I have a gremlin… And he is both constant and transient. The constant is that I have named him Martrucio and transiently, he takes different forms at different times. He can be just like a mangy dog, tagging at my heels and tripping me over. Sometimes he is a dark cloud floating above my head, obfuscating my positive view of the world with his heavy rainy presence. He manifests in many ways, not least inhabiting my head when I’m vulnerably tired or laid low by life in some way.
Regardless of his form, he is most definitely dogging me, this gremlin of mine. He is having so much evil fun, chipping and smashing and dashing my planned Christmas happiness into multifarious sharp shards of sadness.
What can I tell you – at this time I feel exhausted, and in this state he finds me a particularly easy target. He trips me up; makes me drop and break things; muzzles my memory and somehow, shortens my tolerance and temper.
He gets me this gremlin – he knows that I like to plan and organise and make my Christmas as easy and as stress free as possible. But he is always determined to find a chink in my organised armour and seek to turn it into a long, vicious crack…
As usual I’ve planned my Christmas through from start to finish and I know that this includes working around my gremlin. I know of old, that Gremlins love Christmas – they feed gluttonously off the combined combustible stress of the crescendo to Christmas Day. Yes, they like nothing better than to shorten tempers and lengthen impatience – it makes them laugh loudly and dance with undisguised glee.
So working up to Christmas I am tired and feeling under the yuletide weather. My body has had enough of the dark winter and intermittent wassailing. It’s rebelling – it rejects and reacts to nearly every meal I eat. I cut back and add in natural nutrients, fruit, vege and supplements, but still this moon maiden swells and doubles up in gastric discomfort. It’s hardly fair, but such is (my) life and I just have to keep taking care of myself until it passes. I am sure that this too shall most definitely pass.
So I may be tired and even testy, but I’m aware of it and I work with it and make sure I rest and plan – so true to form I have a gorgeous text book time mapped out this coming Christmas tide. I have places to go and friends to hug. Even my tiredness can bear all this activity, if it’s about socialising and fun.
But gremlins don’t relish this and so they gang together to coerce and spoil our best laid plans…
I had it all worked out, months ago. I arranged to meet my two best friends on the Saturday before Christmas. A restaurant table was booked and also tickets bought to go carol singing at a local stately home. The perfect Hallmark girlie Christmas outing…
Well when the day finally dawned, the gremlins I have to say, had gone all out to put the kibosh on our precious night out. I awoke to find my phone riddled with messages: One friend’s mother had had a near fatal stroke and the other’s daughter was very sick and needed to go to hospital too.
“Well we won’t be carol singing tonight then…” I thought. I know these two gorgeous girlfriends of mine from old and they would of course be worried and needing to take care of their kin.
So I got out of my tired bed and I checked in on each of them – there was nothing I could do to support them at that moment. But then I was left alone with my gremlin. And in hindsight, I realise that I actually sought his company out. And sure enough, he soon started to sing to me – not carols, but dirges of woe:
“So you’re alone at Christmas then. No support. No attention. No children. No one’s priority. Parents gone. No one to care for and no one to care for you…”
I felt sad. My expectations for the perfect Hallmark Christmas experience had disintegrated into ashes, in a matter of mere minutes. Instead of sisterly sharing, I was now solo.
So I wallowed in the murky mud that Martrucio threw at me. It was sticky and dark mud – hard to see through and even harder to wash off.
Yet the Christmas spirit was still inside of me and I changed my gremlin-ated mind and determined to push him aside… My brain ticked over… I wondered if I could share my planned Hallmark experience with someone else. Yet all of the ‘someone else’s’ in my life were busy on a Saturday so close to Christmas. Well fair enough – I hadn’t really pinned my hopes on that option any way.
So – what next? “How can this situation be turned on its’ head?” I wondered.
So then it came to me – I would pay my Christmas experience forward…
Quickly I went onto Facebook and with about 3 hours to go, made the following post:
“I have 3 tickets for carol singing at Warwick Castle to give away for the first taker. My free Christmas gift to whoever would enjoy them! Message me if you would like them and are able to collect…”
Very quickly there was a handful of people posting their interest. I just wanted the tickets to be on their way, so as far as I was concerned – fate and the principle of ‘first come, first served’ would decide who they went to.
A little while later there was a knock at my front door. I grabbed the tickets and opened the door to a bright young woman with a radiant smile. “A very Happy Christmas to you” I said and handed the tickets over. “And to you too,” she said, handing me back a bottle of mulled wine in a festive Christmas bag, “and thank you so much!” As it turned out, she was newly married and she and her husband were now going to have a festive night out – it would be their first Christmas together.
When she left, I looked at her Facebook timeline, which was filled with wedding pictures of a young, smiling and radiant couple.
My sadness had suddenly been replaced by a smile. I’d done it – I now felt that some good had come out of this strangest of doubly disastrous days.
Instead of warbling carols, my evening was then spent industriously getting the steal on my Christmas preparations, as I sat and wrapped a myriad of presents, accompanied by soppy Christmas films, blaring away in the background.
I checked on my friends again. All was as well as it could be for them. There I was in my own, but giving thanks for my health and happiness – all wrapped up in my wrapping and having a truly festive time.
And as for my gremlin – Martrucio… well – he was nowhere to be seen…
Merry Christmas to me then!
And, dear reader, may your gremlins be banished and your Christmas fill you with love, laughter and light this year…
With warmest wishes,
Sandra Peachey: Blogger and Banisher of Gremlins
I’m also variously known as:
* The Director of LifeWork Consultancy & Coaching;
* The Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-Factor. The perfect Christmas gift – you can buy them both on Amazon (in paperback or Kindle) by clicking on the hyperlinks above or else on most bookseller websites around the globe. Your local bookshop may even sell them, or you can ask them nicely to order them in and stock them high;
* A 2015 International Book Awards Finalist, in the Women’s Issues Category;
* The Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award in 2013;
* As being shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards 2014, also nominated in 2012 & 2013; and
* Being nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award in 2015.