The final countdown to Christmas has begun. How do I know this? Well my anxiety levels are on the rise. It’s absolutely ridiculous but it happens every year around this time, so I don’t know why I’m so surprised. Maybe I’m not surprised at all, maybe I’m just infuriated...it is after all the most wonderful time of the year!
I love Christmas, I love spending time with my family, they’re really very nice. Hahahahaha. I never stress about having enough food or forgetting anything, if I haven’t got it, so what? We’ll manage, and if we haven’t got enough food (I highly doubt that) the shops are only closed one day, again, I think we’ll mange. I really don’t worry about the things other people stress about at this time of year. I do however have my own little peccadilloes.
This year will be extra special because Sam is hopefully coming home to us Christmas Eve (it’s the last Christmas before the baby arrives in Feb so they’ve decided to visit with their own families) Sadly though my mum and dad have gone away this Christmas for the first time, but they’re hoping to Skype in for our annual Christmas Day quiz, so it’ll be almost as if they were here. :)
I have a few peculiar fears, that peak around this time. For obvious reasons I worry about my health and my loved ones health (once bitten, twice shy and all that, or as in our case twice bitten...so maybe that makes us thrice shy?).
But I also suffer from a fear of missing events because of illness and germs in general. This germ anxiety crap happens every Christmas, going on holiday, weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvah’s any special occasions really.
Usually before any big event I will leave a gap of about 7 days and not see anyone to lessen the risk of catching anything, a nonsensical notion as I still visit shops in this time and anyone there could have germs and Chris still goes to work and could pick up anything there. Anxiety isn’t ever level headed and sensible. It’s aggravating and annoying but can be overridden with a bit of work and a few tweaks.
With Christmas almost here I’ve booked to do things this week! Which is so unlike me and so beyond my comfort zone, I started getting the familiar feeling in my stomach, dread, fear, nauseous, cold sweating, anxious.
But I’m pushing on through as I will not be beaten by an invisible force. A feeling that is being created by me, whose only purpose seems to be to punish me. What is that all about?!?
So with my nerves fraying but with great determination Chris and I headed down to see Sam and Milly in their new home on Thursday evening. Sam has moved to Gosport on the south coast (near Portsmouth). I hadn’t been before due to being ill at the beginning of December.
Thier new home is lovely and I was very taken with Gosport too. They live about a 4 minute walk from Waitrose (ooohhhh dreamy, I have a half hour drive to my nearest one) and they live about a 15 minute walk from the ferry terminal which takes you to Gunwharf Quay in Portsmouth and to the train station to London .
It was wonderful to see him, I know they have to leave home sometime, we only short term rent time with our kids until they’re old enough to fly the nest and seek their own life’s adventures but I miss him terribly, it just feels like something is missing all the time and then I remember again that he lives far away and it makes me sad. (It’s only a 3 to 3 and a half hour drive but I hate driving so it feels like further).
Anyway it was a fantastic evening, seeing Sam and Milly so happy and settled in their new home was wonderful and shopping at Gunwharf Quays was rather lovely too.
(*Gunwharf Quays is a discount shopping village, not as good as Bicester Village but better than Freeport).
I knew it would be a long drive down there, so I opted for a dress, dresses are far superior to anything else for leakage prevention.
No one wants to have to change a leaked bag mid way to their destination so dresses are perfect. Yes, I could go with jeans and just undo them while I’m in the car but I’ve been eating my body weight in mince pies so my out put has drastically increased.
Dress from French Connection, Tights from Tesco, Boots from Hobbs.
Reunited with my first born!!
Feeling all festive with some of my faves.
Going over to Portsmouth on the Ferry is very quaint and exciting...I know, I really do sound like someone that should get out more but I go out plenty I promise, so who knows what’s wrong with me hahahahaha.
We did a bit of Christmas shopping, had a lovely meal and then back on the ferry to Sam and Milly’s.
Coat from Jaeger.
What a beautiful view from the ferry. Incidentally the tall sail shaped building, with the red light at the top is called the Spinnaker Tower, it’s extremely high. My MUM abseiled this with Sam a couple of years ago!!
They raised a lot of money for charity, I’m still not sure if I’m in awe of her for doing it or concerned for her sanity!! Hahahahaha probably a bit of both really. There’s is no way, absolutely no way I could do it. I am a self confessed coward. Happy to be so. These feet of mine are made for sticking firmly to the ground. Hahahahaha
We headed back home after a wonderful, much needed visit to see them.
Then Friday morning I started to feel even more anxious, we were due to go out with friends for dinner Friday night. I was getting in a right pickle and getting myself worked up. In the end I had to message them and say that we will still be coming and I really hope you don’t mind but there’s no way I can hug and kiss you hello and goodbye.
