Monday, March 26, 2018

Back to Basics

Image courtesy of M Corp
Hi all! I hope everyone has been doing well. I've been a bit up and down lately but that's par for the course. I did have a huge upset last week though and that's the "inspiration" for this post.

A couple of weeks ago, my coolant temperature light came on while I was taking my youngest to a performance. We were right by the venue, so I parked and when we drove home, it didn't happen. In fact, it didn't happen for another two weeks. This time, however, it happened driving home and then again the following day. I stopped and added coolant. A week later (my car wasn't driven during that time), I took my car up to the mechanic who told me to make an appointment at another shop to have a dye test run on the system. Fast forward to Tuesday of the following week when the dye test showed that I had a badly blown head gasket. Cost to repair? $2000.

If you know me, you can only imagine my emotional and mental state after hearing that. Money and being without a car are major panic issues for me. I called my own mechanic and he said that I should scrap the car. It had 183k miles on it and it just wasn't worth the investment. While my brain agreed, the rest of me was freaking out. I have to have a car. You can't live where I do without one. The closest grocery store is at least 15 miles away.

After doing some research, the decision was made to replace the car. I sat in my HHR and I cried. I loved that car. I also get very emotionally attached to things like cars. I don't know why. It's just how I am. We spoke to the guy who owns the shop where I go for repairs and he said he had two cars available that he'd be willing to finance for me: a Dodge Caliber and a Chevy Aveo. I was interested in the Caliber and decided to go down and look at it. Just before I pulled out of the driveway, I got a phone call. They had taken the Caliber down to be washed and smoke came out of the dash. It was obviously no longer available. That left me with two choices: hope and pray that I could keep driving the HHR and not end up stranded on the side of the road somewhere or get the Aveo.

I now own the Aveo. I now own a car so far back in the dark ages of vehicle technology that the windows have hand cranks on them. There's no cruise control or electric locks. It is going back to basics.

It got me to thinking though. Maybe, at different points in our lives, we need to go back to basics. We get so wrapped up in so many things that it becomes overwhelming. Maybe if we stopped, took a few deep breathes, and went back to the basics of life, it would be better for us. Recently, I've started taking weekends to not work on work. I hang out with my kids and if they aren't here, I read a book (or two or three) or watch movies that I keep meaning to watch but "never have the time for." It isn't about neglecting anything, but about making sure that I have as much energy and gumption to handle the coming week as possible.

I hate the fact that basic has taken on the almost opposite meaning in today's culture. Listen, folks, I'm all about being basic right now and it has nothing to do with the latest Starbucks drink (though I do like to have a bit of adventure and try them out) or whatever else is mainstream at the moment. It's all about dialing it back, about not pushing myself to the breaking point, it's about taking care of me and taking care of mine.

Have you considered going back to basics at all? Let me know!

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