I just got new tires.
Yea, I know, Hooray for me. You’ll pop a bottle of bubbly next time you see me.
I had to get them replaced because the previous front tires were “cupped” (the term the grease monkey used) – which meant that they were making it sound like I was driving in the ukraine during the cold war. It was God-awfully loud inside my car. Cell phone conversations were just me pretending to hear what the other person was talking about, then texting them later pretending I forgot the details of the conversation and asking for a recap. (sorry J.) smh. I kept the “cupped” tires on for awhile because even though they were noisy, they really weren’t dangerous – just loud and annoying.
What? Why the face? Your not interested in my car troubles?… hold on,hold on – I’m getting to the point. geesh.
Anyway, after they replaced my tires and I started on down the road toward home, I literally was shocked at how quiet the ride was. Article of Evidence #1: My brother fell asleep on the ride home. Article of Evidence #2: I could turn down the volume on my radio to below 20 and still hear NPR…which as a 27 yo male I do enjoy from time to time. (dont judge me)
I mean, I “knew” that the ride before the “cupped” tires was quieter but it was surprising at how fast I adjusted to the noisy ride and made that my new normal.
Not only did I adjust to this new normal, but I literally forgot or just couldn’t recall how nice and quiet it was previously. Since I couldn’t remember just how peaceful new tires sounded, I had no real desire to get the tires replaced. In fact if circumstance/chance hadn’t met in the form of a suspected new problem I would never have gotten them replaced.[P.s. sometimes I’m lazy]
Of course, this made me think about old relationships. Old jobs. Really any situation where we get so engulfed in our lives that we literally forget how things were before this person/job/situation came around.
This used to hobble me in relationships. I tend to fall in love pretty rarely, and as a result when I do fall – its pretty bad. I mean roses, rainbows, horseshoes, and marshmallow balloons. In the past when I was in love, my life tended to contract to about the size of me and my significant other. I’d go all Ninja McGuyver with arts and crafts projects and construct poem books, little surprises when they awoke, bigger (on a budget) surprises at work et al, etc, and so on. Older me looks back at younger me with a little bit of shame and admittedly, some envy. Because of this tunnel vision, if the other person wanted to leave the relationship, although I’d try not to show it [Ice Cold!] – i’d panic inside, because I literally could not imagine my life without the other person. I’d basically forgot that there was a life before them. Or that it was enjoyable. One or the other, or both.
This was a problem for me in relationships until one day I over heard a friend of a friend say something. Something I know we’ve all heard in some iteration (either with a fist in the sky or a tear in the corner of their eye) – “I managed to live all this time without you and I’m sure I’ll be to continue after you” – I’d probably heard it a million times before but at the moment for whatever reason it finally made sense..and I was instantly able to understand and literally step back from making one of the bad decisions that I tended to excel at during college.
Today, I try to make sure that I don’t get so used to the status quo that I’m willing to sacrifice anything of value to me. Part of that is making sure that I maintain the correct perspective on things, which because life tends to be pretty consuming at times, can be difficult. Quiet time helps me. Prayer does too. So does writing.
What helps you? Make it a conscious part of your schedule 🙂
Fly or Fall.