Recently I decided it was time to upgrade my iPhone because the battery seemed to be wearing out. When I first had the phone I could charge it overnight and have it last all day. Now it could only last a few hours before needing to be recharged. So, while I really wanted to wait for the “new” iPhone due out in September or October, this problem was becoming unmanageable. When I got to the Verizon store I was greeted by one of their eager sales persons. She asked what I needed. “Oh, give me the phone,” she says… “these batteries never wear out!” I was a bit chagrined but handed over the phone. She double taps the control button and a line of apps appears. “There’s your problem.” She says with confidence. “Let’s see how many of these apps you have running in the background are draining your battery.” Well it was about 50, every app I had ever opened! It took several minutes just to close them all. This running in the background can be a useful tool if you are switching back and forth between a few apps. However, it is important (and easy) to close them when you are finished. So I am now again happily waiting for the next iPhone version to arrive. My battery still doesn’t last 10 hours like it once did. However it is could for about 6 instead of the 2 I had been getting! When I shared this with my wife, Brenda, she remarked that it was like a modern parable to what happens to us when we let things “run in the background” of our lives. The more complicated the “program” the more energy it drains from us. Unresolved guilt chews up a lot. Worries over the family budget can be draining. Holding on to old grudges and un-forgiveness is especially energy consuming. When it comes to Hospice Care, there may be many “apps” running in the background of our lives. Many are necessary. We have to keep up with the housework. We need to tend to our jobs and our other relationships. We may need to juggle schedules to be available for visits from health care professionals. The lesson here is to delegate what we can, let go of what will wait and recharge our batteries more often that we might under more “normal” circumstances. Take that long walk. Have that steam bath or massage. Talk with a friend or counselor. Go to a movie. Let go of the guilt when you take time for yourself.