I feel lots better than I did at my last posting. Thanks so very much to those wonderful people who contacted me directly to check up on me. It really does make a difference even if I'm not always able to say so right then. I finally went to the doctor today. 7 straight days of being sick was more than enough, thankyouverymuch. I have gigantic horse-pill sized antibiotics, a little something to help with the aches, and a sore hip from the steroid injection. After just four hours, I'm already feeling better.
I guess I didn't realize just how sick I was. All I knew was that I was miserable and I wasn't 100% sure why. I thought I had kicked the worst part of the cold after just a few days, but I was so wiped out! I literally spent the last 48 hours in bed except for occasional drink and bathroom breaks. I tried to take my temperature, but I couldn't really be sure I was getting a good reading on my old thermometer so I was talking myself out of going to the doctor and berating myself for not being a better mother and wife. I mean, this IS supposed to be the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Why else would I be more interested in sleeping than baking cookies and shopping? It MUST be that I have failed as a human being and had lost ALL my Christmas Spirit.
I can not even describe the relief I felt when I decided to "gift" myself with a brand new, digital, IR, ear canal, 1 second reading thermometer only to find I really WAS running a fever and I DID have a valid reason to feel like crap. Yay! I'm not a bad person and I don't hate Christmas! I'm just sick! Rejoice!
The added benefit of having proof of being sick was that not only could I excuse myself from cooking and participating in the majority of the festivities, but my whole family instantly stepped up and picked up the slack for me. I still feel terrible that I wasn't there to actually BE there over the last few days. However, my heart is supremely warmed at the outpouring of love that my WP, my sister Spike, and her new hubby Walrus showed. They were all guests in MY home, but they helped wrangle kids, clean, cook, and even wrap gifts. Most importantly, they all let me sleep as much as I needed and didn't make me feel guilty about it. I couldn't have asked for a better gift.
Speaking of gifts, I have yet another reason to be overwhelmed with thanksgiving. This year, we were able to handle ALL of our Christmas gifting on our own, without financial help from friends, family, churches. or anonymous donors. It may not have been the largest Christmas, but everyone got at least one thing they REALLY wanted. We were even able to let each of the girls have a budget for gifting to each other (which is really the best part, I think.)
It was only a few years ago that we were gifted with our entire holiday from members of our community. Never have I been more humbled, thankful, and embarrassed all at once. Since then, it has been my goal to never have to be in that situation again. It isn't that I am not grateful. It is exactly the opposite, actually. I am so grateful and they were so generous, I would hate to take that opportunity away from someone else who needs it more. Plus, I feel if I need that type of help more than once, I would be taking advantage and not learning from my own mistakes. Sometimes crazy stuff happens and you need help to make it through. If you don't learn from it and better yourself, then any help that was offered was, frankly, a waste.
In any case, the hole we were in at that time was so deep that it has taken years to pull out of it. Along the way we have had friends and family provide more help than I will ever be able to pay back or even pay forward. We learned where we made mistakes and we have been able to see what could have been done better. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and pride that we are getting back on our feet again. Yes, we still are receiving help in the way of a very reasonable rent that is payable on our pay schedule. But, we have come a long way on our own by taking better care of our responsibilities. Learning how to be a grown-up is tough!
So, I hope each of you is having a wonderful holiday, however you plan to celebrate it.
Be Awesome to each other.