Celebrate the small victories!

Sometimes it is the small victories in life that need celebrating. That is how I am feeling today.  A problem presented itself so I took matters into my own hands, got down to business and had a successful outcome.  I’m here to tell you that you can too!

In this particular case, it was an automotive issue. I noticed on the way to work that the ol’ truck just didn’t “feel right”.  On the commute home it had gone from not feeling right to shaking so badly I thought my fillings would come loose.  It was one of those white-knuckle rides where I was just hoping and pleading the beast would get me home and not leave me stranded on the side of the highway – which, thankfully it did.

The old me would’ve thrown my hands in the air and let loose a string of foul-mouthed insults toward my automobile. Then I would have figured out a way to get the heap across town to my mechanic and get a ride to work for however long it was in the shop, fretting over the call with the “estimate” on the repairs that I hadn’t budgeted for.  That, my friends, is a stressful situation to find yourself in.

This time however, I first thanked my ride ever so lovingly for getting me home. Then I set about diagnosing the problem.  I dug out my OBD (On Board Diagnostic) scanner tool and found some fault codes.  Then out came the repair manual to look for details – any surprises that might keep me from being able to perform the work (like a need for a specialty tool I don’t have) and for the manufactures recommendations of the replacement parts.  Then I jumped online and found the parts needed from my local auto parts chain.  I was able to order the parts and get them shipped for free by getting them sent to the parts store.  To my surprise, they actually contacted me that very night and said the parts were ready for pickup!    Unfortunately by the time I got the parts in hand, it was late and already dark so I wasn’t able to perform the actual work that night, but had I gone the mechanic route, I would still have been dead-in-the-water so that was no big deal.

The next day after work I threw on the grubby clothes, opened up the tool box and got to work. An hour and a half later everything was buttoned up and my truck was running like a top!  Total out of pocket expenses $73.86.  When was the last time you got your broken car back on the road for less than 75 bucks?

Now, I am not a mechanic. I have NO formal training in regards to automobiles.  But I do know how to read instructions and when all else fails search for You Tube videos on a particular subject.  And over the years I have invested in tools and manuals and things that allow me to do this kind of work.  But my point is, if I can do this you can too.  It’s not rocket science, its following directions.  It’s no more difficult than say following a recipe in a cookbook.  Sure, it may be grungier and possibly more physically demanding, but it isn’t any more difficult.

And let me tell you, the personal satisfaction I felt when I went for a test drive and found everything to be functioning as it was supposed to be was priceless! I honestly wish everyone could experience that same feeling, it is good for the soul.

As far as I’m concerned it was a win all the way around – I added to my personal skill level, I saved at least a hundred bucks (if not more) by not going to the mechanic, I got my automobile back on the road faster and I avoided a lot of stress by not having to deal with getting rides to and from work and to and from the mechanic’s shop and not having to pay the additional costs of having the work done for me.  And on top of it all, I got a nice confidence boost and a feeling of satisfaction.  The thing about this type of work is that once you get a few tasks under your belt, the next time your ride starts acting up your mind will turn to “what can I do to fix this” instead of “who can I find to fix this for me”, or “how am I going to afford to get this fixed”.  It all helps solidify the preparedness mindset, and it was worth every minute of it!

I’m tellin’ you folks, self reliance is a wonderful thing.  It doesn’t have to be car repairs, it can be anything.  Fixing a leaky faucet, cleaning out your rain gutters, even something as simple as painting an accent wall will bring you personal satisfaction in a way that handing over your hard-earned cash never will.  Even if it takes you twice as long and you make mistakes along the way, in the long run it will be well worth the effort you put into it.  So the next time you’ve got some trouble that needs fixin’, do yourself a favor and do it yourself!

 

Thanks for reading,

~J

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