I sung the song Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer to myself five times, swearing there was a reindeer named Pacer in the mix. But no, there is not. I wonder who sets their pace? Maybe none of them, that is how they get it all done in one night. There should be a reindeer named Pacer, though, to remind us all to slow down. And not just us Fibromyalgia patients, but everyone the whole world over, we need to learn how to p-a-c-e. Holiday expectation is out of control. The frenzy of shopping and wrapping and spending and cleaning and baking and cooking used to take me down anyway, but I figured that was because I worked retail. Long hours, irritable shoppers and open till midnight turned this girl into a good ol' fashioned Grinch. Once I got Fibromyalgia, Christmas became it's own special kind of hell. I was still stuck on the carousel of retail Christmas but I was sick, too. So I pretty much became accustomed to not liking Christmas. It was not the holiday itself, of course, but the hubalub surrounding it. The sheer unnecessity of what it had become.
I no longer work retail, this will be my second year now, but I have yet to discover my Christmas spirit. Because the pace of the darn holiday is set by everyone else, still seeped in so much expectation. Expectation I certainly cannot meet. I tried burying my head in the sand like an ostrich and ignoring it, hoping it was over by the time I came up for air. But I am too impatient. I have actually talked my husband into skipping presents this year though, because I just don't have it in me. We don't have kids or money and that is what makes the present giving aspect of the holiday fun. But I also know waking up Christmas morning with nothing to squeal at under the tree is depressing.
So I am taking back my Christmas! For me and my family. I am setting my own pace. One I can live with, accomplish, enjoy. I am wrapping up Yorkie & Porkie's presents from last year they have hardly touched and will put those under the tree. They do like to unwrap but seem to be more interested in clawing off the paper than what is actually in the package. Typical children. Maybe I will throw in an extra bone or two hidden in the mix to keep them busy the rest of the day. My husband and I decided the present we are giving ourselves is to not spend money we don't have. Come mid-January that will make me very happy. But on Christmas morning we still want to share the gift-giving glow. So I have set up a challenge. We are giving each other something that costs nothing. Maximum creativity is required here, but you would be amazed at what gifts already lie at the ready. Gifts of the heart, time, passion, excitement. Gifts of love. Of course I cannot tell you what I am giving my husband, for he might actually read this blog. But I wanted to share with you all today, my friends that understand what a challenge the holidays are when chronically ill, there is a way to make this holiday enjoyable and purposeful. Reach in your heart and find your personal pace. That is how I found my reindeer named Pacer.
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