Wednesday 17 December 2014

Midweek drop-in

Not so much a miscellany this week - just another of those 'just checking in' posts. Reading through my favourite blogs it seems many of us are afflicted with similar pre-Christmas problems: panic, doing too much and just putting ourselves under an awful lot of pressure. So silly.

Don't get me wrong, I do love the run-up to the Christmas week. But with it comes the endless lists. What to eat, what to cook, what to buy, Christmas card lists, present lists, to-do lists. Deadlines (last posting dates), finding those things online which are suddenly out of stock, attending parties, visiting, receiving visitors...

The past few weeks have been exhausting. A lack of sleep coupled with agreeing to do too many things resulted in a minor meltdown yesterday. In the toy cupboard. At the playgroup Christmas party. Too much rushing around organising things, running late and somehow feeling responsible for everyone (why???) meant I just had to dissolve into tears. A friend followed me in and was lovely and I pulled myself together and carried on as normal. The cupboard's cold and smells of mouse wee so to be honest it was a relief to get out of there.

My blogging's hit a bit of a dormant period. Not through lack of ideas or interest, but to be honest right now I like my little quiet times to be just that. A lie down under a blanket watching TV or reading. The respite's good.

Apparently my mum's headstone is now in place at the cemetery, 'in time for Christmas'. I feel I should go but the thought of it is just too much to bear right now. My stepdad visits regularly and I think he gets some comfort from going there. Maybe it's a generational thing. I'll go when it feels right - like I'll go through her things when I'm ready. She'd understand.

So, to reflect these strange up-and-down times: some handmade cards. From sad things to happy things again, back and forth I go.

I enjoyed making the cards. Creative pursuits can be absorbing and relaxing, and it was good to play around with paint and stamps. The alphabet stamp kit was such a good buy, I'm tempted to get another in a different font. And I already have an eye on the New Year: I'm stockpiling pieces of card from cereal boxes so I can make my own 2015 calendar. 

Last weekend was a bit crazy, with Jay working on Saturday and a fair bit of socialising and entertaining crammed in for good measure. Plans for the tail end of this week amount to a lunch with my friend (while Joe spends some time with his grandparents) and another list-making session: meal ideas and food to buy during The Big Shop. Lovely celebratory things like cheeses and chocolate and bottles of fizz.

Finally, in other - literally - loose ends news, I've finished knitting Joe's red scarf and just have to sew in the odd trailing end. All our online purchases have been delivered. I have an awful lot of gift wrapping to do. 

My stepdad now has a little dog to keep him company. I'm so pleased for him. And my brother's going to be a dad again. On Friday we'll be finding out whether I'll be getting another niece or a little nephew.

We're not even at the Winter Solstice yet, let alone out of 2014, but things gallop along. I'm hoping for a slow Christmas still: meaningful, relaxing and full of small pleasures. So enough rushing around and drowning under obligations. From now on I'm stepping back and just letting it happen.


  1. There is a lot going on in your life just now Sarah! I am not surprised you are feeling a bit overwhelmed. I hope you'll get some rest this coming weekend. I am in denial (we don't even have a tree yet!) Your cards are beautiful and I agree, the alphabet stamps are a great thing to have. I didn't know they come in different fonts. I am glad your stepfather has a companion to spend time with. I hope your shopping list is more organised than mine! x

  2. Your cards are lovely, have a bit of chill time over Christmas. Although, I always take a wreath up to the graveyard for my Grandparents this time of year. I can't face going to the crematorium to see my darling Dad, I prefer to pop in at an insignificant time, so it doesn't seem to be quite as daunting

  3. Your cards are beautiful. I'm glad you're able to relax before the holiday. I can imagine how difficult this year must be for you. Be gentle with yourself and take your time. I am sure your mother would understand and be proud of how you've been doing.

  4. All good things in time and I am sure that you will work everything out in exactly the right time it needs, Christmas, your Mum's things, your Stepdad, Joe, everything will all be right when it is meant to be. I wish that I had some wonderful words for you, but I do have a massive hug in my heart for you and know that I am thinking of you - as I do from time to time! I am sure that you have lots of friends and family to talk to, but if you ever need a listening e-mail ear, feel free to let me know. Take care and as I said, massive hugs and thinking of you and wishing you as happy a Christmas as possible. xxxx

    1. Thank you Amy, I really appreciate that. Hope you have a lovely Christmas too. x

  5. I hope you're able to have plenty of calm and peaceful moments with those you love, it sounds as if life has been a whirlwind lately. Your handmade cards are gorgeous, clever you. Shamefully I haven't made a single card or present this year. I hope you have a good lunch with your friend, it's the best kind of thing to do. CJ xx

  6. Christmas is an emotional time and especially so for you this year. You are right not to force yourself to do things when you don't feel ready. I rarely visit my mother's grave as I just don't think of her as being there and I certainly don't get any comfort from it. She always said when she was alive that she would prefer us to buy her flowers when she was able to enjoy them rather than putting flowers on her grave.

  7. Your cards are really lovely. Very creative. It's also such a difficult time of year to be grieving. Try not to 'do' too much. X

  8. Very wise words, step back and let it happen. There is no pressure to visit your mum's headstone - or do anything else - until you feel good and ready. But it's lovely to hear about the positive things happening in your family too. Life just rolls on regardless, doesn't it? Your cards are really beautiful. xx

  9. sending, through the power of concentration and squeezed shut eyes, festive....and general...heartfelt hugs your way

  10. Lovely post. I, too, am caught in the up and down; trying to relax and just ride the waves. Your Christmas wishes - "meaningful, relaxing, full of small pleasures" - echo with me. I sincerely wish for your hopes to be realized, and that it will be a time of peace for you and your family.

  11. Wishing you oases of peace and calm in what is understandably one rollercoaster of a Christmas. Your cards are lovely. There's a mountain of craft stamps here and I haven't used one of them this year.

  12. Grab that peace with both hands and hang on to it ... we all need some oases of calm, and not just at Christmas.

    I am drowning under obligations - relatives agreeing to things on my behalf without reference to me first have left me with little room for manoeuvre - so I totally understand the need to cry in a cupboard, even one smelling of mouse pee! Actually any kind of cupboard sounds like a refuge to me just now!


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