Our little coal-mining town held its first-ever ATV Christmas Parade on December 12, 2020. The joy it brought to the community is still the top home town news. This is me and my handsome Fire Chief husband ready to ride.
Christmas week is here! Are you ready to make new memories in this time of ridiculousness? Are the presents wrapped? (That's my job today.) Is the fruit cake fermenting? (Does anyone actually eat that stuff?)
MS is difficult enough, but with the stress of any added event, our symptoms magnify. It has been my goal t his year to only ENJOY the holiday season.
As I look around my cluttered living room, I know it will resemble my cozy stone cottage by nightfall and I will be enveloped in a festive atmosphere once again.
2020 has not been a year of cozy atmosphere, though, and I sid19incerely pray for those individuals who have suffered and are yet suffering from the injustices of Covid19.
2020 brought the death of a beloved aunt in February. She was a Christmas Eve baby and it has been a tradition to celebrate her with a spaghetti dinner, followed by her favorite coconut cake and custard before presenting her with birthday gifts NOT wrapped in Christmas paper in order to differentiate the day from the birth of Jesus. This year her oldest great-niece is tackling the task of making the cake (Good luck, Roo) while I, her firstborn niece is attempting to recreate the Southern boiled custard (Please pray for me.)
We will celebrate Aunt Sandra, aka Punk, aka Sandy on the Beach Thursday while she giggles from her Heavenly post on the sparkliest cloud she's had plenty of time to decorate. 'Cause, that's what she did here on earth. She decorated.
The Global Psnemis also plagued this family with my husband's loss of income. Initially, he floundered s bit with all the extra time on his hands; but he has settled nicely into his retirement life. He occupies himself with a new passion for being a Virtual Railfan. Never heard of it? Neither had I until the sound of the next locomotion chugging along the tracks from the computer in the basement announces the need for his attention.
He spends hours tracking train engines across the country while recording their travels. I'm not complaining and have actually become interested in this surprising detailed hobby. If he's happy, that's all that really matters.
Fortunately, my little family has avoided the Rona thus far. I refuse to bemoan our time forced together. At first, I hated the fact that my son's first semesters at University were cut short until I realized he wasn't happy there and was in need of some much-needed re-evaluation of his future. And he's getting there. Freshly turned 20, he's feeling a little guilty about his free-loading existence. I don't mind. I don't want him out there in the midst of disease anyway. He can remain safely tucked into his bedroom as long as it takes for this evil virus to be lassoed.
These are the two anthologies I am honored to contribute to with my essay We Go Through It. Both are available on Amazon and contain memoirs from all around the world.
For me, the Pandemic has brought me closer to my writing goals. I have found a community of fellow writers at Inkers.com. Although the majority of the authors there are romance writers, the knowledge they share is invaluable. Alessandra Torre is an inspirational teacher. Ninja Writers has spurred me to greater aspirations with my writing for which I am grateful. If I could only conquer my inadequacies with the technical portion of publishing, I might actually make a dollar or two in 2021.
I did, however, publish Praise Petals in 2020, which immediately received attention in New York as well as Paris. If that doesn't pump me up, I don't know what would:)
It has certainly been a trial emotionally surviving this plague, but I am glad to say that our family has plundered through. Our resolve to remain healthy has presented many challenges, for sure, but we're still here. My body aches to hug my friends and loved ones. My heart clenches at the thought of families much worse off. My head pounds with the knowledge that Christmas is even lonelier this year for folks already alone.
Tips to help you navigate 2020 holiday season:
*It's okay if you're not in the most festive mood this year. Do what you can and forget the rest. You're not alone in your feelings. Many folks are suffering from the same malady.
*Fatigue is one of the biggest complaints among MS Warriors. Allow yourself periodic rests. Nothing is so urgent that you compromise your own health. It's not a selfish act; there exists more compassion than we often realize.
Drinking dark chocolate cocoa may reduce fatigue and it's a yummy treat.
*Playing board games is a fun, relaxing, cognitive-enhancing way to "party". I'm adding Cards Against Humanity to my list of go-to games this winter. Mainly because it will make me laugh, and laughing is restorative in so many ways.
*Laughter...it truly IS the best medicine. Take advantage of every given opportunity to laugh. Watch a funny movie. Read a silly book. Play a goofy game.
So, I'm going to finish my gift wrapping now, so that I can get busy following my own advice.
Have a safe and joyous Christmas. It is well deserved.
Love and LIght,
Lisa, Lady with the Cane