Healing does take time and the season is indeed traumatic for many of us, Shannon Ashley. Christmas is when my first marriage ended after my ex-husband threw the tree across the room many, many years ago.

So every year I think about that and I chuckle inside because he was so puerile. (He also kicked a hole in the wall once!) No risk of airborne tree now as we’ve only been able to afford one twice in the five years I’ve lived in the U.S.

Holidays are no fun when you’re cash-strapped and ill. I wish you greater ease with your tooth, this is one seriously unbearable and depressing issue. As for taking care of yourself, I’m just as bad at it as you are, always working because I’m trying to make my airfare to Europe so I can go support my father as my stepmom undergoes chemo for Stage IV breast cancer. This literally occupies my every waking hour.

Here’s a little tip though: the first act of self-preservation is making a cup of tea (or coffee, or hot chocolate, or whatever hot beverage you enjoy). It forces you to pause, gather yourself, inhale. The Brits have been onto this since times immemorial and they’re clearly not wrong. :-) xo

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