Left in the car 5 miles and a boat ride away was my phone charger and there was no way I was leaving that line to go get it.

 

It’s not any line.

 

I’m standing in line for the Peter Pan ride at Disney World and I realized that I left my phone cord in the car and my phone was about to die. #facepalm

 

My backpack was filled with random objects that Pinterest told me were essential, including an extra battery pack. But a cord to charge my phone? Nah!

 

Just about everyone can relate to the emotion of their phone about to die combined with the knowledge that they have no way to charge it back up.

 

You feel panicked, out of control, stupid for not thinking ahead and question why you didn’t do something about it when your phone was at 15% battery.

 

I felt guilty for not being able to capture Disney memories for my kids to look back on and I even tried to shift blame to my husband for not grabbing it out of the car.

 

At that moment, Disney wasn’t the happiest place on earth.

But this doesn’t happen just at Disney. This week I felt those same feelings.

 

I was caught unprepared and out of control. But it wasn’t about my phone losing battery power. It was my mind that needed charging.

 

Every spring my world seems to go in fast forward.

 

We start planning camping trips, school field trips are in full swing, and kids rehearsals and recitals consume full weeks. My garden calls me and I long to spend every waking moment outside after the long cold Canadian Winter.

 

This year was no different; however, in addition to these demands, I had increased duties building Hope Made Strong. This process is new for me and, to be honest, I’ve struggled to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

 

You know, the ability to balance the demands for your attention and time and energy between your personal life and

professional life.

 

Some say work/life balance is like big foot or a unicorn because true balance isn’t possible we are always being pulled in one direction or another.

 

In a sense, I agree.

 

I believe that there is ebb and flow to life and although complete balance isn’t always possible, the tide between the two opposing demands can exist where the demands of one or the other don’t completely erode your sanity.

 

I was noticing that what started out as once or twice a week late work nights, quickly turned into regular daily 15 hour days with me going to bed at midnight. Just to get up and do it all over again the next day.

 

A routine that was not sustainable.

 

 

At first, the adrenaline was pushing me through, but then I crashed.

 

My battery was depleted and I was about to shut down.

 

What I noticed is that I felt the same way as when I couldn’t charge my phone.

 

I felt agitated, foolish for letting things get to this point, and annoyed that I didn’t see this coming and completely frustrated because I lost control and could no longer work.

 

My mind was not thinking clearly and I was not able to continue.

I needed a recharge.

 

Wouldn’t life be great if we had a visual reminder of how much energy we had left in us. Like a phone battery or something like my favourite video game Super Mario Bros.

 

Oh! I better take it easy tonight… I only have 2 bars of life left!

 

It might not be as obvious as bars, but our bodies are giving us signals each day about how we are doing.

 

We are given warning signs that we are physically, mentally, emotional depleted. However, when you’re in the field of helping and serving others, your aching back, indigestion, headache, and short temper, pale in comparison to the needs all around you.

 

Mark 6:30-32 affirms that:

 

“The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.”

 

Jesus understood the importance of rest and refueling after caring for others.

 

In Mark 6 the apostles had taught and cared for others including the burial of their friend John the Baptist. When they returned to Jesus he immediately prescribed rest and time away from the demands of others.

 

Rest and time to refuel is essential to your life.

 

Your body and mind are telling you when it’s time to slow down and step away from the needs. It is essential to longevity as careers and being able to sustain compassion for others.

 

I have built for you a way to explore your warning signs from your body.

Download it HERE to find out what your physical, mental and emotional warning signs are.  And to see if you identify with high, medium or low levels of exhaustion and fatigue