Sunday, December 7, 2014

Struggling to Get It Right

I suspect by now -- if my less-frequent-than-usual blog visits are any indication -- that many of you are getting ready for the holidays. You're bringing boxes up from the basement or down from the attic, rediscovering hidden treasures like old friends, each with their stories to tell.

There's the Santa you bought on vacation, the angel a friend gave you, the ornament that reminds you of your grandmother, the creche you were given as a child.

There are those of us who will decorate with understated, simple elegance. Some of us will pull out all the stops because really, you only do this once a year. And some of us will employ both minimal elegance and opulent overabundance in our holiday celebrations.

I'm usually right there with you, ahead of the game, even, with the decorations coming out the day after Thanksgiving and done before we take off for Rick's annual trade show. The only good thing about doing my least favorite thing in the world is that I get to spend time with Rick in an almost-vacation-like atmosphere (except, of course, for the stress of the work and the importance of the event to his business).

This year, I'll be running to catch up in  week or so. The out of town gifts have yet to be wrapped, much less mailed. I think most of the locals are purchased -- but until I excavate that rather large mound on the guest room bed, I won't know for sure. I'm not sure even a jolly old elf could find them.

And as you might expect, I'm not OK with that.

A nasty bug my doctor called a virus (rather than the flu) and one that he treated like pneumonia because of my own compromised situation, flattened me the week after Thanksgiving. And when I say flattened, I don't mean limping around with less productivity. I mean laying around with no productivity, a fever, wracking cough and every bone hurting. The box of Christmas cards was across the room, but I couldn't hold the pen, much less decorate, bake cookies or wrap gifts.

I was a mess and it scared the heck out of me, bringing back reminders from not all-that-distant a past of being sick beyond words.

It puts things in perspective, this vulnerability that creeps up and attacks us when and where we are most unsuspecting and leaves a mark far more damaging emotionally than one might expect.

The things that were finished, like my outdoor wreath and baskets, were made over Thanksgiving weekend. Apart from that I have done little but sleep and watch Hallmark movies. I think I have the formula down well enough that I can write one by now. The good thing about Hallmark movies is that if you miss them one day (meaning you fall asleep in the middle), you'll probably be able to hear the end of the story later. The bad thing is -- well, how many times can you watch the same movie if it's not "Singin' in the Rain"?

When you can't even handle sitting at the computer and catching up on blogs, you know something is amiss. And I've missed you.

As I write this I am on the mend. Friday I was cleared to go out in public and went to hear the wonderful Classical Bells Christmas Concert featuring blog world's own Becca Rowan. It was a fabulous show that put me in a seasonal mood. Then I went home and crashed!

Saturday  I helped our board for Friends of Theatre decorate a tree for a historic home holiday showcase. It was a beautiful environment and delightfully festive.

Two hours later, I was back home -- crashed!


I'm going to be unable to visit you for a bit but I will have a post I hope you'll check in for later this week. It features some wonderful reads you might want to put on your Christmas purchase list -- and you may even recognize some of the authors!

Meanwhile, I say enjoy this glorious season. I have a lot of catching up to do in more ways than one. But really -- what is better than to celebrate?


Deb said...

Glad you are on the mend but do take care of yourself, Jeannie. Your decorations are beautiful. Hugs, Deb

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Dear Jeanie,
I am so sorry you have been so very ill, but am happy to hear you are on the mend.. Sounds to me like you may be doing a little too much.. Take it slow, don't want you to relapse.
Your decorations are just beautiful. Take care of you.

Barb said...

Jeanie - Bob and I are right there with you! He's still not completely over it, and I'm tired if I do too much. Since, we'll be away for Christmas, I'm thinking minimal. I'll just light the candles and pretend I'm done!

Sally Wessely said...

My dining room is filled with boxes, and the tree remains undecorated. I thought of you today, and that was before I read your post. I thought, "How does Jeanie do it? I know she decorates a lot more than I do, and I can barely get it all up."

Sorry to hear you have been sick. This stuff going around is nasty. Jim was very, very sick the first part of November. He was basically down for ten days. Thankfully, I didn't get what he got. Take care of yourself.


Jeanie said...

I am glad you are feeling well enough to get out a bit but please take care of yourself and get fully healed.
My grandkids decorated my tree today which was the last of my decorating, and, yes, there were lots of memories as ornaments going back to my childhood were hung on the tree.

Becca said...

Take GOOD care Jeanie! And thanks again for coming out to see us on Friday. Love to you!

Jennifer Richardson said...

I love the stories the ornaments tell, the memory tree it sometimes feels.
I love the history our decorations mark.
It's a beautiful record of our lives, isn't it.
Thanks for sharing some of yours:)

Joanne Huffman said...

Take care of yourself. There isn't anything that can't be skipped this year and put up (or out or whatever) next year. As beautiful as your decorations are, you can enjoy your/Rick's family, your friends and the spirit of the season with fewer obligations on your part. Have a safe and healthy trip with Rick and a very happy and healthy Christmas.

Janet said...

I'm sorry to hear you've been so sick but glad you're on the mend. Just take it easy and don't over-do. I know...hard to do this time of year!

As always your photos are beautiful and capture the spirit of the season!!

The French Hutch said...

Hi Jeanie, Glad to hear you are much better after the battle with the bug! I have been out of commission since Thanksgiving weekend! Like you, nothing but get to the doctor was all I accomplished all week. Mine started with an earache and sore throat. Chills, fever the whole nine yards. I have not had even a cold in the last five years. Wow, it was bad. Today was my day to say hello world again and it felt so good. I went to several old antebellum homes Christmas open house. Stunning. Take care and I enjoyed all your beautiful Christmas pics. Enjoy the season sweet girl.

