Stopping for Maintenance
In the evenings, Dave & I usually load the kids in the double stroller and leash Ob & Marley up for a walk around our neighborhood.
We still love Ob & Marley in an unhealthy way, and I obsess over them getting enough exercise and attention. Our evening walks not only serve as a great outing for the dogs, but it allows the kids to get some fresh air before bed and if the kids are good (that’s a big ole’ IF), it allows Dave & I 30 or 45 minutes to chat about our day. (If the kids aren’t good, we walk in silence while I hand out snacks, pick up dropped pacifiers, tell silly stories and threaten things like no iPad for the rest of eternity.)
I typically push the stroller and Dave holds the dogs’ leashes.
I definitely have the harder job – especially now that we live in Georgia, also known as the land of the giant hills, but I don’t mind it because I like the extra workout. But a few weeks ago, our walks were just getting so dang hard on me. I was struggling through our nightly walks and our stroller just felt heavier than usual. One night, I finally stopped dead in my tracks, put the break on the stroller, looked at Dave & said, “Give me the leashes. I can’t push this stroller anymore. I don’t know what is wrong with me, but I cannot push this thing one more step – I’m seriously dying. Either I’m getting weaker or they are getting heavier, but we’ve got to switch jobs. You push.” Dave told me I was probably just not used to the heat, handed me the leashes and went to push the stroller. He took 3 steps, stopped, put the break on the stroller and bent down to examine the wheels. He started laughing and said, “Ashley – the tires are flat. No wonder you’re dying – these tires need air. When was the last time you checked them?” I was immediately relieved to learn that the problem wasn’t me, but the stroller. I also gently reminded Dave that checking the tire pressure on any of our vehicles would definitely be considered his job, not mine. 🙄
After we got home, Dave put air in the tires and I couldn’t believe the difference I felt in our next walk. I wasn’t dying – the stroller moved with relative ease and as a result I enjoyed our walk so much more!
That whole little saga, got me thinking…how many times do I do that same thing in life? How many times do I trudge through life, struggling beyond words because I don’t stop for maintenance? How many times do I try to just push through the difficulties, without stopping to really assess what the root of the difficulty actually is? Instead of pushing a stroller with a flat tire, I push through life with a fatigued spirit.
It took Dave less than 10 minutes to fix the problem and put air in the tires that day, and often times I feel like it is the same way in my daily life. Sometimes just taking a few minutes to read my Bible, or a good book, or pray, journal or sip some tea and eat some cookie dough during the kids’ nap time is all it takes for me to feel a little lighter throughout the rest of the day. But I have a tendency to get in these habits where I just work, work, work until eventually I’m like, “Daaaaang, this feels hard. I’m so tired. I can’t push through anymore. Someone else push.” My soul needs maintenance and when I stop for regular tune-ups, I find that I run so much better.
Can anybody out there relate?