So, given that there's Stuff Going On tomorrow, I was meant to be super-resting today. As in, do nothing. No clean dishes? Use the paper plates and plastic cups left over from my birthday. Benefit renewal forms need filling? It'll wait, there's another week before I have to send it off. Flat is untidy? Not important, no one is coming round anyway because today is scheduled as a Total Rest Day. Today was meant to involve me taking it really easy.
Of course, it never works out like that, does it?
First thing, I wanted a bath. I very probably needed a bath. But I was having a worse-than-average day for movement and co-ordination and getting in and out of the bath was going to cause some serious difficulties. Eventually I phoned mum, and asked if I could come and use her shower (which has a seat and grab-rails) at some point that day. Despite the energy needed to walk to her house, it's a lot safer to use her shower than my bath, and to be in a house with someone checking on me rather than in my flat on my own.
Once I'd showered, it would have been silly to walk home with wet hair and mum had far too much to be getting on with for me to want to ask her to dry it for me. So I sat with a cup of tea and tried to get some energy back. So far so rest-y. But then my sister turned up.
Some of you know my sister. She talks. Incessantly. Loudly. Too fast. High-pitched and with a constant rising inflection. She repeats herself, um, repeatedly. She hates the idea of anyone else being the leader of a conversation. She hates the idea of two people having a conversation that she isn't part of. She hates people talking about other people who she does not know (although she does this to everyone else). If you leave the room to escape while she is talking, she will follow you. If another person enters the room, she'll go over everything she's already said for their benefit. And heaven help you should you decide to interject an opinion of your own...
Despite being repeatedly told that my brain simply cannot cope with her loud, high, fast and never-ending babble, she still targets me with it. I can sit there clutching my head with tears running from my eyes and she still won't stop, or even slow down a little. To compound the situation, my mother has made a plea for the two of us to make an effort to "get along" over Christmas.
So, despite every part of my brain and body begging me to lock myself in the bathroom and stuff soap in my ears until the Incredible Talking Machine found another target, I offered to help her wrap her last couple of presents. Luckily, it's rare these days for me to be able to remember any of the crap she comes out with and now, nine hours later, the only real effect is that I am revelling in the blessed peace and quiet that only a decent set of earplugs can bestow, and *really* appreciating it.
I found myself filled with a certain dread about having to contend with her again tomorrow morning. My hope was that when she goes out tonight to celebrate Christmas Eve, she drinks enough to get a hangover and want to be very, very quiet. But a nice long nap saw me right again, plus I've equipped my handbag for tomorrow with the guarantees for the electrical gifts, a couple of pairs of earplugs, and my fully-charged pocket PC in case I do find myself having to take refuge in the bathroom. I can deal with just about anything with enough forward planning.
Sister dealt with, the remainder of my day has been nice and restful. I turned on the TV for the Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College Chapel which is lovely and Christmassy. Unfortunately I could only watch about ten minutes before I had to turn it off again, but it made me feel a lot more full of goodwill to all mankind and all that sort of thing. Well, it's that or I've accidentally taken a double dose of painkillers. Either way, life is good.