I’m sitting at the dealership as I write this.
It’s high time for my oil change and tire rotation, but that’s not what brought me in. For the second day running, I sat far longer than I cared to in a cold car outside of a school, waiting for one of my kiddos. (Two different daughters, two different schools.)
Both days when the daughter emerged, I turned the key in the ignition and heard that useless chug of a nearly-dead battery on my nearly-new car. Meaning instead of helping anyone—as was my intention—I required rescues.
Two days in a row. Ugh.
To be honest, I hadn’t felt so pleasant waiting on kiddos. I kind of thought they were draining me by making me fix things for them. Double ugh!
We’ve had a cold snap—but for the love of the planet I had shut the car off and sat bundled up, key in ignition. So what was going on? With the jumper cables attached, the battery sprang right on. My mind was spinning. How could people rely on me like this? How could I rely on my should-be-reliable car? And—as my husband graciously rescued me—again—how could I forestall this unpleasant over reliance on him?
Today my husband pulled into the parking lot and said, “Do you know your lights are on?”
Apparently, if you leave the key in the ignition—even with car off and lights on autopilot—even when you’re saving the world—the welcome function keeps your headlights on.
Running your own battery down.
Message received. I’m having the car checked for safe measure and getting routine maintenance done. I already know the battery’s strong as a horse. Which is to say—it can withstand a whole lot if you take care of it right. Shelter. Water. Food. Sufficient rest.
And at the end of the day, you have to clear its crap from the stall.
Yes, I shifted the story. That’s mindset work, a self-care habit I’ve skimped on in recent days.
Luckily, I packed the journal and Q & A cards for the guided writing practice I’m developing. The question card I’ve pulled helpfully asks: What are you willing to accept?
We teach what is ours to learn. For example—releasing unhelpful thoughts.
Like: People are draining me. And: People can’t rely on me. And this gem: I have to fix things for others. When in all three cases, the opposite is equally true. In that light, I’m beyond blessed.
Mindset work is a practice. As every good mentor has ever told me—you have to show up. Every day. This one habit supports all my other self-care. Spiritual connection. Getting enough water and sleep. Eating lunch. Setting appropriate boundaries. (Why exactly did I sit in that frigid parking lot for an hour when I could have waited at home?)
So yes, I’m at the dealership, on a well-needed time out.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have mindset work to do.