stressmas, or 'tis the season of the list

So this might be a little grinchy. I love Christmas. Once the presents are wrapped and the salads are made. But.

It's the season where all the issues in your family come to the surface. The good, the bad and the ugly. Our family, my family, his family. It wouldn't do to go into detail, but I wonder if more is passed from one generation to the next than one might imagine. Of course, I'm oversensitive at the moment. So every little nuance, every unkind word or less than generous action has me wincing. And agonising. Biting my tongue because I don't know whether it's me or the crazy about to speak. Damn that hall of mirrors.

I saw my doctor today and we talked about whether or not I'd be a whole lot better after Christmas. She thinks I might, a confluence of the medication kicking in and some relaxation, but reminded me that this has been building for months. Christmas hasn't caused this. It's just that the stress of the season isn't really helping. Quite the opposite (like der, I have so been in denial about this, just because manic and Christmas and mothers go together anyway). So maybe, in the post Chistmas lull, I will find some calm. The doctor's not leaving it to fate though, and has extended my medical certificate and I'm going to see one of her colleagues before I go back to work(she'll be on leave). And there's now a low dose of another new medication. To help me sleep. As I wake up and can't re-settle after exactly six hours at the moment, no matter what time I go to bed and no matter whether I take one or two sleepers. The new pill's also an anti-psychotic which I'm less than thrilled about. Hopefully I'll still be able to use the sewing machine in the morning because there's still a big list.

So, I 've been thinking about how to make my life less stressful (and counter some of the effects of the medication that I'm likely to be on for the next few months) and how I might make Christmas better next year (and forever, ha). Like organising gifts, activites and festivites in October and November perhaps. So that December is all about putting up the tree and making thing little things. And celebrating. And being together. It also occurs to me that I also need to try and feel less responsible for how everyone else is feeling. For how the schedule is going. To not take on all the motherguilt that comes with the season.

Right off to
do a spot of sewing. Before
my early bedtime.


suse said...

I just wrote a long post about how Christmas falls to the women of the family and I am so very very tired of it, and just very very tired. So tired that I dodged everyone and went and buried my face in the pile of dirty sheets atop the washing machine and cried until Harry came in to show me something and said softly 'Mum, what are you doing? Sleeping?' and I laughed. Yep, sleeping standing up with my head on the washing machine.
And then I deleted the post.
But look! I just wrote it all here in your comments.
Hang in there.

Marita said...

I thought I'd finished all my Christmas shopping back in June. Woo! So organised that is me.
Then my family started calling last week. "Seeing as you've done all your shopping, could you just..."
So I've been doing bits of their shopping, helping out my father-in-law and running around for everyone else. Sometimes I wish I could say NO more often, but then I feel guilt like I'm ruining their Christmas by not helping them.
Good luck taking it easy. I hope the meds help.

joyflea said...

I hope you find calm amongst the madness that is Christmas. If you're feeling off kilter, then put yourself first. If the rellies start arguing, walk away to another room and read amagazine or something. It might make then all sit up and take note of how petty they're being. Good luck and happy seasonal wishes to you.

h&b said...

I just wish family was less about stress and greed and presents and fighting and disappointment. Not to mention sulking and pouting.
I just wish it were about a big banquet and eating and laughing around the table. Like, you know, in ads and magazine layouts ?
I thought I could fix it all when i was a grown-up..

Kris said...

Janet, I found when I stopped feeling responsible for others I was a lot happier but it's a long term strategy; worth it, though. I hope you have a beautiful Christmas with the people you love.

Asiya said...

Your jam looks wonderful! We have the same type of tree and I'm going to attempt jam-making for the first time this year!
Did you go through a period in your twenties when you got to miss all the family dramas and just sit in a park with friends? Perhaps you should hibernate, just make your own wee rituals for your nuclear family...easier said than done, I know.
The medication sounds like a hassle, i hope it helps.

sooz said...

Yeah, it is a hard time of year, and there's a lot less fun than most of us would like. Feeling sensitive would just be so very much harder. I'm thinking of you!
And although you don't feel it now, you really aren't responsible for how others feel.
And if my dirty sheets were in a pile on top of the washing machine (instead of still on the beds being slept in) I may well have a wee weep into them too.
Do feel free to escape here if it helps at all - I'm home sans D and A Sat and Sun morning. I've even got apricots still!

Penni said...

I hardly even know why I bother. We don't even believe in baby Jesus in this house (though I admit my feelings to him are more tender now that I am a mother). So it's just this great big festival of stuff, loaded with significance but empty of meaning.
oh. Grinchy. Sorry. I do love it really. Deep down. Deep deep. I am looking forward to watching the Are You Being Served? Christmas specials on Christmas Day if it's rainy.
Thanks so much for the card by the way, it was a lovely surprise.

Penni said...

Oh how odd, I lost half my comment. Needless to say it was about being stressed and sooky la la and lying face down on the bed crying and fred's head spinning in circles at the Glen aafter which she went nuclear so we had to race out of there without buying any Christmas presents and next year I am going to do all my Xmas shopping online.

Jennifer said...

Happy Christmas and New Year to you all. You do a great Xmas dinner - as you know. I remember the one I was invited to a few years ago - great food, good company - and the afternoon under the plum tree. I escape it now as not in Australia - or a countries that celebrates Christmas - unless with grizzly expats. However, sometimes I'd like to be - with friends and family - the stress! Ah! the stress!

Miss Eagle said...

Dear Janet, please accept the kind thoughts going out to you this Christmas tide from this part of the blogosphere. I hope Christmas can bring good cheer to you and yours - and that the stress and any negativity is craftily dodged! I hope the medication is helpful and doesn't disturb any good stuff that is happening.
I hope that beautiful Grace is quite literally part of the Grace of this season for you.
Blessings, bliss, and all that is good, creative and fruitful in this Season