I knew it had gone bad, as batteries do. I had no idea how bad it had been getting before failure until I got the new battery (thank you ebay!) and realized that actually, it used to be able to hold a charge for 5+ hours in Balanced, not one and a half to maybe two hours at best in Power Saver. It's a whole new world.
Also I found in my battery settings I adjusted it to 'cool' settings which was hobbling performance. I have no idea why I did that or when but that does explain why I've been frustrated with performance along with dying battery.
Note: to be fair, I buy laptops that are overpowered; they're desktop replacements and I usually pick gaming machine specs with the highest CPU and either highest RAM or highest potential RAM; hard drive, don't care, I get the smallest because I usually replace it myself. So battery life will never ever be something to write home about, but still.
Also: finally, all Christmas-related items are now fully packed away, and I got a new cushion for my outdoor loveseat and am tentatively starting the move back to spending cool afternoons and evenings and (being me) nights on my porch instead of inside. I basically moved back inside ful time after Terrible August 2017, but when a 49.99 cushion appears before you on sale for around $13, that shit is a sign.
I need to put up the second set of porch blinds I bought when I moved in for the front left (first set and sunshade are up on the front right side) and get a new set for the left-left to block wind and get privacy at night, but it's shaping up. And a new outdoor rug, but only after doing a clean sweep. In April, I think I can also move some of my houseplants outside; currently, they colonize an end table hovering close to the sliding back door for indirect afternoon light, but I feel ambitious.
In August, I will have been here four years and will sign for a fifth year; I'm so glad I picked this place.
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