Maggie said...

Oh my dear Jeanie, sorry to hear you've been so ill but glad you're feeling better now. Your festive images are delightful and I'm looking forward to seeing the list of book recommendations soon.
Take care.

skiourophile said...

Ew - horrid to be ill at any time but this time of the year just seems so frantic as well with Must Do and Should Do and When Will I Have Time to Do! Glad you are feeling better, but don't overdo it.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! I'm so glad you're on the mend, if not completely back to normal. Hopefully you won't overdo and set yourself back. It can happen, so be careful.

Our tree sat with just lights on it for 4 days, until the grandkids finally shamed us into getting out the ornaments. I opened the boxes, went into the other room with my knitting, and let them decorate it, and they didn't do half bad. The toddler keeps trying to undecorate it, so that's why I wasn't too concerned with how it looks. I figure half the ornaments will be off the bottom third of the tree by Christmas Eve anyway.

I did set up the snowman collection myself. I don't have a mantel in the new house so I had to get a little more creative in my placements, but it worked out okay.

What you've done so far is gorgeous, and you've got plenty of time to finish the rest. I figure as long as I get it done by Christmas Eve all is right with the world.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning Jeanie! You are right; many people are not visiting blogs because everyone is having fun decorating or shopping! And that is what we did this weekend and it was FUN.

Looking good out there!

I need orange said...

So sorry you've been under the weather!

I am a firm believer in getting plenty of rest until you really feel ok. I can't think doing "too much" "too soon" (with the definitions of those two concepts changing with the situation....) can possibly be a good path back to wellness.

Rest well. We'll miss you, but we understand that your health has to come first!


The Artful Diva said...

Getting ready for Christmas is making me late to comment on your blog post. I always look forward to seeing what you are up to.

Beth M. said...

When your body betrays you with illness, it's one thing to miss out on the things that we have to do. But to be cheated out of doing all the fun things that we actually *want* to do--like living wholeheartedly in the Christmas season--that's just plain unfair. (And I mean that in the most juvenile way possible!)

But, like you said, we tend to notice things like vulnerability when we're forced to slow down. And maybe crashing when you need to crash is your body's way of taking care of you.

I sincerely hope that you're feeling stronger soon. Until then, be sure to rest when you need to rest and snuggle with Miss Lizzie for good measure. :)

Arti said...

Beautiful post, Jeanie. As a minimalist in terms of decorations and event planning during the Season, I truly appreciate others' efforts, big time, in preparing for the festivities. So it's real fun and comfy to visit posts like yours, Jeanie. ;)

psychelyn said...

I'm sorry that you've been sick. I hope you recover completely very soon so you'll be filled with energy to celebrate Christmas.

You were right about absences in the blogosphere. My mind is always preoccupied of things to accomplish for the holiday.

Please be well.

Bella Rum said...

I'm so sorry you've been sick. This is a terrible time of year to do that. What a busy time. Be gentle with yourself.

Marilyn Miller said...

So glad you are mending! Take care of yourself and just have a glass of wine, turn on the music, and enjoy. Decorations can be done another year. What you show here is lovely.

Linda Jo said...

So glad you are better. I lost last week to a sinus infection!! I have been verrrry unproductive.

littleRamstudio said...

Glad to hear you are over the worst of your virus. Take things easy, no point in wearing yourself out so you won't feel like enjoying the festive season.
So your prescription from here is feet up more, lots of treats and enjoy some seasonal movies!
Take care, Heather :)

Tracy said...

Hi, Jeanie! So good to catch up with you here post-travels--we got back from our trip earlier this week... FAB time! Oh, but so sorry you've been under the weather. I hope you'll turn the corner soon and will be well for the holidays! LOVE all the festivity here... such beautiful decorating. I love how you go all out! Be taking good care by the twinkle glow with hot tea and Miss Lizzie. :o) ((HUGS))

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you've been sick! How awful! Especially since this is such a fun, festive time of year that I know you love. I hope that you are back to 100% but it sounds like you must be since you've been out and about a bit. It seems like I know quite a few people who have been SO sick in the last couple of weeks. :( I know 4 people who had pneumonia - including both of my local best friends! Lots of scary stuff out there it seems... Anyways, I hope you continue to feel better and that the rest of the holiday season is a healthy one for you!

shoreacres said...

I'm behind myself. I read this some time ago, so I know you're feeling better now, but... Let me just say that your list of holiday chores leaves me exhausted! A single candle in the window, enjoyed in health, beats a trimmed-to-the-gills world you can't enjoy because you're exhausted and sick -- every time!

My aunt just came down with pneumonia this past week, and another friend here in town has it. I think I'm going to avoid crowds while I check to see if I've had a pneumonia shot. I'm good about the yearly flu shot, but I haven't a clue if I tucked pneumonia in there!

O-town Ramblings said...

Jeannie, I'm so sorry to hear that you weren't feeling well. I can certainly relate to your feelings of being behind this holiday season. As I read this I'm sitting in bed taking it easy as I recover from surgery for a herniated disc. I've had to make peace with having a very pared down Christmas this year. I'm feeling pretty happy that I've at least managed to get wreaths on my doors and my tree decorated.

I'm glad to know you're feeling better and back in action. I look forward to hearing more from you soon.

Jenny Woolf said...

As you know Jeanie I have been out of the loop but I was sad to hear about this virus. I'm glad you are on the mend and since you got to Las Vegas it is clear that you are a lot better. But take it easy girl!!!!!

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