Life lessons from a squirrel and a dead battery…

This morning, while taking my dogs out, I saw a couple of squirrels, high up in the tree, balancing precariously on tiny branches gathering food from their blossoming ends. It was amazing to watch them flit nonchalantly around, their weight bowing those thin branches, but not breaking them. Considering I struggle to stand on a ladder without feeling as if my heart is going to beat out of my chest, I found the whole thing fascinating.

I decided I would video it and share it on my blog, mostly because it was fun for me to watch.

Back inside, I grabbed my video camera. Their antics were taking place very high in the tree and I knew using an actual video camera was probably my best bet at capturing them clearly. I pull it out of the case, flip the knob. Dead. I pull the other battery out, replace it, flip the knob. Dead.

Disappointed, I grabbed my phone and headed back out, where I managed to zoom in enough for a few seconds of video.

While watching the blurry squirrel on my screen, a few things struck home for me.

The last week I have been on a self-imposed break and my inner overachiever has been pummeling me for it. “You should be…” goes through my head 50 times a day. (That is not an overstatement.)

I never mastered work/life balance, because, to be completely honest, I LOVE to work. It’s my thing and normally I do it well. I like to feel like I’m accomplishing new goals. While others may find happiness in sitting on a beach, sipping cocktails or hiking through the woods, I am happiest knee deep in a work project, making things happen.

Often, I am made to feel like that is a bad thing, but I refuse to apologize for it anymore. This is me. Take it or leave it.

Where I do fail though is recognizing and accepting when it’s time to take a break from things.

Today, that little camera taught me a lesson. You can’t do your best work with a drained battery. Sure, I got the video, by tapping into another resource, but it wasn’t as good.

And if I’m being completely honest, if those two devices were really me, I had already drained the battery in that second resource, too. (It’s been a rough five months. Not gonna lie.)

So, thanks little squirrels, who have no idea the eye-opening moment you delivered to me today, while you were just going about your squirrel business.

Let the battery recharge continue until that light shines green. Then kick butt.

Michelle Leigh Miller is an independently published author, freelance writer, and blogger in Southeastern Ohio. Basically, she is just writing words.

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