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Hectic Holidays!

Posted Dec 26 2012 8:22am
I am sitting alone in our family room in a completely silent house, after a week of non-stop work and utter chaos!  Ahhhh....silence and solitude. I can hardly believe it.  Our last house guests left at 4 am, and my husband and sons are still sound asleep. 

Despite not getting to sleep until midnight (said guests and our sons were up late, talking loudly in the hallway right outside our bedroom door!), I was wide awake by 6 am this morning, with no hope of getting back to sleep, as I have been every morning for the past month or so. I have no idea why this is happening, but I can't take much more of it!  My usual bedtime meds are still working well, and I sleep soundly, but I wake literally at the crack of dawn every day. I have tried more melatonin, less melatonin, no melatonin, taking valerian when I wake at 6am, taking Ambien before bed, etc. No matter what I do, I still wake up too early. Obviously, I need to go to bed earlier, but that was impossible with a houseful of night owls.

So that frustrating lack of sleep (I normally need a solid 9 hours at night to be able to function during the day) made the exhaustion and over-doing ten times worse this past week. It felt like my husband and I spent all our waking hours preparing meals and cleaning up after meals! Even when we went super-easy and got take-out or just set out stuff for sandwiches, it was still a lot of work to feed between 6 and 14 people at every meal for five days. And I sorely missed my lying down time throughout the day. You really can't lie flat across the entire couch when you have that many people in the family room!

I don't mean to gripe and sound like a Grinch - it's just such a relief to have a chance to "talk" to people who will totally understand. It was actually very nice to see my family. There is nothing like little kids at Christmas-time, and I loved seeing my niece and nephew. My 6-year old nephew was so excited about opening presents, he was just bursting with joy! And when he opened our gifts and saw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures we got him (yes, they are back), he squealed in delight as if he'd won a million dollars. Gotta love that kind of unbridled joy and enthusiasm. My niece, though now conscious of not wanting to seem childish (at only 10!), was equally thrilled with the birthstone necklace we gave her.

I also love spending time with my mother, and she is very kind and understanding about my limitations. The rest of my family just sort of ignores my illness and changes the subject if I bring it up (which I rarely do since it obviously makes them feel uncomfortable). They rarely think to help out, either. My mom - who is 67 and had hip surgery a month ago and is still using a cane - was the only one pitching in at every meal and constantly asking how she could help, despite her own pain and exhaustion. I was grateful to her for that.

It really was good to spent time with everyone, but five days is a lot for me to be around other people, even people I love. I know you all understand that. We ate a lot of great food (too much!) and had lots of laughs talking, watching movies, and playing games. I just needed more downtime. My afternoon nap just wasn't enough - and of course, I was much too active every day.

I wish I could just lie here in the silence and appreciate my couch for the rest of the week, but we will soon be off on another adventure, to visit my father-in-law. The packing and traveling will be exhausting, but the visit will be low-key and quiet, since he is 87.

I hope you all enjoyed a relaxing holiday with family and friends.

My husband, sons, and I with my mom and her husband at a holiday party

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