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Barbaraj

Barbaraj

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It's hump day, and I confess to feeling a bit low and depressed today. Mostly it's not hip related. Sure, the ongoing achiness and stiffness is hanging in there, but it's usually just first thing in the morning, getting out of low slung cars (ouf, never a pretty sight) and sitting too long in one place. Much of the day I am feeling pretty darn good, and I don't give much thought to all things hip. I also believe that within the first three months of the new year things should be settled in, and fewer twinges and aches from that point forward. I said I BELIEVED this, who knows if it will actually happen that way?

I think my low mood is probably just what many people feel this time of year--overwhelmed at all the stuff to get done (shopping, meal planning, gift wrapping, the Big Day--eek!) and also feeling wistful about the good old days of my childhood, when I was NOT the one in charge of the holiday and no pressures at all, just happy anticipation. I have such fond memories of flying home from college a few days before Christmas and helping my mother out with shopping, baking and gift wrapping and lots of chatter and catching up with one another. She'd done the lion's share of the work before I arrived home so I was definitely only the "helper", not the one in charge of the "magic". Or, even further back, I remember my earlier childhood where I did, frankly, nothing at all and yet somehow it was always a wonderful holiday season for our family and such an exciting time of year.

We haven't even thought about getting out our holiday decorations or getting a tree. I keep saying, "oh, maybe next week sometime..." But maybe a weekend away (the one coming up--trip to Portland, OR to do "power shopping"), I hope, as well as stay in a lovely downtown hotel and eat yummy meals out should boost my spirits. It should be fun, and maybe next week I'll be able to get into a true holiday spirit. But need to finish up this posting, and head into my tiny exercise room to do some stretches. Gotta keep at this, I know. Cheers!
 
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leejaa

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Sorry you are a bit blue around the edges. Sometimes the holidays bring these feelings out. I am sure a nice trip away will help cheer you. I find that limiting how much I demand of myself around the holidays helps - sometimes it is our own expectations of ourselves is worse than what is really needed. I hope you have a peaceful night.
 

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@Barbaraj sorry you're feeling down, think it might partly be those pesky blues we get off and on in recovery and definitely get the low mood feeling at this time of year. I agree, sometimes it would be so nice to go back to childhood and the seamless magic but unfortunately we're the adult now and we're in charge of making the magic happen. :friends: Luckily I always seem to have some littles close by that I can try to see things through their eyes and it usually cheers me up. Saw a little girl the other day at an ornament exchange, she got a pink, feathery flamingo and you just had to get into the spirit watching her dance around with it.
 

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Hello @Barbaraj Hope your blues have been chased away. Your memory of heading home during college and helping your Mom brought a smile to my face. I too am blurry eyed with lists of holiday happenings. I have chosen to limit what goes on my “have to” list. We are trying to preserve the joy and limit the stress. Maybe your kids would like to host something or just meet at a restaurant rather than be the keeper of all merriment. We ranked things last year with our crew. Amazingly some things they liked the most were not big or difficult to pull off. Sending hugs Barbara, hoping the weekend finds you less stiff and more balanced. When all else fails hoist a glass with some friends. :cheers:
 
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Barbaraj

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Well, I'm back from our annual shopping slog-a-thon in Portland, OR when a ton of presents--uh, like most of 'em for our kids, grands, and extended family members--have been purchased in two long days of determined power shopping. Sure, there are still a few "holes" that need to be plugged, but right now a spare bedroom is piled with shopping bags, and the door firmly shut for the evening.

My hip did pretty well despite hours of determined striding through stores or walks to restaurants for evening meals. Yes, I was sore--not just the upper groin area but also my lower back. But I took some extra strength Tylenol in the morning each day and did alright despite being very cranky and sore by bedtime. I am sure the fact I was staying in a strange bed, despite it being a fairly swank hotel, also contributed to the ache and fatigue as I didn't sleep well either Saturday or Sunday night. I am so looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight, and maybe getting better rest and thus feeling less stiff and achy tomorrow morning. Oh, well--I have a Pilates class tomorrow, so I know I'll get good and stretched out with that!

