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I’m so glad this week is over.  It’s been incredibly stressful, and both my physical and mental health have suffered.  I will admit that it got better over the last couple of days, which is good, because I couldn’t handle much more of the earlier part of this week.

It feels like I spent most of my waking hours from the middle of last week until Christmas Eve at work.  The customers were mostly great, but it got really aggravating to explain to people that no, we don’t have any more gift boxes, when they left off all their holiday shopping until the last two or three days before Christmas.  Of course, there will always be a few shoppers who go out of their way to be as unpleasant as possible, but I think that happens at any job where one is dealing with the public.  I feel like my anxiety makes it pretty exhausting to do my job on a day-to-day basis, but I’m fine once I come home and spend a little time recharging.  These last couple weeks, the extra stress of the holiday season made me feel like I was close to a complete nervous breakdown.  Some days I wasn’t even sure I’d taken my antidepressant.  Earlier this week I had a panic attack, which hasn’t happened since I got adjusted to my medication, and the worst part was that I had it at work.  I’m really thankful I’m not at work today–our big post-Christmas sale started early this morning, plus there would be Christmas returns–so here’s hoping it gets better.

I’m dealing with intense physical pain right now too.  I’m thinking my stupid Black Friday cold is turning into the most expensive medical problem I’ve had since I had my hernia operation at the age of 6.  Early this week, I started to experience pain in the right side of my ribs.  At the time, I figured it could be a pulled muscle from coughing so much (even once the bad coughing from the bronchitis cleared up, I was still having periodic coughing fits).  It’s intensified over the past two days or so, and the pain has spread to my right shoulder and back.  I sneezed at work the day before yesterday and almost blacked out because the pain was so intense.  Honestly, I’m not even sure how I got through my shift today; I couldn’t do much with my right arm and bending/stooping/lifting things was very difficult.  Dallas’ mom thinks it sounds like when she had pleurisy, so she told me if it was still bad the day after Christmas to go to the doctor.  It’s still painful, but not nearly as painful as it was, so I’m not going.

Our little family unit exchanged Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve.  Dallas’ mom loves her new pajamas.  His dad seemed very pleased with his Aubie calendar.  Dallas’ last Christmas present from me was a tub of LUSH’s Cosmetic Lad (he hates shaving his face down to the skin because he says it irritates his skin, and I hate when he doesn’t do it because it’s scratchy and irritates my skin).  Dallas got me a pair of purple Keds (in addition to my plane ticket, because he wanted me to have something to unwrap) and his parents gave me some spending money for our trip.

Yesterday we got up bright and early and headed out to tend to the boarders at Dallas’ dad’s clinic, then took the long drive to the little town of Millen, Georgia, where Dallas’ mom grew up.  We had a good time eating dinner with his aunt, uncle, and cousins, then we got to go see the house Dallas’ mom and aunt grew up in.  After his grandparents died, his aunt and uncle rented it out to a succession of tenants, but it came vacant and they decided to do some renovations, and now his cousin Mary Alice will move in there with her soon-to-be husband, Tyler, after they get married in June.  I like what they’ve done with the place.  It still needs a lot of work (the house was built in 1919 and still has the original windows, which are very drafty) but I think it’ll be a good first home for them.  I honestly don’t know how Dallas’ grandparents raised three daughters in that house.  It is tiny.  There are only two bedrooms and the second one seems almost like an afterthought.

Today I slept in (yay!), got up just before 9, took my medicine, and got on LUSH’s website for their Boxing Day sale.  It’s safe to say I’m gonna smell like Christmas for the next several months, because their Christmas products were buy one, get one free.  I ended up with four bottles of body wash.  I’m going to spend the rest of the day cleaning and washing laundry, because I go back to work tomorrow.  For the most part, we’ll be back to our regular hours, so there won’t be any more of this having to be at work for 6:45 am or getting home close to 1 in the morning.  I have to work on New Year’s Day, but it’s from 2-8 pm so it shouldn’t be that bad.

Soon we’ll have to think about starting to pack for London.  We leave a week from this coming Monday.  I’m a little nervous about flying (to have never been on a plane before and then have my first trip be a long transatlantic flight is a bit daunting) but so excited about getting to see a new city.  Since this is a work trip for Dallas, we’re not going to have time to go to any other cities.  I’m going to make the most of the time I’ve got there (I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time while he’s in conference sessions) and try to see and photograph as much as I can.

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