A battery charge issue reveals the problem with preserving things

A battery charge issue reveals the problem with preserving things

I recently had my car serviced by my local dealership and was surprised to learn that my battery charge was at a meager 20%. I was somewhat perplexed by this revelation as the battery itself was not old enough to warrant any concern.  

Stay with me, I promise there’s a valuable lesson I learned from this.

I spent the majority of my teenage years pumping gas and fixing cars at my father’s service station (yes, the state of New Jersey still pays people to pump gas). Shame on me for not figuring out what the problem was sooner.

I won’t get into the boring and somewhat scientific details of how your car battery operates. But suffice it to say that if a car sits idle long enough, especially one equipped with alarm systems, on-board computers and memory settings for seating, radios and climate controls, your battery charge is going to deplete.

Believe it or not, actually driving the car helps replenish and recharge the battery so it can sustain times of inactivity.

Almost two years ago now, our twelve-year-old mainstream car needed some major repairs that totaled more than the car was valued at. We certainly had gotten our money’s worth and after almost 19 years of marriage, we decided to purchase something a little more premium.

We both love the car – the way it feels on the inside, looks on the outside and how it handles on roadways. Yet as much as the both of us love this car, guess where it spends most of its time? In the garage.

Three or four days could pass and the car never moves from its spot. Instead, we inherently hop into our eleven-year-old “beater” as I like to call it – convincing ourselves that we need to “preserve” the newer car for reasons neither one of us understands.

I promised you a valuable lesson from my battery charge issue, and here it is.

We spend so much of our lives hoarding and preserving the things we buy, that we rarely get the chance to fully enjoy them while we’re alive.

For some its dishes sitting in a china cabinet – painstakingly cared for, never used and of little value to anyone but the original purchaser.

For others it’s a piece of furniture no one’s allowed to sit on, a classic car no one’s allowed to drive, a beautiful piece of jewelry you’re afraid to wear or a vintage book you refuse to open.

Whatever the case may be, ownership alone does not guarantee fulfillment if the intended purpose is not utilized and enjoyed by yourself and others.

A battery charge issue might seem like a strange way to make a point, but it’s taught this preserver of things that life’s too short to not enjoy it all while we can.