The season of giving is upon us. But it can be hard to give when one doesn't have enough of their own. Be it time, money, health or energy, a deficit is a deficit. It's quite a controversial practice to keep doling out more than one is taking in. Defies logic, even. Yet many people will tout the benefits of giving over receiving. Feelings of serendipity bloom in me when I am able to give freely and without concern for reciprocity. But for so many years I couldn't even get myself up and to work every day without catastrophic weekend meltdowns. If money hadn't been an issue, time and health were surely standing firmly in my way. I miss the joy of giving, of not stressing over my own survival, of engaging in the give and take of life's relationships. All things I am working so hard to get back from this nasty illness.
I remember the years of CFS/ME when setting the table and opening a bottle of wine was the sum of all I could do. How to communicate that to healthy people, that I'm not just sitting here staring into space slack jawed for fun? It's because a battle was being waged between my body and mind inside me? Quite frankly I couldn't believe my reality. I know I wouldn't be able to comprehend it if I hadn't experienced it first hand. Like many things in life I don't know if a person truly can.
What Fibromyalgia has forced me to do is step out of the madness of frantic shopping and frenzied wrapping. Of blowing credit card limits to get that oh so perfect gift for every person on my list. I haven't sent cards in years because quite frankly, I really didn't have anything positive to say. I was sick and my life was coming apart. And I couldn't afford the postage. No, for the last five years I had to sidestep the usual holiday beehive because I was in a huge deficit. What's funny is I discovered by refocusing my efforts there is still plenty to enjoy. Spending time with family and the excited snap in the December air. Whipped up egg nog and the soft glow of a twinkling tree. The little children at church acting out the Christmas story. Chanting, "You'll shoot your eye out!" along with the TV like we have every year since 1983. I've come to realize giving doesn't have to be nearly as exhaustive. There aren't as many people on my list, I don't get as many cards in the mail and there aren't as many gifts under my tree. But that was the life I got sick in. This one is much smaller, and suits me far better.
Thanks for joining,