I do agree with you in principle, @Fit4Family, that easing the stress and work involved at the holidays is within my control, and it's my fault for not being more assertive and insisting on more manageable holiday festivities. But, as much work as the holiday involves, I am also lazy and equally unenthused about the emotional effort it would take to have the hard conversations about cutting back and then following through without being wracked with guilt. I always feel overwhelmed at the holidays, not only the amount of work involved (and certainly the escalation in bodily aches and pains the last two years with Christmas happening only months after my surgeries) but coping as best I can with the wistfulness I feel for celebrations in years past, but also that very real sadness of missing my parents and other older family members who've passed on. I always remember at this time of year that I am an "orphan", the older generation now, and the clock isn't turning back.

Okay, I'll stop being maudlin! Tomorrow is another day and this coming week we WILL go get a Christmas tree and put it up! Sitting in the dark with Christmas tree lights on and holiday tunes playing usually brings a smile to face. Cheers, all.
 

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Hi Barbara! Yes I can relate to wistfulness at Christmas. I have lost both parents many years ago and it is around Christmas that the thoughts come back tenfold. Sorry too about the aches and fatigue but hopefully they did not hamper you too much. We are putting the lights and decs up this weekend. I love to walk round the village and look at the lights. Always brings a glow to me :)
 
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Barbaraj

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Thanks for the kind message, @Fiona444. While I don't wish holiday sadness on anyone, it was reassuring to find that my lower spirits and wistfulness aren't unique, and that others feel similarly this time of year. We actually got busy yesterday, purchased a tree, decorated it and stuck a bunch of holiday candles and other tchotchkes about the house. My husband also added some lights to the bushes outside our house last night. I am okay with him doing that--it was just the lights along the roof lines, involving steep ladders, that I hated. But, we hired someone this year and it was such a relief, despite the cost. So, feeling a bit more cheerful this morning although--heavy groan--I need to start dealing with the bags of gifts in our spare bedroom, spread higgledy-piggledy all over the floor. I need to sort everything into piles so I can see where we stand in terms of making sure that everybody got something special--and then the marathon wrapping begins.
 

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House looks lovely. Hiring out sometimes is the best idea- safety first. It is a difficult time of year for many of us for different reasons so you are not alone. At least you have a lot of presents purchased already - the tree being up might help you feel more like attacking the bags and wrapping or what I started to do more and more is gift bags and lots of pretty tissue.
 

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@Barbaraj your house looks really lovely, and I'm impressed with what you are able to do so soon after surgery. Your reminiscing sent me on a trip down memory lane to my own childhood in Portland, OR where the highlight of every holiday season was my father taking a detour over the Burnside Bridge so that we could see the "White Stag" sign lit up for Christmas. Then on to Lloyd Center to visit Santa. Things were a lot simpler then - for me at least, probably not for my parents with 6 kids to shop for :rotfl: . I too find myself getting the holiday blues sometimes and that overwhelmed feeling. In my family we eventually scaled back, drawing names for gift-giving and having at least one holiday meal in a restaurant. It was a transition that was resisted by some family members (mostly those who weren't directly involved in the heavy lifting of holiday prep) but overall it's made our holiday better.
 
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Barbaraj

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It's Saturday night in the PNW and I am feeling a profound sense of relief--Nutcracker chauffeuring is at an end finally and next week I will have plenty 'o time to focus on getting prepared for Christmas. I've wrapped one or two gifts and put them under the tree so I feel as if I've done something but, regrettably, the "wrapping room" still is a huge mess and although I glance in there daily, thus far no real concerted activity to clean it up yet.

