Tag Archives: being poor at Christmas

Reclaiming My Power

There were several excellent prompts over at Mama Kat’s Writers’ Workshop this week, but I wanted to write about power. We all complain about not having enough of it, and I myself have sometimes felt I don’t have any at all. But it’s there, just waiting to be claimed!

The last several years have been very difficult for me. I’ve had several major surgeries and still have chronic pain. This led to me being unable to continue working and providing for my family, to depression, to a suicide attempt, to bankruptcy, and to very nearly losing our home. The stress has been monumental. Absolutely every aspect of my life felt out of my control.

But very slowly I’ve begun reclaiming my right to choose – reclaiming my power. I have the power to set the mood in my home. If I’m upbeat, forgiving, and grateful for small blessings my husband and son will follow suit. Sometimes it’s difficult, especially if the pain’s really bad or I just can’t get a looming financial or medical obstacle out of my mind. But it’s worth it to know I have the power to make their time at home happier.

I have the power to limit my exposure to negative people. There are people who drain my energy, and I really don’t have any to spare. So I spend my time, be it in person, on the phone, or online, with people who are positive – people with whom I’m in a mutually supportive relationship.

I’d always been a healthy person, so losing power over my own body started a vicious cycle of pain, fatigue, and weight gain. My blood pressure was out of control and I couldn’t even take care of my own house and yard, let alone exercise. I had to make two big changes to take back some power over my body. I underwent yet another surgery – gastric sleeve – to jump-start the weight loss. And I lowered my expectations. No, I’m never going to be able to run a 5K or do Zumba again. But I’m trying some modified yoga and pilates, and I’m eating much healthier. And the house and yard will just have to stay the guy version of clean until such time as I can pull the ivy off the house without spending the entire next day in bed. It’s within my power to change my definition of “clean enough”.

I don’t have the power I used to financially. It’s a simple fact. Before, if we needed car repairs or wanted a vacation I’d work overtime to earn the money for it. ┬áRight now the only way I can contribute to the family financially is to stay up-to-date on my wait for approval for disability payments (4 years, 9 months so far) and share Nerium products with as many people. I’m not setting the world on fire since most of my contact with people is via tablet or phone from my bed in my pajamas, but I have the power to make some contribution, and I expect that contribution to keep growing!

Right now, I’m concentrating on embracing the Christmas spirit even during dark times. My gift-giving budget is non-existent, and we won’t be doing any activities that cost money, but there will be candles in the windows and all our lovely old family ornaments on the tree. Nothing’s up yet, but we’ll get there! We’ll watch movies and play music, and pray for those less fortunate than us. I’m re-claiming the power to make Christmas magical and bring our family closer.


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