My planning, my lists, my anticipation grew all month. Like a kid with an Advent Calendar. With each new Hallmark holiday movie I became more eager to begin, even considered putting up the tree before Thanksgiving, but couldn't convince John, who does well to tolerate my exuberance, to lug it out from the garage and struggle with the lights any sooner than he had to.
Then, on the Monday before Thanksgiving, I fell. Wrestled with the vacuum hose and lost. Landed on my right knee - on the unforgiving tile floor - barely missing the coffee table or the metal corner of a side table. After my initial shock and embarrassment - how could I be such a klutz - and reassuring my terrified husband that I hadn't heard a pop, no bones seemed to be broken, I mentally went through my lists, crossing off the tree, eliminating the parties and the day trips, indulging in one inglorious, adolescent, self-pity party.
In the long days that followed, it became evident that I had injured my knee. To what extent we weren't sure, but I knew that the shooting pains meant something was wrong. Being a holiday week, typical health care was difficult to come by. I was able to get advice as to avoiding any further damage, but couldn't see an orthopedist until this week. So I concentrated on staying off my feet and managing my morale so I wouldn't go down the rabbit hole of dark imaginings and rampant anxiety. Hobbled around on a cane, and popped Alleves. Kept apologizing to John for being a burden - my declaration, not his. Kept reminding myself that we have managed much bigger challenges than this. That it could have been so much worse. That other people do, in fact, have it much worse.
And wondered why I had to work so hard to manage my thinking.
Yesterday, I saw the orthopedist. The good news - no break, no tear. Only significant stress and inflammation. No need for crutches or the wheel chair I had conjured up. Just a few more weeks of taking it easy, more Alleve and hobbling a bit. And rethinking my lists. Maybe not all the events, but some - which ones? Maybe not the tree, but surely wreathes, and reindeer and candles. Maybe not the day trips, but restaurants and movies. This may not be the special holiday I had envisioned, but it will be memorable. And there will be chocolate chip cookies.