Aches and Pains

Christmas comes for me as one of a hat-trick of celebrations – Christmas, New Year and birthday – which means that we all take a holiday and are in festive mode for about two weeks. My birthday is never a work day. Lucky me.

And for the first time, I actually, totally and completely enjoyed Christmas day 2018, feeling none of the usual feelings of dread, anxiety or unhappiness as used to dog my footsteps. Instead, it was simply a relaxed, enjoyable time. I even took great pleasure in cooking the Christmas lunch, and since I don’t much enjoy cooking, I count that as a spectacular achievement. Listening to one of my new CDs as I set the table, it also remember Christmas lunch as the last really handsome meal my mother ate: seconds of everything, and all with evident relish.

Only one thing I dreaded – sugar. I have a sweet tooth, as do most self-respecting citizens of Belgian extraction. But sugar makes me really ill these days. Not just a bit sore, but aching pains all night; the kind of pain that leaves me not just wondering, but knowing with a deadly certainty, that sugar simply isn’t worth the price I pay for consuming it.

So no more chocolate for me and few biscuits – in fact, none is better than one. (I’m that person who can keep a box of chocolates in the cupboard for weeks, but once I open it…!) And I’d much rather reach the stage where I lose the craving for sugar entirely. I know I can do this in about a month because, when I was young and we spent our holidays at home – where there was no sugar at all – and our terms at school – where sugary puddings were required eating – I would find myself utterly indifferent to sugar when I returned to school after the holidays. So it can be done.

My determination is, thankfully, holding. A moment’s reflection makes this a relatively easy choice. Would I exchange a moment of pleasure for three days in pain? No thanks!

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