Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Getting thru the holidays, one glass at a time

When times are stressful, I go to the cupboard and pull out a glass. I have clear glasses, colored glasses, frosted glasses. They are tall, short, round, squared. Some are smooth, others bumpy. My favorites by far have long elegant stems.

There is nothing that will make me feel more pampered than sitting in my dining room, surrounded by the things I love. I listen to some piped in music - when I want to feel relaxed I love classical, or even the old standards. Soft jazz is nice for a change too sometimes. Sometimes I use one of the CD's of nature sounds I have. I can take a swig, and look out my window and see my beautiful horses grazing just beyond my door. When I'm feeling stressed or just not feeling good, these are the things that comfort me.

So I go to the cupboard and choose a lovely piece of stemware, then to the refrigerator and pour myself a long, tall glass and sit down somewhere to enjoy the delightful taste as I swirl the liquid round and round.

I'm guessing you might by now have visions of me sitting contentedly drinking a lovely glass of Chardonay... or maybe a light Rose', but I'm not...

Photo copyright E Schnakenberg 2010

You see, I have this thing against water. I hate it, but it is so incredibly vital to me - a Migraineur and someone with a tanked immune system and Sjogren's Syndrome, and who gets frequent kidney stones. Aaaaaahh, but I love my pretty goblets. So, they have become a useful tool to get me through the holidays. I use them to fake myself into drinking lots of water, when the reality is that I would rather be drinking almost anything BUT the clear, boring tepid stuff.

I'm not a rich person, but I do have a nice collection of goblets. My kids shake their heads. My hubs chuckles as he turns away. None of them understand my fascination with stemware. That's okay.

Hydration is the key to staying healthy. Migraines can be triggered by forgetting to drink. Kidney stones grow in an environment in which the body is in a perpetual state of dehydration, and passing one without copious amounts of water is nearly impossible. Our immune systems need a constant intake of water to flush out toxins and the discarded cells that our lymphatic (trash) system accumulates every day. Sjogren's Syndrome is an autoimmune disease in which the moisture producing glands of the body are slowly destroyed by the very antibodies that are supposed to help us, and dryness is a constant war that is waged both day and night. So, you see I need water very badly.

All of us with chronic illness need to find ways to make unpleasant daily things seem like a true pleasure. To me, drinking water - for any reason - is unpleasant, but I've adapted to the point that I actually enjoy it sometimes.

Do you have stemware that you use even occasionally to make drinking water seem like less of a chore?

One needn't be rich to own beautiful stemware. I've even been known to buy a few from the Dollar Tree or local dollar store - that's right, they're a whole buck each! Then I get creative and sometimes engrave them, or add a little acid etch to them for a frosted look - my own unique creations. Some people make their experience fun when they paint their goblets with special glass paints found at most Michael's or Hobby Lobby. The paint is baked onto your stemware to make them permanent and dishwasher safe.

Fun rings can be made or purchased to put around the stem to identify the glass as yours. That's right - it's jewelry for your stemware - how can that be bad?!

So, I encourage my readers this month to buy one piece of stemware this month, and use it to try to make something mundane into a pleasure and something you look forward to. Paint it, frost it, decorate it, or just enjoy it plain, but USE it. Rehydrate yourself each day for better health...

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