Year of Making Things Nice

I’m not happy with my car

It’s role has changed and I’ve not managed it particularly well. Can I make it nice again?

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Today, it was supposed to be about the car. Today, it is scheduled to rain.

Rain could be an advantage. A good soaking will eliminate a lot of the dirt and muck that’s stuck to the outside.

But it won’t help the inside, and the inside is the problem.

My little “zip around town”/”pretend to be a 4×4 in the bush” has instead turned into a van. The back seats are more down than up, and the car never seems to be fully emptied. A little something from each trip hangs around … and hangs around … and … hangs … around.

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What’s happening with the Year of Making Things Nice?

It’s turned into a year of reactive problem solving. The plan was to find things to improve, but instead I seem to be tackling unexpected problems. There have always been, will always be, problems to tackle; I suppose the transition is throwing up a few extra scenarios that need to be managed.

Let’s use this problem as a trigger to get the car back to Nice.

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Step 1: Recognise it’s new role

It’s the means of connection between my various sites of existence, but it is not a substitute for any of them. Therefore, the items it contains should be only those that help that connection run smoothly.

A stockpile of shopping bags; spare hat and umbrella; small tarp to sit under things in the boot; pen and notepaper; box of tissues; antiseptic; torch; and a plastic tub.

There’s not much that’s different to the old days, except the tub and tarp now live in the car.

Step 2: Clear out anything not in the list

Why is there a hot water bottle in the boot of my car? Why have I still got this hot water bottle when I haven’t used it in years?

I have no answers.

Step 3: Schedule the car wash

I nearly managed it last Sunday morning.  I drove along the street at the back of the car wash and glanced across at the bays. One looked empty. I scooted around the corner to the entrance, only to find someone had beaten me.

It feels too pushy to wait. When someone’s waiting for me, I rush. It’s not a good feeling.

How early is early enough? Time will tell.

Step 4: Find a service center that makes me happy

This is probably the hardest step of all. I ask for a recommendation and then not liking the recommendation seems unnecessarily confrontational and a bit too arrogant.

The first service wasn’t great. How hard is it to install new windsceen wipers! And why does the car sound like its roaring!

Did they take one look under the bonnet and say “No, we don’t want this one back” and then actively encourage me to go elsewhere? Or maybe the solution is to avoid booking it in on Friday, even when it’s their suggestion?

Step 5: Get up and get started

 

 

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