At this present moment, my city is celebrating Nuit Blanche, an annual all night arts festival. There are free parties and exhibits at museums and art galleries, public art, short films shown on street corners, even a “bike crawl” to each event… but I’m not there, I’m here at home. I’m feeling the effects of an incredibly busy month with little down time and in the last week, little energy to cook and eat as healthy as I do regularly. I’m not feeling sick, but I’m tired, craving a quiet space and the permission to be slow. I want to be out there tonight, but my Lupus “spidey” sense is tingling. I can feel that I am nearing my “danger zone,” still far away enough to feel fine, but I’ve crossed that line enough to know that one night out (or in) can make all the difference. On one hand, I feel happy that I’m finally sensing my limits intuitively, that I have cultivated a list of preventative measures that has, so far, kept serious Lupus symptoms at bay, but even after 11 years of saying no, it never gets easier to miss out. I try to remember that in my situation, the real freedom is not living without restriction, it’s in the choices that ensure I have a say in the quality of my life. So, as I continue to learn the illusive, magic formula of life balance, I feel content enjoying my quiet and restful night at home. And really, there’s nothing like a cup of tea and a book in bed… and there’s always another night on the town.