Are You Fully Charged?

Are You Fully Charged?

Hi folks!

Happy New Year! Hope you’ve found some sparkle in your first week of the year.

100 percent chargedThis week’s inspiration comes from a small electronic device that rests beneath my right hand, just above the joystick of my power wheelchair: the battery indicator gauge.

It’s a useful device, one that keeps me informed about how much electrical charge is left in my wheelchair. It gives me power percentages as well as a color warning that ranges from green at 100% through yellow down to red that ends at 0%.

Rarely do I reach the red zone unless I’m super active or the overnight charger fails when the plug between my wheelchair and the battery charger is loose and prevents a solid charge. The next day the gauge reads higher, but not 100%–a terrible way to start the day because I know I have to find time to sit still by an electrical outlet and plug the wheelchair in. I can’t move while it’s being charged.

Not fun.

And so not me.

Once during the week before Christmas, I forgot to double-check the charger connection and I woke up to the dreaded yellow zone. I had to park, plug-in, and sit for ninety minutes at the Nordstrom Café while my nephew and his girlfriend shopped. Yes, I had lunch and left a very nice tip since I had to ask them to unplug their cordless vacuum to assist me in my predicament.

However, those mini-charges don’t last as long as the overnight charge, so a few hours later I was back in the yellow zone.

I’ve thought about and even envied my wheelchair’s gauge as I have slowly recovered from Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED Christmas this year, especially with my new grandbaby, Blakely Faye. I wouldn’t change a single minute of the FIFTEEN days of family: dinners for ten, brunch for twelve, five trips to the airport, six trips to the mall, game nights, movie nights, take-out, and pizza ordered in—just once.

Every single day, even when fully charged, my wheelchair reached the red zone by the time my head hit the pillow.

red guageAnd then on Christmas Eve, I experienced a first: My wheelchair was at 0% by 9 p.m. I couldn’t park and plug-in since I still had stockings to do and needed to keep moving.

“I’m not exactly sure what happens when I reach 0% and don’t stop to charge,” I told my son. “Want to grab an extension cord and hang out with me? We might have ourselves a little adventure this evening.”

“Sure, Ma. I’m up for it,” he said.

So we put on Home Alone that he watched while I wrapped and stuffed. I scooted slowly back and forth between the gifts and stockings, minimizing my movements as much as possible.

Then a strange thing happened. Without being plugged in, the gauge moved from 0% to 2%. Then to 4%. By the time I was ready to get in bed a few hours later, it had reached 6%.

I guess “resting,” even without charging, counted—at least that night.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had battery indicator lights for our own energy levels? If each morning upon awakening, we could know if we were 100% charged? Or had the means to know what kind of activity “rests” us, if only for a little while?

Granted, nothing fully restores us like the solid charge of a good night’s sleep. But beyond that, what can give us a mini-boost?

We can nap. And exercise. And for a quick boost indulge in that oh-so-bad-for-you-but-sure-fire-energizer of sugar or sweet treats.

And what about our emotional energy? How do we discover what charges us?

I like the technique Sharla Kostelyk describes in, “Finding What Energizes You.” She suggests we ask ourselves a series of questions, including:

  • What could I talk about for hours?
  • What do I feel passionately about?
  • What do I do where I feel less tired afterwards than I did before I started?
  • What do I get so excited about that I want to tell everyone I know?

Once you have determined what energizes you, find a way to infuse that into your life more often. That will help you to do a better job at all of the things you do, not just that one thing.

As for me, nothing charges me so quickly as a good cappuccino, some funky music, or a brisk walk outside with my faithful puggle, Tripp. And for an emotional charge? I love finding a good quote that is perfect for the moment—and then sharing it. Like this one from Albert Einstein:

No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

How about you? How do you recharge? I’d love to know.

My best–always,

Becky  (Nana B)

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