™‚ Thanks!

  5. I agree, we have to adjust our idea of what fun is. As everyone keeps saying, Christmas isn’t cancelled, it’s just in a different way to keep everyone safe. Hope you can find some fun ways to stay connected to others online!

    1. Yes, good thoughts! We used facetime, snapchat, and texting to communicate. And, also the old-fashioned phone call. πŸ™‚

  6. Hello again Lisa, thank you for such a moving and reflective post. Like many this year has been a weird and difficult year, but I think it is so important to try and find the positives like you. And Christmas is such a special and magical time of the year to do this. Like you, we have scaled back and simplified it as much as possible – everything was done online and as much help as possible! I hope you and your family have had a wonderful time during the festivities and wishing you all the best for 2021!

    1. Thank you, Rhiann! It was good having a more simple Christmas and I hope all the gifts will someday arrive (backed up shippers). Lol.
      I’m glad you’re also trying to look at the positives. I’m feeling very hopeful about 2021 and we all want a better New Year! I hope your new year brings many good things πŸ™‚

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