Hips and knees have been achy, a combination of the cold weather the lack of regular physical activity (too much chauffeuring and volunteering, not enough cardio). I've got two more weeks to gut it out and then after the holidays life will be back on a more deliberate and sensible schedule: better meals and daily exercise. Today, for example, involved actually GOING to the Nutcracker to see our granddaughter perform, lunch out with my brother and then home to keep grandson overnight as his sister is also in the 7:30 Nutcracker show this evening and it's too late for a poor five year old to be up (and he already saw this afternoon's matinee performance with us). It's way too much sitting for me, at a restaurant, in the car and at the theatre. I did my PT exercises this morning but it wasn't enough. If I am still feeling achy at bedtime, I think some Tylenol might get popped before I turn in.

I baked 24 cupcakes this morning, and just finished frosting them a short while ago, and also made two loaves of orange cranberry loaf. We are going out on a friend's boat tomorrow with several other couples, to follow the local Christmas Ship with Dickens Carolers on it, and I'm on the hook for dessert so thought cute holiday themed cupcakes would be a nice idea. And the orange cranberry loaf is a hostess gift.

And, @Stripey, you are clearly a sensible lady, unlike whiny "yours truly" who should absolutely do what you've done and scale it back but haven't done that yet. There is always next year, isn't there?
 

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You always have so many fun interesting things going on @Barbaraj What fun to be out on a boat with Holiday festivities.

Your house looks so festive. We debated hiring outside lights this year. It’s a lot for one person. We opted for simple this year, but admittedly I miss our bigger show. What a wonderful big family you have, but I can imagine juggling all those individual needs is daunting. Wrapping was challenging for me this year. I finally had bright idea of using kitchen island. Really helped not having to sit and being at a good height so I don’t have to bend over all the time. Dining room has become home to all the wrapping stuff. Very messy, driving me nuts, but I can only wrap 5 or so at a time, so I am sticking with that process.

Love the Nutcracker. Sounds like you have been very busy with that. Hope you get more you time this week. You are such a great Mom. Your family must adore you.
 

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Such a lovely Christmassy week for you @Barbaraj but do hope you have chance to catch up on your recovery. I found many months further on than you that too many changes in routine however lovely can play havoc with our bodies. Picking at snacks instead of proper food, low chairs, strange cars, pushing ourselves when we'd like a nice sit down/some meaningful exercise... Don't join the ODIC! :santa-dance:
 

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The cupcakes are beautiful. So much activity can be hard but you must enjoy the times with family and friends and it helps deal with the pain with such good memories. I am sure your wrapping will get done - it always does- it's part of Christmas miracles. Have a great boat outing. You might want to take some Tylenol ahead of time to help with any aches/stiffness.
 

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You amaze me lady with your Zest (despite your saying that you are lacking). You have gotten LOADS accomplished all the while still recovering!!! Christmas is a wonderful time of year but for my husband and I, we really enjoy Thanksgiving and Easter (we host both). There is no gift "pressure" and that means no wrapping of gifts (something I truly detest).

I keep thinking the month ahead will be better for me physically yet I know that January is baby quilt making then a road trip to Phoenix for a baby shower. After that, it's tax time for this year as I do our books for the business. Too much sitting, not good for any of us Hipsters but I can't exactly walk myself to AZ!!! LOL

Hang in there - two more weeks to go then it will be joyful squeals of delight from the little ones! I don't have to remind you to enjoy it, I know you do!!

Merry Christmas!
 
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Barbaraj

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Good morning, Bonesmart world! I am feeling much more focused and on top of thing this morning. Partly this is due to the fact that I spent a good part of Sunday wrapping gifts and slowly tidying up the wrapping room. There is now a lovely heap of present beneath the tree and I can check off one item on my "to do" list. I've even put together a tentative grocery list for holiday meals--two pages long!--and printed out various recipes I intend to follow when preparing various meals. Nothing like getting organized to lift one's spirits.

