Power is not something I used to pay much attention to beyond ensuring that when I turned on a light switch, the light came on. If the power went out, I could become somewhat fixated on waiting for its return, but it certainly wasn't foremost in my mind.
Fast forward several years toss in chronic illness, and suddenly power is something I consider regularly. No, I'm not talking about the spoon theory, which succinctly explains the limited amount of energy a person has.
I'm talking about power, which is energy, but also more. Power is the permission or the ability to do what is right for you. Power, during this time of year, is the ability to say no to parties, outings, and other demands to hang out with people when I am too tired, too sick, or don't want to deal with germs.
This time of year, people anticipate that I will attend gatherings, no questions asked. If I say no, people feel entitled to an explanation. Of course, there is also a fear that comes with these invitations. That fear is the fear of missing out on things my friends will be doing.
During this time of year, I cloak myself in the power of self-care. There is power in politely declining invitations with: Sorry, I have prior commitments. There is a power in reminding yourself that missing a party isn't the same as missing time with your friends.
So drop any guilt you have when you decline because you are too tired, or don't want to explain things. Drop the fear of missing out, knowing that you will catch up and have a great time with your friends when you are ready. Embrace the power of putting yourself and your well-being first.