Dreaded H-Word...Not This Year!

Last Fall, I wrote this post about the holidays, and how I always dread them.  That was back when I was a newbie blogger, with no idea of how words set loose in the interwebz could cause such a stir. 
My piece was published by Mamapedia.  It was meant to be tongue-and-cheek, sarcastic and overly-exaggerated, yet based upon the true concept of how the holidays make me want to poke my eyes out.
Some people thought it was hilarious, and some people told me off.
This year, I am older and wiser and have a little different take on things.  I’ve been suffering from migraines, with the most recent one rendering me completely debilitated.  The neurologist sent me for an MRI of the brain.
I acted like I wasn’t scared, but I was. 
As the metal cage closed around my head, and the long, thin table moved me into the donut-hole of the machine, I could only think of one thing:  my kids.  If this is something bad, what will happen to my kids?  Husband would be broken, but he would recover and take care of himself.  But what about my children?
The beeping and bonking of that machine went on and on, and I struggled to remain calm inside what felt like a coffin.  The fear and negative thoughts came at me, one by one, and I tried to beat them off like a Super Ninja Mama.  I knew if I gave into even one of them, the panic would overtake me.
Although I truly didn’t believe that it was anything serious, I think it’s human nature to imagine the worst.  Waiting for the results for the next few days, I considered what it would be like to have this life taken away from me.
Everyday occurrences like reading a book with my 2-year old or singing to music in the car with my 7-year old took on new meaning.  The little, stupid stuff like a rude comment or an unkind action from someone meant virtually nothing to me.
Things were brought into focus, and I felt a deep, desperate realization that I take so much for granted every, single day.  I spend too much time worrying about what I think I’m supposed to be doing, instead of focusing on what I need to be doing. 
I allow myself to become sidetracked by things that are inconsequential.
So when the news came in that the MRI was normal, it was not only a relief, but a new beginning.  A wake-up call to stop allowing the things that should only be minor annoyances to become larger than life…the teacher’s negative comment, a criticism from a pessimistic person, an unkind deed of a stranger.
None of it matters.
For me, the holidays have been a time when I normally sweat and swear and pull my hair out to make everyone happy and fulfilled, because BY GOD, WE’RE ALL GOING TO HAVE A PERFECT CHRISTMAS! 
Not so much this year. 
As the holidays approach, I know that I will slip up and freak out from time to time, as I am prone to do.  Especially when I don’t meet my goal of having all my gifts purchased and wrapped by Thanksgiving, which I pledge to do every year and fail to do every year, as well. 
But when it happens this time, I’m going to remind myself of what it felt like to lie on that table, not knowing and fearing the worst.  And I will thank God for the blessing of this day and the gift of days to come. 

What are your tips & tricks to survive the holidays?  Wine?  Yoga?  Happy pills?

Linking up today with Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop

Mama’s Losin’ It


  1. It's excellent to gain perspective, isn't it? I get scared and freaked out so easily too. And I too have to remind myself that so many things just don't really matter.

    I can't wait to hear how this new outlook affects your Holidays!

    1. Jen, I am going to try and hang onto it through the holidays!!!

  2. So glad all is well. A scare like that really does change your whole perspective.
    As I have aged and been able to let go of some of my perfectionism, I do the holiday gift stuff way ahead. (like Aug.) And I don't accept every invitation. We have several favorite traditions as well as certain decorations that we love. We no longer do or use every single one every year. Once I scaled back it felt like more rather than less, because I was so much more present.

    1. You sound like a wise woman, May! :) I'm going to follow your lead.

  3. I am glad everything is okay. Yes that definitely would've been a wake up call for me too. Reading this opened my eyes to some of the little things I let get to me. Reading this tells me that even those little irritations are a blessing cause I am alive to experience them.

  4. That must have been scary. When things like that happen, it does put everything in better perspective. Well, the holidays will be here before I'm ready. I think I'll just plan three big things -- tradition type things -- and not stress about doing all the rest. Good luck with your new attitude.

    1. Three big things...that sounds like a great plan. I'm going to try and avoid doing everything and running myself into the ground.

  5. Awesome news! And I totally agree with your perspective ;-)

  6. This really speaks to me and is along the lines of what I wrote too (about my breast lump). Glad it was all ok!

    1. Stacie, I can't wait to read your post. Sometimes we need a little wake up call!

  7. It's amazing what an MRI can do to alter your perspective. I had to have one done on my arm and ended up having surgery. Everything's all good, but sitting inside that machine certainly gives you time to think. I hope the holidays this year take on a whole new meaning for you and your family!


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