Hips were so achy on Sunday evening--all that sitting on my haunches bent over rolls of paper and ribbon rolls--that Monday I went back to the gym and forced myself to do my daily PT exercises, something that had fallen by the wayside because of ballet chauffeuring and the time crunch that created. I felt so much better when I went to bed last night--truly a forceful reminder that, for me, exercise is really, really important and without it my lower back and my recovering hip is whiny and uncomfortable. I am off to Pilates this morning which will really stretch me out, a good thing--I love how limber I feel when I walk out, even if a tad bit achy from all the physical effort. As I've said before, I sometimes think this is the hardest time of recovery, this lengthy middle part where you're not fully recovered and it can feel like a slog--that combined with holiday madness means, at least for me, that keeping a focus on daily movement is critical. Also need to eat better--so tempting this time of year to indulge in high sugar, fatty foods which make me feel sluggish and tired.

Towards the end of the day yesterday, feeling pretty good, I tackled a batch of holiday decorator cookies, something I do every year to give to friends. This year's first batch was gluten free sugar cookies. I've never made them before, but my friend was recently diagnosed with a gluten problem so I thought I'd give it a whirl. You can still decorate 'em like you would regular sugar cookies so they look pretty. I had my husband try one and while he said they were "okay" (not a ringing endorsement) I think they'll be appreciated by my friend and her family as well. Today or tomorrow I'll need to start on the next batch, regular 'ole cookies for two more friends.

Hope everyone has a great day, as the relentless countdown to the Big Day continues!
 

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Nothing like taking charge and getting things done to make one feel better plus now you can enjoy looking at all the lovely presents sitting under the tree adding to the festive mood.

Your cookies look beautiful.

Have a wonderful day. I have a winter wonderland outside my windows as it is snowing and adding up on the ground. Looks pretty and as I do not have to go anywhere I can sit here and enjoy.
 
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Barbaraj

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Oh, @leejaa, I think a winter wonderland of snow would be lovely to see outside my windows although honestly compels me to add that after an hour or so I would not be happy! I hate driving in snow and being "trapped" in my house because I'm a snow weenie would really be annoying! I've got rain pounding down here at the moment, and the promise of a couple soggy days ahead. We need rain, as the snowpack in the mountains isn't a good as it should be and my husband, who skis in the winter, really would like to see more snow in the mountains which invariably means more rain on the coast.

You are right, @NanaKP, that I am looking forward to having my grandchildren here on Christmas morning--they will both be excited and happy, and despite the exhaustion that goes along with the holidays, the bright spots involving happy children, a well decorated home and yummy food does help remind me that it is a glorious time of year.

I had a good hip day, with a trip to the gym this morning and due attention paid to completing my daily PT exercises which I've not been diligent about doing. Sure, it's easy (well, for me it is!) to whine about having to do exercise daily but I know that it really helps with the achiness and stiffness. I thought I'd do more baking today but never got around to that--tomorrow will be another marathon baking session of non-gluten free cookies, plus making granola to put in pretty containers for a few gifts. Feeling positive today and as if things are under control. It's probably an illusion, but I'll take it! Just one week to go!
 
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Sparing a few minutes from the relentless holiday prep going on at my house (and, yes, I realize at so many other's homes as well) and checking in with BS. Next up: bread dough and setting the holiday table. Make-ahead lasagna was this morning's chore, and then a friend texted me about a drop in Pilates class at noon. I threw on my workout clothes, slapped on a bit of make-up and my cute Santa earrings (tis the season!) and drove over to the local gym to make the class. I was stiff and a bit sore from standing in my kitchen all morning, but, boy, some great stretching really felt good! I feel much better than I did last Christmas--then I was only 3 months out from surgery whereas this year it's been five months and, as a result, things have felt easier physically as I've hustled around doing shopping, cooking, baking and all the other things one crazily does in the lead up to Christmas. I am grateful that despite stiffness and some residual achiness first thing in the morning and when I'm really fatigued, I know my hips and legs are improving in strength and flexibility and I get those lovely glimmers of a bright future when I will forget about these hips except for the sobering daily reminder when I see my matching scars. Happy holidays, everyone--if you're on the recovery road, you ARE going to get there--here's to all the recovering hipsters--give yourselves a round of applause--we are all healing, and clearly stronger, determined men and women. 2020 IS going to be grand!
 

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