Today is Sunday. It is half past noon. There’s bluegrass playing on the radio and my husband is in the kitchen doing dishes. The kittens are wrestling happily on the floor. It’s a pleasant scene. I am completely exhausted.

John and I used to have frequent dinner parties. We entertained a lot. It is one of the things we had to give up for awhile after my cancer diagnosis.

In time, I was energetic enough to host family gatherings, first our daughter’s 15th birthday and later, Thanksgiving. Then we had a party for John’s co-workers.

This morning I realized that I have cooked a major meal every weekend for the past three weekends. First was Father’s Day, then hosting our friends Kurt, Linda, and their kids. Last night our friend, Robin and her son’s Michael and Nate visited from North Carolina. Robin is our daughter’s godmother. Michael, who is almost 22 years old, is our god son. We haven’t seen them in about 8 years. The visit was a big deal.

No wonder I’m exhausted! It was not so long ago that I was having trouble having enough stamina to track conversations with people. It was even less long ago that I was needed 12 hours of sleep per night.

I am pretty mindful of my stamina and energy levels. I honor my need for sleep better than most. But I still overdo it and today I need extra rest.

I was thinking that I need to be mindful of these things because I am more limited than I was in the past. However, after seeing a series of old photos of myself over the years taken in the past 15 years, I am starting to wonder.  When I compare them to recent photos I realize that I currently look a lot less tired and that I actually look healthier than I did in my 30’s and early 40’s.

I have some things to think about. I don’t want to go back to the years when I pushed myself to work harder at the sacrifice of my own self-care.

At this point, it’s not so much that I CAN’T do what I used to be able to do.

It’s that I WON’T do it.