Commentary: Recharge your batteries

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I should have been working tonight.

I had cows to milk, this commentary to write, laundry to do, animals that desperately needed practice before the upcoming fair, and many, many more chores on my to-do list for today – all of which seemed to be of extraordinary importance as I tried to speed through the day and cross items off that stupid list.

But I didn’t do any of them, at least until now at nearly midnight as I sit at the keyboard.

I took the night off and went to see a movie with two dear, dear friends. Summer is half over, and yet, it was the first time in weeks and weeks and weeks that we slowed down enough to spend two hours in a dim small town, mom-and-pop theater, munching on salty, buttery popcorn, drinking ice-cold sodas and laughing until we almost cried. Okay, I did cry funny tears, but not at the movie; at my friends and the rest of the audience laughing at us laughing at each other.

Then we sat on my deck, swatting mosquitoes, visiting and catching up on each other’s lives a little bit. It felt so good. So freeing. So needed. There may have been a bottle of wine involved, I cannot confirm or deny. But more importantly, my friends were there. And that’s really all that was required. That and distance from the important tasks and daily minutiae that gobble up our time and attention.

It seems as though a ton of weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Yes, the chores are still there. The problems are still there. The work is still there. But none of it feels insurmountable anymore, like it did earlier today.

Why do we wait to do things like this? Life is too short. As the evening ended, my friends and I promised we wouldn't wait this long to get together again. I hope we don’t.

And I hope you don’t wait to recharge your batteries either. It’s all too easy to forget why we’re here on this earth. It’s not to work ourselves to death. It’s to prop each other up. To do good wherever possible. And laugh whenever we can.

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Scott Burditt    
Wisconsin  |  July, 15, 2011 at 09:58 AM

Great post. This morning, my wife implored me to consider extending this coming weekend away through Monday. It's going to be hot, we'll be on a lake, and summer is short. I can already hear laughter from my daughter and her friend down at the pier. She also reminded me that I can bring my laptop and work remotely. Hmm. Why do we wait to recharge? Clearly, I either don't have the answer or I'm not willing to look for it.

Danny Hicks    
Mo  |  July, 16, 2011 at 06:39 AM

Thanks for writing this article it helps me confirm what I already knew but sometimes I need someone to give me a reallity check on whats important in life. Theres a lot of things that I want to write in response to your article I was in my mom and dads house yesterday I know that sounds kind of weird, my mothers dream house that we built for them 15 years ago three bathrooms 3 car garageanyway its a big house ,sitting empty I looked a a calender that she used to write notes on and yesterday was her last entry july 15 2009, the day she had a stroke! She wrote what a great day I spent all day with my family I'm tired its been a long day but a perfect day ,but I'm glad to be home. Ive been to see her almost everyday in the nursing home sometime I can get her to look at me most of the time I can't but I still get to tell her I love her and tell her I'm having a great day hope you are too!

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