Tuesday, December 16, 2008


bal⋅ance [bal-uhns]
3. mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.
7. the power or ability to decide an outcome by throwing one's strength, influence, support, or the like, to one side or the other.

Balance. We all need it in order to thrive emotionally and physically. But it's difficult to maintain, especially during what can be considered either the most stressful or the most joyful seasons of the year. I've had it both ways, and this year, it's somewhat stressful.

The last two holiday seasons have been sad for me, since we lived so far away from family and couldn't afford to go home. I didn't want to decorate, and giving and receiving gifts felt hollow and empty. This year, my son has every toy imaginable, thanks to ever-doting family and friends. So instead of focusing on the buying, I'm trying to make this year a mostly hand-made year. The one project I really wanted to finish for him, his quilt, will unfortunately not be done. Not with the loads of other things I'm making for other people. So I'll get it mostly done, and then finish it after the holidays. He will still love it, and not know or care that it wasn't done in time.

We're also focusing on the experiences of the holiday season. We decorated our Christmas tree together, and saw Zoolights at Point Defiance Zoo. We'll have the opportunity to meet with nearly every family and exchange gifts, which will be fun, especially since we haven't been able to do that. But we'll also miss our friends in Boston, and the small traditions we had formed. I'll miss having a giant cookie and candy baking and making session, and celebrating New Year's Eve at a friend's house just down the road. But we'll see them very soon after the new year, to celebrate my birthday.

Sunday night found me in the Emergency Room for another seven day migraine. This time with a most awesome shooting pain behind my right eye. I wondered if my brain would explode, and of course my grandmother's brain tumor was at the forefront of my thoughts. Of course, it's just a migraine, most likely brought on by lack of sleep and stress. By the time I managed to be seen, two and a half hours had passed, the shooting pain was nearly gone, I had sent my husband and son home, and the nurse was apologizing profusely. It was my first solo visit, and was subsequently very scary. Last night, after a very long nap with Bug, my headache was gone, but by the time I woke up this morning it was back. So I have two doctor visits this week to see if we can fix whatever the problem is. I suspect, though, that they will tell me to get more sleep and stop stressing out about everything. And really, I should. But try telling me that at 2AM, when I simply can't sleep. Or at 7AM, when my son decides it's time to "wake up, Mommy!"

So, the next few days will be spent trying to strike a balance, between living and celebrating the season. For that, to me, is truly the spirit of the holidays.


Karen Anne Glick said...

Everytime I read about someone having bad migraines I feel an urgent need to ask them if they've had an MRI to rule out having a Chiari Malformation. I was misdiagnosed for 25 years (had lots of headaches) but had surgery 5 years ago and have been fine since. I found your blog from a link on Etsy where I have a shop, and a blog by the same name: Lille Hus (which means Little House in Norwegian). Your "Tiny House" intrigued me and I wonder if you're Norwegian descent, too? Please email me if you have any questions about Chiari. Hope you have a painfree day!!

Tiny House said...

Hi Karen,

I've actually had several MRI's, CAT scans, and an EEG. All are always negative (or positive, whichever way you look at it!) :O) But thanks for mentioning it!

I'm not of Norwegian descent by blood, but my stepfather is a second generation immigrant. I don't speak the language either, but it is kind of a funny coincidence! I love you little animals in your shop!