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One of my co-workers bought a “new” used Jeep a short while back, and when she got to the Post Office on Wednesday, coolant was pouring out of the bottom of the radiator.

Luckily, they were able to tow it to the garage and replace the radiator before she had to run the route.

Unfortunately, one of the hoses that runs from the transmission to the radiator…and then back to the transmission…must not have been put on correctly…or maybe it was just old and it burst…anyway, something happened…and most of her transmission fluid ended up somewhere out on the road about half way into the mail route.

Car trouble can make something that’s pretty consistently routine into a very stressful situation.

My other co-worker went out and helped her finish the route…and she got her Jeep repaired on her day off.

For the most part, I do all my own work on my Jeep…unless it’s really cold, I’ll try and get out and fix it myself. Lately, it’s been cold…so I’ve had someone else do the work…but usually I’ll try and fix stuff myself.

I don’t think it’s a matter of thinking that I can do it better …I think it’s a situation where I just think that I can do it cheaper.

I know that I can do it cheaper.

I’m cheap.

The thing about doing it myself is that I only have myself to blame when something goes wrong.

I’ve had enough things go wrong that I second check all my hose connections and other repairs that I do. I go over my work.

I don’t trust myself.

I know what kind of work I do…so I spend a good amount of time asking myself, “Are you sure? Really?! Remember last time….??”

And that’s its own kind of stress. It can be stressful when you do something that the “experts” are paid to do.

It’s stressful to wonder, no matter how much experience you have or how much research you’ve done, whether you’re “doing it right”…whether you’re doing it like the “pros” (I.E. the guys getting paid to get greasy) would do it.

I listened to “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” a couple of times out on the route…and Robert Pirsig, the author of the book, is a big fan of doing your own “mechanic-ing”.

From what I remember, his take on the situation is that the bulk of mechanics don’t have the right attitude to really do the work the way it should be done…if you were going to have it done “correctly”.

They don’t “focus”.

When you wind up with a big greasy puddle under your car somewhere out on a country road, you have to wonder if that isn’t kind of true.

We’re, for the most part, a pretty distracted bunch of people these days.

We multitask …we hurry from one task to another, sideways glances all the way while we try to see and then cover all our bases.

We don’t slow down.

I’ve got to remember to check all my hose connections next time I’m taking another greasy selfie.

When I learn what an Instagram is, I’ll chronicle my efforts to focus.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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