Holiday Workload blues

I was super smart this year. I managed my spoons brilliantly but I still landed on my ass energy wise. Is there a way to celebrate the holidays in the traditions of my youth without needing a week to recover?

I made Thanksgiving dinner for 7 this year. In order to reduce stress about presentation I only invited family (our two neighbors whom we call family and who see my home in disarray all time were included as well).

My kids and husband helped me clean the dining room and get ready for the day a couple days before. I cleaned the bathroom two days before. I baked the pies two days before. I made the cranberry sauce the day before. I also showered the day before because that can set off my headache and I wanted to be able to relax a little.

Day of I slept in. When I woke up my son helped me chop all the veggies and prep all the ingredients for food. We used store bought rolls and pre-packaged GF stuffing mix. I put the peeled and chopped potatoes in the pressure cooker for the mashed potatoes so they would cook quickly and stay warm. I put the turkey – that my husband had lovingly prepped for me – into the oven. I pre-mixed the stuffing and set it aside to bake in the last hour. I put the chopped carrots in the honey glaze and set it to cook on low.

Then I sat around and waited for the final hour to happen. The kids set the table. I just checked on food and talked with family.

When the last hour arrived I tossed the stuffing in the oven, mashed the potatoes with a wand mixer, and turned the carrots up a bit.

We ate, my guests did dishes, I put away food. I went to bed at a reasonable hour.

Yesterday I felt like I had been run over by a truck. Today I feel like I fell down a flight of stairs. Everything is inflamed and stiff and I hurt all over. I am exhausted.

I can blame the migraine on the weather but damnit. I should be in better condition. I was careful. I managed well.

Is it possible to achieve holiday bliss and not suffer or should I set the expectation of take out for Christmas?

Self care homemaking

I am a stay at home parent/wife. Mostly because I can’t work reliably at all as my migraines, fibromyalgia, and ATFP like to flare up when introduced to weather, barometric pressure changes, florescent lighting, perfumes and colognes, the wrong kind of air freshener, and stress.

One of the things I struggle with is feeling as though I am contributing to the house as those same difficulties listed above make me an intermittent cleaner, gatherer, and cooker of foods.

When I hit a long stretch of particularly unwell-ness I blow through the easy to make foods that I stock in the house and we often end up ordering in. This is expensive and unhealthy and as it usually corresponds with ER visits or expensive PT copays, exactly what our household budget doesn’t need. Spending the extra money on expensive pre-made foods stresses me out even more.

So what can we do? Last week it hit me.

When I was in law school I used to make huge meals in the crock pot or soup pot and freeze them in portions for future meals. 4 person portions for future dinners, 2 person portions for lunches, etc. I did this because I was so busy running around and being successful that I didn’t have time to prepare a meal every day but I wanted to save money and eat healthy.

I am such a monumental dumb ass. This is exactly what I should be doing now. Just because I am home all day doesn’t mean I am not super busy being very, very sick, most of the time.

So I have a new plan. I am preparing healthy, tasty soups when I feel well and preparing extra for freezing when I do. The I am freezing them in pre-portioned, pre-labeled and dated containers and popping them in my deep freezer.

So when I feel like I am going to die I can just throw one on the stove and I have still made a healthy dinner for myself and my family. I have still reduced grocery costs by cooking from scratch because it’s just as easy to heat up my cooking as it is to microwave something store bought.

So, as of tonight I will have two future dinners in the freezer. If I manage to do this once a week I will build a stock up and then I can relax, beat up on myself less, and enjoy once again managing the cooking part of the household responsibilities like a fully abled and organized person, even while I am rarely either of those things.


My hardest learned lesson has been patience. Having a body that attacks itself in a myriad of ways means being patient with yourself. Getting here is a journey that I am still on.

Most of the time I am patient with my usual limitations. Usually I can be kind, find things to be grateful for, prioritize my family and manage to contribute sometime to the running of the house.

I still struggle with finding patience when I have additional challenges, such as a concussion caused by a slip on black ice two weeks ago and a head cold.

When things add up and my body begins to feel like an all over plague area I start to lose my patience. I get cranky with myself for not being able to do enough. I lie in bed and stare about my room and rearrange it a million times in my mind. I read a book and discard it mid-chapter because it’s not the right book. I start a play a game or watch a show and they don’t help distract. I get impatient and restless and increasingly miserable the longer my physically forced rest continues.

I feel like Meg is Little Women cutting up all her dresses to redo them “á la Moffat”, destroying perfectly good things because I am feeling a sense of malaise.

I do have things to be grateful for and I try to count my blessings. I fear in times of difficulty my inner child is too full of the “unfairs” to really hear the counting.

Basically, I’m currently a whiny woman-child and a hot mess.