Yesterday I had some friends over to my place. We all have chronic health issues, so we all understand how hard it is to do these get-togethers. Beforehand, talking on the phone, S mentioned how great it is that I had the energy to organize this. I pointed out that all I did to “organize” was send a few emails, and that by having it at my place, I didn’t need to expend the energy to go anywhere. See, she and the others thought I was being generous by offering to host, but really, I was saving up my energy by having them here. She laughed and appreciated my “sneakiness.”
Of course, this only works to a certain extent. I was still running around, opening and closing windows to adjust the temperature, getting food and water for people, cleaning up spilled food (I do love my dustbuster!) and generally trying to be a good hostess. By the end I was exhausted, despite having rested most of the previous day, and so I spent all day today in my apartment resting. It has only been in the last hour that I have begun to feel a bit less run down.
I was also resting today because I am going out tomorrow. Because of the weather, I wanted to be indoors. The friend I’m going out with suggested a few possibilities. I chose a small museum for which I can gain free admission through an old job perk. She’s thrilled to go, and I can save both money and energy. I’ve been there many times, so I know that it’s easy to navigate with lots of comfortable seating throughout the place, a great elevator, and small manageable rooms. Luckily, they change exhibits often, so it’ll still feel like a new experience for me. My friend is driving, so that saves me energy too. And with my handicapped parking placard, we should (I hope!) be able to park close to the entrance. She will buy food at the cafeteria and I will bring my own so that we can eat together there.
I have no plans for the following day, so if I’m tired then I’ll just stay home and rest.
This isn’t perfect, and I’m far from my energy goals, but it’s a start. By resting, hosting, and planning shorter activities, I can at least have a bit of a social life. It may not be the social life I used to have or the one I want to have, but I’m still incredibly grateful for every bit of it.
How do you manage your energy limitations? What do you do to maintain a social life? Please share any ideas you have!