It’s not coping – It’s surviving!

Posted on November 22nd, 2008 by Purple13

What’s your survival strategy? No not the one where you fill 20 black bin liners with soil from the garden, pile them around the kitchen able and climb inside and sit with a tin of baked beans for a month, until help arrives (in the event of a nuclear attack). No, I’m talking about survival of everyday life.

The problem is everybody always thinks their problems are more severe than anyone else’s, so much more un-surmountable, so much more on the brink of meltdown.

Take us at the moment. Mandy’s very busy with her business here in the UK- Fabulous Photo Gifts – as we head into a frantic 3 weeks of Christmas shopping before last orders are called. In my day job – the ‘ecomonic climate’ means we’re exploring ever more creative ways to get business which means working much more than the 9 to 5…..

Amongst all of this are 5 great kids, trying to revise for exams, attend drama rehearsals, Christmas performances and visit their friends.

Did I mention the 4 cats and a dog that also demand their share of time?

And on top of all of that, we’re expected to keep up with reality TV shows like ‘I’m a celebrity – get me out of here” and the “X factor”. (actually the latter is a good excuse to down pc’s and take an evening off).

Heading for meltdown? At times it feels like it. Of late our daily routine means me getting up at 6.30am and both of us not getting to bed until past midnight.

It’s easy to be cynical and think well that’s the life they’ve chosen etc, or if you don’t like it – change it. We’re back to that ‘my problem is always worse than yours’ syndrome again I suppose.


We’re working on a plan to stick to the speed limits rather than face a fine for speeding, we’re taking more scenic routes rather than the fastest route and we’re traveling light with just the bear essentials rather than lugging caseloads of stuff around with us.

Travel plans have become more spontaneous and we’re actually stopping to admire the view (where it’s safe to pull over of course). We enjoy having to stop for old ladies crossing the road and waving out fellow motorists who’ve been waiting ages to pull out.

Christmas always gives the impression of being a more than usual hectic time for adults – so what’s your survival strategy? Sit in the dark and wait it out (with a tin of beans) or wind down the window of life and take a good sniff? Do tell how you’re taking (or planning to) take your foot of the gas pedal.

(apologies if I don’t reply to each and every comment – not my style you know but i could just be stuck in a traffic jam someplace)

12 Responses to “It’s not coping – It’s surviving!”

  1. Arvind says:

    My survival strategy around Xmas time is not to celebrate Xmas with lots of presents etc.

    I have never enjoyed going out shopping so at a stroke my life is already much simpler. I will however enjoy the parties but will be selective which ones I go to and also who with.

    We all seem so pressured at this time of the year to do something and the marketing messages are all around us about the latest gadgets etc. I seem to have become immune to this – and having recently got rid of my TV set, I have removed one less distraction from my life.

    To be survival is about simplicity and being selective about what I do and who with.

    Being single and having no kids nor pets probably helps too :-)

  2. Lib says:

    Go with the flow and try not to do everything.

    I’ve learnt hugely from last year, mega busy for the whole of December and completely burnt out when it comes to January, a time when you’re supposed to be refreshed and ready for the year ahead.

    Instead I feel like I’ve been playing catch up all year.

    I shall be taking it easy this year and truly relaxing. This is the first time in a long time that I’m truly looking forward to Christmas and I think its because of how I’m approaching it.

    Its all about the family this year and I cannot wait. I’m sure I’ll feel differently come boxing day.

  3. I really never think of life as survival. It is more how do I want to approach this or it is managing (sometimes coping or getting through) what comes up. This doesn’t mean that I don’t feel pressured and overwhelmed, but since I became ill, my whole perspective on what is important and what isn’t has changed. So, although my illness has my anxiety in hyperdrive, the other things are cruising or just don’t get attended to.

    In terms of the holidays, I have and am still learning that I need to take care of me first and not go by what is expected by others, what is expected by myself (I’m the toughest), not what I think I should do, not what is going to please some one else. Instead, I have to (quite literally) focus on what I can realistically handle and what I want to handle. It has put me in control by making thoughtful decision rather than reacting to things. It helps me to be calmer. You know somewhere it became okay for me not to make 20 dozen cookies and candy and just purchase it except for the English Toffee because mine will melt in your mouth and not stick in your teeth at all. But, sometimes I’m not up for it. If someone complains that I didn’t make it, yes it bothers me. However, now I become angry instead of feeling guilty. It is like ask, don’t expect and you know, you could make it yourself. (hee hee, but it wouldn’t be as good). My job for the last 25 years has been the baking and candies…so it is good!!! I miss it…one day, I’ll have the energy, but not that much!!! Now, I want one of my homemade cookies!!!

  4. Emma says:

    When everything piles in on me, I ask myself three questions.

    Will this matter tomorrow?
    Will this matter in 6 months?
    Will this matter in the next few years?

    It help me put things into perspective and sort out what is really important and what will effect my life in the long term. It has worked so far.

    That and trust that everything is working out exactly a it should and there are lessons in everything. Not s easy to do sometimes, and if I managed to keep focused on this, it helps me through life!

  5. Gareth in Thailand says:

    Since 2003 its been hard to gear up to Christmas for the opposite reason as I was living in Asia. In Changchun in China they simply didn’t do Christmas. Here in Thailand its very similar with little in the way of Christmas on display but even worse its not cold and very sunny!
    I will be cooking Christmas dinner this year as my borther and his family will be here but I think nit might be Lobster and red Snapper rather than Turkey. Then boxing day its off to Borocay in the Philippines until the new year.
    To be honest I like it much better, none of the bollocks until the actual day, much more relaxing.

    As for celebrity big brother dancing on ice in the jungle, I never watched them even when I was in the UK.

  6. A/C says:

    the most irritating part of Christmas for me at least is all those so organised folks who have their shopping finished by the end of November.. seriously the place is full of them… arghhhh

    I refuse to christmas shop until after the 1st of Dec… thats Moppets B’Day.. so in the interest of fairness no Christmas things are done till after that… no decorations, no shopping etc…..

    But come the 2nd Dec.. I go into overdrive, online shopping and the about 2 weeks into Dec Its to shops….

    since all but Moppet have now left home.. its very quiet, just the 3 of us.. we are hoping to go back to the mainland after New Years for a visit….
    We will be probably on the road this year we have been invited to Christmas Dinner with friends, so that will make a nice change.. lol…

    Christmas BBQ on the Beach… yippeeeee….

    Shopping done, food sorted… all finished .. Christmas Eve.. lol

  7. Jim says:

    Saw on UK’s SKY news earlier that the xmas sales have started in the UK!!

    It used to be the boxing day stampede but not any more…

    How is xmas for your gift wise this year Purple – are you feeling the pinch?

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