You see it's been many a year since we've been up to QLD thanks to my health issues and that's where all Mr Grumpy's family hail from. After much
Why am I am glad they are going? It's simple. They need a break. A break from me and the stress of organising their lives around my health issues. They need to be free of being carers for their decrepit wife and mother. They need a chance to just relax. I want that for them. I want my youngest to swim to his hearts content. I want my eldest to have his first beer with his uncle. I want Mr Grumpy to flake out in front of the TV and watch the Boxing Day Test. I want them to go out for tea if they want, free of worrying about whether I can attend, or if I'll be able to eat anything on the menu. I want them to head out to the beach or for an ice cream. I want them to have normal for a while. I want them to be free of the stress of me, even if only for a week.
It's not to say I am a constant burden. I don't need my hand held everyday or need someone to scrub my back in the shower (although I know Mr Grumpy would be up for that one!) But I know that I, and my health, are a constant unspoken presence that plays in the back of their minds. They need a break from that, and I want it for them.
Personally, I am looking forward to be alone. I know that sounds weird. But everything I do in life, I now do accompanied. I don't go to the shops or even the post office alone. It's never just me. As someone who valued their independence, always needing a hand holder can be claustrophobic at times. It's got nothing to do with the person holding my hand. I am grateful every day that I have a family who support me as I know there are many who are doing this very much alone. But some days I could scream from frustration at not being able to do regular every day activities alone. I am a 39-year-old woman who needs someone to take her to the doctor or the hairdresser, or to simply look at clothes at a local boutique. I feel a burden. I can't relax as I feel like I am wasting their time, even though I know they don't think of it in that way. But my own guilt is a powerful force and it often gets in the way of reason.
A week by myself means that not only am I not inconveniencing anyone else, but I can do things when I want. If I want to have breakfast at midday or dinner at 10pm I can. I can watch the carols without the constant commentary and whinging from the peanut gallery. If I need to sleep I can, safe in the knowledge that I don't have to be organising meals or doing loads of washing. If I want to pot a plant, or paint a picture or watch crap TV I can without having to worry about saving up enough energy to organise family chores like food. I can eat chocolate cake for breakfast or subsist on only ham and turkey for a week and it wont bother anyone. I can swan around in my undies if it's hot or play my apparently annoying music as loud as I want. I may not leave the house for the week as I am still unable to drive more than about 5minutes, but there is a freedom involved that is hard to explain unless you are chronically ill and dependent on others.
The Christmas aspect is kind of a side issue in comparison. Though not cooking the huge Christmas meal and having to put on my happy face whilst I can feel my body dying on the inside, for the extended family, will be lovely. Having to maintain my cool to assuage the fears of others is a burden I wont miss. No doubt on the day I will miss Mr Grumpy and the boys, and I reserve the irrational right to get shitty that they are out to dinner at a restaurant, but knowing they are having a great and relaxing time away will make up for that ten fold. Plus, I can always binge on chocolate to soothe any sookiness. And the dogs aren't going to judge me as I sit as a blubbering mess surrounded by empty chocolate boxes. (Not that this is my plan. I intend to be relaxing and enjoying myself, but it's always good to have a caveat in there somewhere).
I have my food worked out. There is to be duck and turkey and ham. There is to be seafood. I am even thinking of taking the risk and making a mojito or a margarita. I have planned my GF chocolate cake/pudding substitute. Because it is all about the food. I wonder if I can teach Thor to pull a cracker?
My emergency plans are sorted, both health and bushfire.
I can't wait to hermit it for a week.
Now if I can keep my parents from freaking out and landing on my doorstep it should all be good. I have been firm, but it seems they are having trouble with understanding that I want some me time or that I am fine about being alone. Yet again it is only Mr Grumpy and the boys who get it, and get me. Maybe I can get him to sit them down and have the talk.
Here's wishing everyone a merry and joyous Christmas. May you have a symptom minimal day and have nothing but love, laughter and happiness.
Merry Christmas from the Land down Under.
PS I will be having a bit of a blogging/social media break for a few weeks. Time to sit back and smell the roses. Should be back mid-January.
And a little Australian Christmas Tune from the fabulous Paul Kelly.