I’m cruising home from work, traveling the same route like I do day after day, on auto pilot. I get to “The Hill” and my car begins to snort, hiccup, cough, wheeze and struggle to make it up the incline. Hmm, this is not good. I make it to the top and the Check Engine light pops on and glares at me. The temperature gauge is beyond “H” meaning my engine is about to burn up. Uh oh. This is definitely not good. Thankfully, I arrived home safely.
After a quick check under the hood, I find the problem. No oil for the engine, no coolant for the radiator which keeps the engine from burning up. Yikes. I have neglected my car. I never neglect my car! I peek at my windshield and can barely see the number scribbled on the “Your Next Oil Change is Due at (blank space) Miles.” My odometer tells me I’m WAY overdue.
I took Cathy’s car to the auto parts store and made an investment in 5 quarts of oil and a gallon of coolant. I replenished my car’s vital fluids and all is well again. She (yes, my car is a female!) is purring like a kitten once again, even at 156,000 miles. Although, I will need the help of a professional to turn off the Check Engine light.
I wish we, as humans, had something as telling and blatant as a “Check Engine” indicator? You know, something to tell us we are not running right, we are too hot, we need more vital fluids. A warning system that tells us to get checked out before we blow up? I think we do have indicators, they just aren’t obvious. It’s a matter of whether or not we pay attention to them. We become so busy with life that we forget our maintenance plans. We neglect ourselves.
Sometimes, I feel like I’ve got 156,000 of “uphill” miles on me. Recently, I’ve decided to pay closer attention to my early warning signals. I’m trying to take better care of myself. I’m watching more closely the “fuel” I put into my body. Less cheeseburgers, fries, a piece of cake and a DIET Coke (like that made a difference!) nearly every day for lunch. I’m beginning to exercise again and getting the endorphins pumping. A little yoga here and there to slow down my racing mind. I’m counting my blessings more frequently.
In other words, I’m taking care of my “engine” – my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual components that make me, uniquely me. On occassion, I have to visit a professional “mechanic.” A trip to the doctor to make sure my blood pressure medication is still working. A chiropractic adjustment to keep my frame from rotting out on me. And an occassional massage to keep all systems loose and limber. With a little tune-up, I will be purring like a kitten again too. It feels good to have a well-oiled machine.
Be Kind. Be Thankful. Be Significant.