Here’s What’s Draining My Battery (It’s Not What I Thought)

I can appreciate a clever, snarky text from Dennis. Playful banter is a pillar on which we’ve built our marriage. Now, most of the 1200+ images we’ve exchanged since January 1 were sweet nothings, pics of the kids, bitmojis, FYIs and ideas. But, sprinkled in the mix are some legit snark-bombs.

Text Snark-Bombs from My Husband

“Friendly” reminders, pictorial evidence of hypocrisy, snaps of oversights, passive-aggressive complaints.

This morning’s zinger was pretty spot on.

"I think I know why your battery is drained each morning..."
“It’s 5 am. I think I might have an idea why your battery is drained each morning…”

Do I use my phone-flashlight to navigate during a 3am trip to the bathroom? Possibly.
Do I sometimes forget to turn it off? Perhaps.
Had I just complained the night before how the phone charger must be busted because my phone isn’t charged some mornings? You can’t prove anything.

Sometimes, I have a sure-grip on what’s draining a battery. And sometimes I’m sincerely mistaken.

My Personal Low-Battery Response

When it comes to my emotional battery, it’s no different. I react and point a finger, but I’ve got the wrong culprit.

  • My kids are wearing my patience thin. Or am I just being impatient?
  • My husband does something annoying or doesn’t do what I asked. Or am I expecting him to be a man-version of me?
  • Everyone around me is expecting too much of me. Or do I not have the security and/or self-respect to say ‘no’ when something presses in on my boundaries? If I don’t value my boundaries, I’m teaching others they don’t need to, either.
  • Everyone around me is expecting too much of me, part 2. Or am I bound and determined to serve myself, forgetting to serve those around me?
  • Nothing is going right today. Or am I extra-aware of the junky stuff and less mindful of the blessings? Each unwelcome setback magnifies the downside and shadows the upside. It’s a slippery slope.
  • That person has it out for meOr am I reading between the lines, missing information, making assumptions and experiencing self-fulfilling prophecies? (Personally, I’m learning the best way to truly know what someone is thinking, is to ask them. Conspiracy theories don’t do much for my relationships.)

I often think I am the victim of having my battery drained, when I am the one leaving on the flashlight.

To keep my battery charged, I need to be pulled out of the pit, find healthy perspective and get solid footing to love the people in my life well. There is One who longs to recharge me in just such a way. iPhones charge best between 20%-80%. Sounds like me. If I wait too long to charge, I’m too-far gone. If I charge too soon, I don’t feel the need and just go through the motions.

I need that charge daily, but in between, the battery drains. When this happens to my phone, it shifts into “low-power-mode” (temporarily reducing power usage) until it can get a full charge.

My Personal Low-Power-Mode

There’s no reason this can’t happen with my body/mind/heart as well. Just as my phone interrupts processes, automatically engages certain features, finds short bursts to rest, turn off extras, paused multi-tasking and reduces performance, I need a plan to get me by until I am chock-full of charge.

What if I interrupted some processes? Cancel something cancel-able, delegate off my plate, delay decisions, withhold reactions and reevaluate priorities.
What if I reduced performanceLower expectations on myself, take some pressure off and give myself permission to not have it all together.
What if I engaged certain features? Look for things to be thankful for, invite a friend into my struggle and recall perspective that can meet me where I’m at.
What if I found short bursts to rest? Creatively find moments or places to close my eyes, count to ten or catch my breath.
What if I turned off extrasDisallow any new intake, forego finishing touches, ignore aesthetics and bonuses.
What if I paused multi-taskingFocus on the kid, the spouse, the feeling, the conversation, the task.

Kicking on my personal Low-Power-Mode will save me from blaming, assuming, disconnecting, over-committing, under-serving, spiraling, yelling and resenting. A fully-charged phone is one I can depend on. Same with a fully-charged me.

How’d I know Dennis and I had exchanged 1218 photos in 2016? Click here for a quick how-to on five iPhone tricks I recently discovered.

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