They are very dear friends and understood my issue, well not understood as such because even I don’t understand it, but they were happy comply with my request rather than cancel.
I think it’s just best to be honest in this sort of situation, you’re friends love you and only want the best for you so they will help make life easier. My instinct was to cancel but just by tweaking a few little things I was able to calm myself enough to still go, and have a great time.
I don’t feel embarrassed by having anxiety attacks, I don’t feel it’s anything to feel embarrassed about. Bearing in mind what we’ve been through as a family I feel incredibly lucky it’s only mild and sporadic. It is what it is. I don’t try and hide it, by speaking about it I own it and control it to a degree, or at least as much as you can control the uncontrollable.
So with a gallon of anti bac smothered all over me we headed out to what was a fantastic evening. Thank god I didn’t let it get the better of me.
The restaurant was lively and buzzing with Christmas cheer and excitement, and catching up with Jasper and Di is always a pleasure.
We had a great night, I’m so glad I didn’t back out, even though I had wanted to.
Anxiety is maybe a misguided way of trying to protect ourselves, although it actually serves to help no one.
Thankfully, I guess my anxiety is mild and I have learnt to talk myself down, and for the most part I can do it.
Dress from The White Company, new Boots from Michael Kors...thank you Gunwharf Quays...hahahahaha
It looks a very plain dress in this photo but it’s actually very nice in real life. Very comfortable and the inside material is silky so it glides over you as you move. It feels lovely on. The only downside was cuffs tie up into bows and they kept coming undone and dangling in the food on the table, I’m a great dinner companion whilst I drip soy sauce everywhere. Hahahahaha
I’ve been favouring dresses at the moment but I do wear trousers, I think dresses just help to make you feel confident and helps aliveate leakage stress and worry, especially for food consumption.
I loved the detail on the heel and were a total bargain.
Then Saturday night was a very big night out. We had hijacked a night out my cousin and her husband had mentioned. It sounded too good to miss out on.
We saw the movie Home Alone, at The Royal Albert Hall accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing the music, and a choir singing Christmas carols part.
We bought hospitality tickets which meant we had a beautiful function room to relax in before hand with some of the best food I’ve ever had in hospitality.
Stress levels were on overdrive prior to this for fear of getting sick and not being able to go and then respectively while I was there worrying about picking something up! I know it’s ridiculous, isn’t it.
I looked around the room and was quite envious of all the people laughing, relaxing and generally having a great time while I sit there fretting. But I give myself a bit of credit that I was there at all. I take my wins where I can. And my god, this was a huge win!
We had a fabulous night, the movie and music was so so good. I haven’t seen Home Alone in years, I’d forgotten most of it so it was absolutely brilliant.
It’s always a pleasure to meet up with my baby cousin Kerrie and her husband Si. He’s the culture vulture who came across the event to start with so we owe him big time. He says it’s because he’s a friend of the arts but it’s more likely he reads Time out magazine on the train home from work. Hahahahaha.
Jacket from Hobbs, Top from Karen Millen, Leggings from Next, Boots from Tory Burch, Bag from Christian Dior.
I treated myself to this jacket and top...well, it is Christmas. In all honesty I wasn’t sure if it would look as good as I had hoped as I have a massive arse. But I was pleasantly surprised that I did like what I saw in the mirror.
Our own little sitting room for the best food I’ve had in hospitality ever!! One of the goodies they brought round was a mini Christmas dinner in a bowl. Errrr Yes please! Hahahahaha
I made such an effort with my outfit I beautifully coordinated with the Christmas tree at The Royal Albert Hall.
The hospitality part was so good they even had Santa come round and chat with us. And this one was actually the REAL Santa, he had a Scandi accent and everything.
I’ve never been in to The RAH before but it is a spectacular building. Absolutely stunning. And the chairs swivel which I very much enjoyed, I’m so very easily pleased. Hahahahaha
All in all I’m so glad we booked it, so very glad we went. Yes I was drowning in anti bac (which is probably worse for you than germs at a certain point of saturation).
Everything went to plan. The whole evening was magical.
I had considered changing my bag in the carpark where we left the car but it wasn’t leaking smell so I left well enough alone. That too paid off as I had no problems at all while I was out bearing in mind how much I ate whilst wearing tight leggings.
I’d like to just take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very merry, peaceful and joyous Christmas. Thank you for reading my ramblings. Thank you for your kind messages. I am humbled by them. Just thank you thank you thank you. I appreciate you all.
Much love and merry Christmas. xx