Between Wednesday evening and Monday morning–just under 5 days, I spent time in two states, two time zones, and five cities participating in six events–one of them a multi-day experience.

Which is the long way of saying that the last few days have been busy.  Busy enough to have made this trip a decision.  A decision about how much pain I was willing to court and about how I want to live my life.

Friday morning the group I was with wound up discussing a scenario of tension between the demands of being healthy and the desire to live life.  I’d love to have both good health and the ability to pattern my life in the manner I want.  I don’t.  (And I would argue that none of us really do.)  I live in a body that will experience pain if I try to do too much.  I consider myself lucky to know about where that line lies.  And sometimes I choose to push and bring extra pain meds.  And sometimes I choose not to push and to be pain free.  There’s no magic formula.  I try to balance the life I want against what I expect the physical costs of extreme activity to be.

I’m still happy with the choice I made about those 114 hours of my life.  In exchange for a series of mild headaches, which are now over, I got to do several things which are important to me and which will and should enable me to do more similar things.

It was never my intention to stack these days and their events against my pain levels.  It just happened in response to a series of events beyond my control.  And, as I was unwilling to pull out of most of these commitments, I played the balance game.  (There was another commitment which was more optional and which I did not attend.)

Sleep is very important.  And I worked hard to make sure that I got enough.  But, and this may sound odd to some of you, it’s only been about a year and a half since my last surgery, a year and a couple of months since my last major medical procedure, and less than a year since The Headache miraculously ceased.  So my body has not been out of stress for very long.  A lot of my energy still goes toward healing and moving.  I don’t have a big reserve to lean on.  There was a time when I could have done a trip like this, unpacked, gotten a good night of sleep, and started playing catch-up.  And someday, I hope and trust, there will be again.  This time, in this season of my life, it took two good nights of sleep and the extra day in between.