See you later, nerves!

Published 4:06 am Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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I have always tended to think it was a shame to skip right over Thanksgiving, that truly American holiday, and the majestic beauty of fall. In the last few years when stores started putting out Christmas merchandise before November even got here, I almost cringed. But this year I have been hitting the stores scooping up the pretty Christmas decor almost as soon as they are out of the boxes. My home needs to be decorated to the max and ready by Dec. 7 for the Christmas Pilgrimage fundraiser of a local club.

Usually, I’ll buy a new baubles or two each year, but it has really been years since I did any major shopping for new decorations. When I had arthritis so severely, I truly didn’t feel like shopping or decorating the way I once did. In fact, I could only go to a store or two before the pain told me to head for home and my easy chair.

But this year I’ve shopped and shopped. I’ve climbed up and down ladders putting up decorations, removing them, and then trying them in another spot. I’ve called in several of my friends for a fresh pair of eyes, and borrowed some of their goodies too. It really takes a while to decorate a whole house, and I want things to look really special for the event.

I realized a day or two ago that I wasn’t having much fun. The thought of trying to make everything look beautiful wasn’t stressing me out. It was the idea of trying to imagine how others would view it.

What if they don’t like the way I decorate? They may even wonder why I was chosen to participate in the first place.

My insecurities began to get the best of me, and I felt like a version of my skinny, knobby-kneed 13-year-old self — just not the skinny part. I thought my junior high days were long gone, but I realized at least a little part of that girl still lived inside me. I didn’t like having her come to visit, but she seemed to want to hang around.

As I began to write today I realized how exciting it is to be able to shop until I find exactly what I’m looking for. I am now able to climb those ladders and tweak things until I’m happy with the results. What a blessing it is to have new bionic joints and a beautiful home that I can share with others. And what about the wonderful friends who are helping me to get ready?

I’m sure everyone won’t appreciate how much work and time I’ve put into trying to get ready for the pilgrimage, but many will love it. There are still mean girls out there even if they are all grown up, but so what? If I let my insecurities rule me I would never step out and try anything new, and that is not going to happen.

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at