Today, I’m headed for some new “injections” in my knee. What the doctor means when he says “new” is beyond me, and to be honest, the prospect doesn’t excite me in the slightest. I know it’s all meant to reduce my pain and help me become more mobile but the nerves persist. I’ve become much like Pavlov’s dog…I instantly sweat when I see a needle coming at me because I know it’s knee-bound and I know it’s going to dig around in there until it finds the very centre of the pain before the slow spread of a chronic ache. None of this, I can assure you, is good.
And although I appreciate the continued effort to find some miraculous way to heal me, it also feels extremely frustrating because each of these procedures sets me back a few weeks. Once the freezing wears off, all I feel is pain for days afterwards and I’m back to limping around and sitting at home. And with Ben about to return home, I want to be lively. I want to be dancing, laughing, hopping up and down, and cheering. I want to carry a big sign when I go pick him up so that everyone in the airport knows about all that he has given. I want them to be honoured to be next to him. They should be. We all should be.
So yes, lately I’m feeling as though everything needs to be perfect. I have to have the house looking Christmas-y! I have to find the biggest yellow ribbon made by man! I have to have a clean house when he gets back! I have to be able to move properly! I have to bake! We have to be happy!
Alas, perfection is often not the Thompson way. There will be roadblocks. Difficulties. Stressors. This will not be the storybook Christmas with everyone smiling and happy but that’s okay. We will get frustrated with each other. We will feel angry. We will fight sometimes. But we will also remember that there is love there. People often assume it will be a romantic reunion…perfect in every way. They don’t think of the fact that you have to get to know each other once more and it can almost feel like sharing your house with a bit of a stranger. No one tells you that.
So will our Christmas be perfect? No. Am I perfect? Hell no. But in accepting that there will be stress, I’m embracing it, knowing that it will not be the end for us but rather, a catalyst for making things better…stronger. But for me, there is one thing for certain…there’s nothing wrong with striving for perfection. But it will be learning to manage my expectations, with Ben returning after spending years apart, that will make the difference between a stressful or a blissful holiday.