Life has been busy lately. My apartment has become crowded. A guest has come to call. Although it is nice to have company, I do notice the toll it takes on my energy level. I have to take care of myself as well as ensure that the guest is reasonably comfortable. I don’t want be appear to be a horrible hostess, but I do need to keep my sanity. That means keeping some of my routine intact, such as taking naps when I am tired and reading for pleasure when I need a break from socializing. It is always a challenge for me to balance my own needs with the needs of others. First of all, I feel I have to either anticipate or ask others about their needs. Then I have to figure out how to fulfill them beyond what I normally do for myself. That can become very stressful and exhausting if I let it, and I do often let it. It seems impossible not to after a certain point. I wonder how my level of tolerance relates to others. Mine seems to be quite low. I ask myself if it’s because I am self-centered – more interested in satisfying my own needs than others’. Perhaps if I was more inclined to focus on other people’s needs and let mine go for a while, I might not feel so stressed emotionally. But then there could be a much more severe effect on my physical health in the long run. Is it possible to be honest and upfront with guests and set expectation perimeters? There seems to be an unwritten law that declares that option unacceptable – you just don’t DO that. At any rate, it all comes down to a question of balance between your own rights and the rights of another on your time, energy and resources. And this is one I am still working on, even though one of my goals for my new life is to be as authentic as possible and to speak my truth, preferably in a dignified and respectful manner. Impossible? Who knows, but I hope one day to find out!