Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Stopping to rest before Christmas

I've had an imposed time of rest and reflection over the past few days.  After working too hard, sleeping too little and having a few issues at home, I eventually fell ill.  What at first seemed like a sudden and severe cold, led me to the out of hours GP seriously unwell.  Before I get jokes, no it wasn't Tinsel-itis.  Groan.

Christmas stress

When the GP handed me my prescription and told me to "rest and stay indoors." I admit there was part of me that thought  "Ok, well maybe a little bit of rest..." but soon realised I had no choice I was in so much pain and exhaustion.

I was meant to be in three places last weekend.  I'd already let two people down and now I was having to let down a third.  I was in tears, I wanted to not let down friends, I wanted to not let down work, I needed to be there for people, be at work and I could do none of it.

But this has been an interesting experience.  Christmas is my busiest time of year as it is for many of us.  If you are forced to stop, literally stop, stop all of your plans, how would that make you feel?  Lost?  Anxious?  Relieved?  Angry?  Frustrated?  Resigned?  I think I've been through every emotion over the past few days along with complete debilitating tiredness.  It has been a sobering experience to stand back from the day to day.  To watch mindless television full of people on adverts rushing around while I'm having to stay still.  To have to accept that the house work is not being done.  Admit it's ok to stop.

Now my temperature has reduced and I'm not quite in the haze I was before, I can see it's actually been a real gift albeit not in the way I would have wanted.  The lead up to Christmas had become so much about doing rather than enjoying.  I had time to think back to all of the years I'd raced my way through the preparations to hit Christmas Day full of cold, flu (or even one year, Norovirus which put my catering plans completely out of the window.)  While it has been horrible to be ill and frustrating to be stuck inside doing nothing but sleeping when there is so much to do, my body has desperately needed a break and I needed to listen.

So my thought before I sign off is for all the people out there frantically trying to find the perfect present, cook the perfect meal or work every hour there is in readiness for Christmas, please find time to stop and rest.  I wish I had and after all, life is not about "the perfect present" or "the perfect turkey", it's about being with the ones you love and enjoying your time in this world.  None of those things involve being in a GP's reception on a Saturday morning in December looking like death.


  1. It's been my experience that sometimes when I don't listen to my body, it eventually forces me to listen . . . I'm so sorry you've been so ill, but glad for you that you are resting and taking the time you need to recover - to "be" instead of "do." Get well soon, and Happy Christmas :-)

    1. That is exactly it. I'm still not right but gradually on the mend. Thank you and Merry Christmas. x


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