Note: No the turkeys do not have Fibromyalgia, I DO! (and bad grammar too).
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am hosting for 16 members of my family. This is my fourth consecutive year doing so. I love hosting, and I love spending time with my family, and I would not willingly give up the honor of having them all here tomorrow, but there is always the Fibromyalgia to consider. It is always there, like a big-old-ugly party pooper just waiting to smash me with its mallet of pain. I have to consider it in everything I do, otherwise there is nothing left to consider, I am just down for the count, period.
So here are some of the things I have learned to do to help make sure that the day is a success for everyone, including myself.
I start preparing for everything a couple of weeks ahead of time. Doing whatever I can ahead of time makes my life so much easier – wash the linens and serving platters, wipe down the folding chairs, etc. Not only does it help reduce my stress as Thanksgiving Day approaches because I have less to do, but it forces me to be organized.
I have grocery lists, and cleaning lists, and lists for my husband – lists, lists, lists! It may sound like overkill, but when my brain shuts down, as it tends to do with Fibrolmyalgia, where would I be without my lists? They give me direction and purpose when I get confused and overwhelmed. And they are constantly changing and evolving. If I hadn’t left my camera at a friend’s I would take a photo of my shopping list for you to see. It is a color-coded thing of beauty!
Ask for help and accept unsolicited help.
Granny makes the homemade noodles and dressing, my Aunt makes the pies. My sister and mother-in-law also contribute. And my Dad, well he contributes where it hurts the most, the pocket book! Really everyone pitches in. Even my newly married cousin asked what she could bring this year. It made me proud and a little sad that she is so grown up.
For the last few days I have had the best little helper, my niece. She is 13 going on 30 and is wonderful to have around. Poor little thing, she has no idea she is going to be pulling weeds today.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
This has been the hardest thing for me to overcome. I am a control freak. I like every little thing in its place. I could have been Martha Stewart’s maid in a former life. Seriously, I used to fret if one of my books was a centimeter out of line on my bookshelf. Fibromyalgia has forced me to get over this. I do not have the strength, the energy, or the brainpower to live like that anymore.
So when the family gets here tomorrow and there is a dust bunny that crawls out from under the sofa, I am not going to panic or apologize like I once did. Heck, I might not even pick it up. What do you expect? I have four pets. Get over it!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Note 2: No turkeys were harmed in the production of this post. But tomorrow, that’s another story.