To know me is to know that I love my car. She is the right snazzy colour, hugs me in all the right places and her power makes driving so much more fun … ahhh the glorious stick shift! She’s my happy place and I rely on her for so much more than to get me from point A to point B. She's my...
- own personal dance club where I get to boogie down shamelessly.
- karaoke bar where to sing recklessly at the top of my lungs.
- hiding place where I can shed a few tears when I am away from home.
- bestie who patiently listens to me bicker endlessly about how rediculous other drivers are.
Honestly, I don't know how she puts up with me!
When I bought Joy (her official name after many a creative suggestion) I was given a list of what sounded like very impressive qualities that glorified what she is capable of doing. During this sales pitch I did what any self-respecting new car buyer would do, I nodded, smiled and focused on the fact that she was the same red as my toenails. For all of the excitable stats the car guy gave me (let’s be honest, he had me at ‘big sale’) there is one thing she will always require in order to show off her great and almighty strength… fuel.
I have discovered that my own strength works in the same way. This became obvious to me when I was driving away from a typical Sunday dinner involving babies giggling, a niece dancing to Justin Timberlake and friendly debates over broccoli being cooked in plastic bags and was struck by how great I felt. I had originally arrived exhausted and completely spent, but the time laughing, making fun of my brothers (something I will never be too old to do) and dancing with my niece truly filled my depleted tank. Then I saw a bigger picture.
I realized that through all of my crazy wack-a-do experiences, leaps of faith and surprise journeys, it wasn't just my own strength that got me through. I was drawing on the support of others and the many different joys in my life. They were fuel for my strength.
Needing fuel does not mean I am weak, just wise enough to know that my ‘push through anything’ ability isn’t enough. Me thinking I SHOULD push through life all on my own and not accepting help or rejuvenating just leads to me beating myself up when I find myself completely burnt out. I became a stronger person when I realized that,
Strength Requires Fuel.
Strength being fueled can be seen every where, from a crowd cheering on runners during a marathon, to the simple gesture of telling a friend you are there for them. It is the fuel that makes me feel braver and I get stronger each time I fill up. It is the reason I can keep going even when I feel overwhelmed and like I can't carry on.
So, how do I fuel my strength tank?
- the kindness and encouragement of others
- time laughing with friends
- snuggling my niece’s or nephew
- family dinners
- doing something meaningful or wildly obserd
I don't doubt my own personal strength, but I also humbly recognize, and am grateful for, how much stronger I am because of the fuel I gain from those around me.
In realizing that Joy and I have something in common, I have decided it is time to treat myself as well as I treat her; regular check-ups, give myself the good car-washes, and keep my tank FULL!