While Christmas and New Years are supposed to be a time for joy, celebrating with friends, giving, and receiving, for many it can be incredibly stressful, exhausting, and even lonely. Whether it is the pressures at work of getting everything done by Christmas, work Christmas parties, spending time with difficult relatives, having the perfectly decorated house, buying the best gifts for your kids and relatives, or perhaps even not having anyone to share it with, there are things we can do to take care of ourselves and those around us this silly season.
For some of us, the worst days of our lives are spent in hospital intensive care units (ICUs) or cancer wards, there either for ourselves or our loved ones. There are some heroes who have chosen to spend their days making those experiences the best they possibly can be for those of us who find ourselves there. A number of my friends are nurses, and after my last post Pondering death and what it all means I contacted two of them to ask them, quite simply, how the hell do they do it?
Sometimes life has a way of teaching us lessons we didn’t know we needed to be taught. There are a lot of ways it can do this: through our relationships with friends and family, through natural and unnatural disasters, and through our pursuit of professional fulfilment… For me, some of my biggest lessons have come from my body, which has sent me the gift of a chronic, ‘incurable’ condition to battle for well over half of my life.
But it was when I glanced over to the mirror on the wall to my right, I saw where the real damage was. There was a huge, deep hole in my right elbow. “Hmmmmmmmmm, a bandaid is not going to fix that,” I thought.