With my cinnamon red Kitchenaid mixer set to high, I slowly added molten sugar to other circulating ingredients and an explosion of sugary confection ensued.  So did an ear-to-ear grin across my face.

In the midst of the holiday season, I am doing two things I do best: taking care of the ones I love, and over-doing it.

Usually a chronic hoarder of my precious energy reserves, I’ve been depleting my stash by reveling in the holiday excitement, and joy of figuring out how to surprise and thank those I care about, while simultaneously staying away from malls and any place that smells of door-buster sales.

Normally I would tell you to save your energy for an impending apocalypse, like a snowfall induced arthritis flare, but no.  Here’s my holiday gift to you: if this time of year is particularly important to you, don’t feel guilty about overdoing it a little and using up your precious energy reserves! Instead, enjoy and be present in every moment of it.

Creating goodies both edible and crafty is what helps define the non-arthritis side of me, and allows me to forget some of the pain and ensuing doctor visits.  This happiness in getting to be ‘Britt’ and not ‘arthritis patient’,  allows positivity that will help me deal with the pain for weeks to come.

The morning after the sugar incident, I awoke to arms that would barely pull on even my softest of arthritis-approved clothing, but I didn’t mind.  Though utterly exhausted and forced to take a rest day, I was in one of the best moods I had been in in ages.

My rest day involved more small projects, this time with a caveat: to ask for help.  In doing so, I surrounded myself with family, and kept my ridiculous holiday spirit going.

So often we fear what will happen if we push ourselves a little too hard.  Will we suffer a massive flare? Maybe.  Will we be unable to meet our responsibilities?  Possibly. With this thinking, we become prematurely crippled by the fear of our disease long before the disease forces it upon us.  This is not living.  Living is letting things get a little messy, and being okay with it.

Though I’ve been too tired to properly wash the powdered sugar out of my hair lately, I have been sleeping far more soundly feeling more like Britt, and less like my medical record number.

May you all find balance this holiday season, whatever that means for you.

Happy holidays and be well,

Britt aka Hurt Blogger