I’ve written a bit about the pressures I felt were on me in the run up to Christmas. I have loved family Christmas’ in the past and mourn their passing. Well, I thought I did. Because this festive period taught me that I need to be clearer about what is important and necessary and what would be nice. I also realised in my end of year reflections the extent to which I have started to revert to type. That is, trying to organise everyone and then being upset when everyone doesn’t welcome my efforts.
Master and I have spent far too much time over the past two weeks discussing what happened and what was wrong with it. For him, the priority is to be as stress free as possible. He says he hates Christmas, I don’t actually think he does. What he really dislikes is conforming to expectations, spending too much money, watching crap TV and over eating. All of which are symptoms of this time of year. He has no objection to spending time with others (i.e. my family members), but he wants to be in control of who, for how long and when.
These events now make me think of the rest of the year. How do we determine where our priorities lie and how do we ensure that we do what we want. We plan to focus much of this year around the knowledge I should have reconstruction surgery in the second part of the year. So we are thinking about what events we will attend, trips and holidays we will take and who else we need to consider in those plans. But those plans will only be for the first half of the year, until around July.
We’ve been fortunate since I gave up work, that we can be flexible with dates. Also that we are able to do so many things we want to do. We don’t have other dependents, though our priorities need to include others. Master, quite rightly wants to see his daughter more often than of late. Likewise I want to spend time with my son and daughter in law. Perhaps in past years we have prioritised ourselves. Plus of course in 2018 I was preparing to move, working my notice and getting diagnosed with breast cancer.
What I’ve come to realise is that getting my priorities wrong leads to anxiety and stress not only in me but in Master. By choice our life together is busy and because of that we need to build in down time and plenty of it. Time when we may be doing things together, but equally where we have our own priorities. We both like to spend time alone even if we are in the same house, or sometimes even the same room.
This needs to be factored in when we go and visit others. We spent two nights at my mum’s followed by one in a hotel. The two nights with mum were in hindsight a mistake. We struggled to escape from her misery, the TV and her smoking. The night in the hotel was bliss. But it wasn’t alone time, far from it. Instead we lunched with my son and daughter in law and spent the evening with her family.
Although I’ve used Christmas as the example here, this is about a much bigger issue. It’s about balancing my and our needs with those of others. And it is about planning how we better manage times that could prove stressful. I guess you could say that a plan is forming to make sure that happens.