Mom Uses Her Car's Empty Gas Tank To Highlight An Important Point About Self-Care

"If I had a gauge like this on all aspects of my life right now, the warning light would be on."

When we take care of ourselves, other aspects of life — jobs, relationships, health, etc —  also often improve as a result. But sometimes it's hard to consider ourselves a priority when there are so many other things going on, and people to care for, around us. 


Sometimes it takes something to happen for people to reevaluate their need for self-care.

For mom Whitney Fleming, a self-care lesson came to her in the form of an empty gas tank. In a Facebook post on her Playdates on Fridays blog, she wrote how she realized her car was running low on the day of her daughter's orchestra rehearsal.

"I looked down at my hands clenched tightly in my lap, admonishing myself for not remembering to get gas on the way home late last night, feeling the stress reach my already tight shoulders," she wrote. "I said a little prayer that I had enough fuel to travel to her school and then to the nearest gas station."

" 'You are almost out of gas!' it screamed at me. No joke."

She continues, "If I had a gauge like this on all aspects of my life right now, the warning light would be on. Relationships: running on empty. Job performance: close to empty. Parenting: hanging-on-by-a-thread empty. Taking care of myself: dead empty."

Fleming admits that she "constantly runs on fumes" hoping that she can just make it to the next place or thing, and possibly "fill up her" tank. 

However, she realized that life doesn't naturally fill up your tank. We need to be the ones to "seek out what makes us feel full" and complete.

That's why Fleming chose to start her day with things that "filled her soul" instead of checking off mundane things on her to-do list. Instead of calling the plumber or finishing a report, she ordered school supplies for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and made dinner reservations for her family so they could spend time together.

She concluded, "Life gets so hectic sometimes that we get used to running on empty. We get so accustomed to it that sometimes we don't even see the warning light. I know I didn't. And I almost ran out of gas."

She signed off the post urging people to take care of themselves today.

Commenters are thanking the mom for helping them get through their day. One wrote, "I needed to read this today as I work from home with a sick toddler, try to do homework toward Bachelor's and prepare for a hurricane ... I'm tired and running on empty but I have reserves and it could be worse."

Others are also spreading a positive message that we have more in our gas tanks than we think both figuratively and literally.

Cover image via Teerawut Bunsom i Shutterstock

(H/T: Popsugar)


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