Self care is *not* a vacation

Family gatherings.  They’re different things to different people.  With just one exception, I really enjoy spending time with my family, and today was no different.

For the first time in days, I got out of the house and had contact with people, which was nice.  I feel very lucky that family gatherings are generally fun and are usually not stressful.  I know that’s rare, or at least more rare than we’d all like.  Still, it wasn’t easy.  I put on a smile and acted like everything was fine around most people.  When a close relative asked how I’m enjoying my “break from work,” though, I had to say something.  I explained that this wasn’t a vacation, that I’m really not feeling well and I’m trying to use it to get better.  I said that the last time I left the house was on Tuesday, and that was only to get groceries for my Thanksgiving cooking.  Before that, I hadn’t been out since Sunday.  I pointed out that if I’d tried to go to work this week, I probably would not have felt up to attending the Thanksgiving meal.  So this “break” is allowing me to take care of myself.

I said it nicely, just to educate him.  Thankfully, he got it right away.  It’s frustrating to have to educate people over and over, but in this case it’s worth it; it means that next time he’ll understand and he’ll ask how I’m doing instead of if I’m enjoying the “break.”  Either way, I know he’s always going to be supportive, and I appreciate that.

I’m not going to do a big Thanksgiving article, but I will say that I am very thankful for my amazingly supportive family and extended family.  As we all know, many of us couldn’t get through this without the help and support of our loved ones, and I feel very fortunate to have a great group of relatives around me.

Life can be shitty, no doubt.  So when I’m having tough weeks like this one, I try hard to remember the things I’m grateful for.  After all, it’s not all bad.  The important thing is to remember that.


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