House Guests. Until recently, the phrase used to fill me with actual fear and dread. For several years I wasn’t coping at all well (health-wise), and the thought of having to be hospitable and sociable was scary. I was barely getting through the day just looking after myself, and our two pets. Having to plan and organise and survive a visit, was just way too much for me.
Recently, a friend wrote a post about the lengths we go to to be hospitable. While I also get into a cleaning, tidying up and shopping frenzy, it’s usually very necessary in our case. The house isn’t ever that bad that it has to be declared a bio-hazard zone, but having an incentive to clean and tidy up is always a good thing. Not only do we then have a cleaner and tidier house for us, but we actually have food in the house. Our usual strategy being to buy as we need.
This past month we have had two separate visits by family members. The thing I found most difficult was not getting ready for the visit, but the visit itself. I’ve found my health problems still impact on how good a hostess I can be.
We live in a very scenic part of South Africa. In previous years I would (with Willie’s help) show people around our area, and do the “tourist thing”. I was also far more sociable. Now if we have visitors, they have to show themselves around, and be prepared to entertain themselves in the evenings as I need to go to bed really early. Because I usually take more medication when we have visitors (to be able to keep pain levels to a minimum, and be reasonably sociable and cheerful), I’m often drowsy and need to nap a lot.
After our second visitor left on Monday, I completely crashed. I felt shattered. Exhausted and headachy. That “hit by a bus” feeling – just like I had a very bad case of the flu. But it was worth it. Being able to have visitors again, and catching up on all the family news was great for me mentally. I feel like I’ve been in an isolation bubble for the last couple of years, and that I’m finally rejoining the real world.