By: Maria M. Myrback
This time of year is full of wonder and joy. We love the glitter of lights and decorations, the warmth of hot cocoa and spending time in front of a cheery fire. And stress. Let’s not forget stress.
Even when we start preparation early, it’s guaranteed that there will always be a rush of things to be done at the very last minute to make the holiday just right. But here’s the problem. For those of us with chronic illness, some of that last minute prep simply isn’t going to get done. And that’s okay.
No, really. I mean that. Stop laughing.
We all get so caught up in making the holidays perfect for everyone that we forget that family and friends won’t care if we made the Jell-O-O salad with the little marshmallows or if there are three kinds of vegetables instead of four. Or even if the gifts that need to go out in the mail get there by Christmas.
I’ve been reminded time and again that our friends and family are there to spend time with US. They don’t care if there’s a dust bunny in the corner or the floor hasn’t been mopped in, well, a while. The people who love us are more compassionate with us than we are with ourselves.
Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, remember to give yourself a few gifts. The gift of compassion. The gift of kindness. The gift of self-love. Even when we were fully healthy, we couldn’t do everything, so why are we still expecting the same things from ourselves? It’s okay.
It’s okay to relax and enjoy the time with your friends and family. It’s okay to have a house that looks lived in. No one expects a showplace. It’s okay to not have that dish that only Aunt Betty likes. She’ll understand.
Maybe it’s time for us to understand too.
We can’t always do this for ourselves. So, dear Reader, my gift to you for this holiday season, is permission to give yourself compassion. To give yourself kindness and to give yourself love.
Happy Holidays and may the New Year bring us all something better.