Christmas · Running

The Battery Lesson

Once upon a sunny afternoon, I got into my car and turned my key in the ignition, ready to head home and start the evening.

Except nothing happened. The car wouldn’t start.

After jumping it and taking it to a service shop, the diagnosis was: dead battery. Dead with a capital D. Thankfully, it didn’t take long to replace, and zippity-do-da, I was on my way with a greater appreciation for oft-overlooked things like car batteries.

Coincidently (or not?), the battery on my favorite flashlight — the one I use when I walk the dog in early-morning darkness — died that same morning.

So, not surprisingly, I have batteries on the brain.

Just as cars, flashlights, and various other devices have batteries that diminish over time, we have batteries that diminish over time. And yes, this IS officially “the most wonderful time of the year”…but it can also be the time of year that drains our batteries the most.

Our physical batteries — health, stamina, etc. — take a hit from all sides: Flu season!  Eating too much! Not eating enough! Lack of exercise! Too much exercise (for heaven’s sake, don’t do one of those run streaks if your body’s not used to it)! Lack of sleep! The perils of putting up Christmas lights!

The list goes on.

Our mental/emotional batteries take a hit, too. We come back from eating and relaxing over Thanksgiving to BOOM! trying to do everything, be everything, and show off our most festive selves everrrr!

Don’t get me wrong. I like this time of year. I love it. I even love the word “festive.” But everyone has their limit. And I don’t intend to plow through mine, ending up exhausted and leaving stressed-out messes in my wake.

This holiday season, I’m going to be better about recharging my batteries. All the drain needs to be balanced out.

I’m going to send out cards and a newsletter not because my family has the most glamorous photos or the wackiest 2016 stories, but because sharing this stuff with people I rarely see anymore makes me happy. Battery recharge.

I’m going to go running not to burn off calories, but to breathe fresh air and to remind myself that it may be cold and dark outside, but I’m still strong and healthy. Battery recharge.

I’m going to put decorations up not because my neighbor does it, or because I’m trying to mimic Clark Griswold, but because I want to celebrate my own home and fill it with as much joy as possible. You guessed it: battery recharge.

I’m NOT going to sweat the fact that my runs aren’t the longest, or my cookies don’t look like magazine covers, or my gift-wrapping isn’t perfectly creased. Shoot, I might not even make cookies.

Maybe it’s age. Maybe it’s being married to a wonderfully laid-back Texan, or maybe my “go easier on myself” project is (!) starting to work, but I’m realizing that this stuff just. Does not. Matter.

Here’s to avoiding dead batteries.

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