Over Cape Cod Weekend, Wanting To Do Everything

My sister and brother-in-law were away and had kindly offered me their Wellfleet, Cape Cod, vacation house for a week in July. But my three children could only stay from a Thursday through Sunday, so I was determined to squeeze everything in. My two little grandchildren, 4 and 6, were also there, as was my daughter’s boyfriend. It was going to be great to see everyone and to do all the things we love to do on Cape Cod.

I’m 12 years “out” as they say, from my fourth stem cell transplant. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that I was deathly ill after it and spent almost four months in the hospital. I don’t ration my energy as I did in the beginning. I do still try to listen to my body, which I did, sort of, over the long weekend, but if you bear with me through the travelogue, you will see that, oddly, I regretted it and then straightened myself out.

A busy and beautiful day

Saturday promised to be busy. My sons, Ben and Joe, wanted to go in the evening to Orleans, about half an hour away, to see a Cape Cod baseball league game. The league showcases the talents of some of the best college baseball players. I said I would decide later in the day if I would join them. First things first: I started off the day with a three-and-a-half-mile run along the water. I always feel better when I get my run in.

For beach time and lunch, we planned to go to a place we all love: The Beachcomber, the only oceanfront restaurant on Cape Cod. It’s always hopping there. My daughter and her beau said they would go first to try to get a table. Parking was always tight, but it got even harder since torrential downpours washed away part of the parking lot a few years ago. Katie and Jesse were lucky to get a spot. Next, I followed with Ben and the kids in one car, and Joe went in the other. But when we got there, the parking lot was full. I walked down the long sand driveway with the kids, and Ben went off to try to park at the next beach, Whitecrest, nine-tenths of a mile away. Joe also parked at the other beach. They said they would walk back to us. I doubted the plan, but it worked.

Katie and Jesse and I got a table with the kids, and the other two joined us before too long. After lunch, we went down to the beach and jumped in the waves. I don’t swim in the ocean too much anymore, feeling safer in the calmer waves of the Bay. Plus on the beachside in Wellfleet, there is a shark problem. (My daughter understandably got upset with me one day when a wave knocked me down and she had a bystander woman had to pick me up because I couldn’t get up by myself.) But on this day, it was calm enough for me to do it. We didn’t go too far. It felt so great to float on my back and swim a little.

We walked along the beach to the other parking lot. It was such a beautiful day. The little grandkids didn’t complain and moved right along.

Wishing I could do everything

Back at the house, Ben, Joe, and the grandkids got ready for the game. Katie and Jesse got ready to go in the other direction, to Provincetown, for a drink. I could have done either. But I was tired! And the living room floor was a mess of toys. I thought I should stay behind and clean up and rest. So that’s what I did. But when everyone came back and said what a good time they had, I suffered a major attack of ROMO. You probably know what FOMO is – fear of missing out. I made up ROMO. It is FOMO in hindsight – regret over missing out.

I told my daughter that I knew I had to watch my energy but regretted missing out. She said I made the right decision. Plus, the next day, I would have to drive all the way home by myself, a trip of about four hours at a minimum. She congratulated me on not totally wearing myself out and said there would be a next time.

Don’t we all wish we could do everything? How do you know when to stop? And are you ever sorry you chose the common sense option?

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