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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Feeling the Holiday Pressure?

Holidays are a happy time, despite the stress in our lives.  It is your choice to live without stress and be happy.  You need to choose how, when, and whom you spend the Holidays with.  So your parents want you to come to the traditional family gathering,  or do they want you to host this year??  Your in-laws want you to come to their gathering.  First question?  Do they completely understand that you have RA and what that means... (NO)  Does your sibling want you to drive two hours or travel a long distance to be with there family? Second question.. Do they understand completely that you have RA and traveling by car or plane is scary and could painful?  (NO).  Have you always wanted to start your own traditions?  (YES) .  I am choosing ME this year.  I am creating my own family traditions with my husband and kids..and surrounding myself with friends who get what I am going through. 

Don't get me wrong,  I love my family and those traditions that came before RA.  I will always cherish them.  I have learned quickly what matters is my family and my life.  My kids will only be little once and I want to share those memories with them.  My family can have me on other occasions.  Christmas and Santa are mine.  This year I am walking and not in a wheel chair.  I am not in the hospital, I am not in flair...  and I want to bake cookies, and watch my kids eat to many of them on Christmas Eve.  I want to be as pain free as possible and enjoy the love I have created in my household.  One of the biggest gifts RA gave me was self awareness.  LIFE IS SHORT.

It is my opinion that I have to come first, for the first time in my life.  I am the one that is sick, and lets face it... I don't know how RA is going to change my life more than it already has.  I know that someday far far down the road when it is my time to check out of life... I will not say... I wish I made that car ride to my sister's house, instead of baking cookies with my kids.  It's that simple for me.  I have matured to the level of self first, then others.  I will not be going into remission if I choose to come last in life.  I will be at my best by coming first,  then I am the best for my husband and kids.  That is my job now.  Its a full time job caring for myself and taking control of my RA. 

Giving to myself, is giving love to my family.  May your gift this year be self awareness.  Know you are loved by me...whatever choice you make.  Merry Christmas to you and yours.