the thing you have to do

“The thing you have to do” is different from the “thing you want to do”.

That’s not hard to figure out, really…nothing too profound in that statement.

The thing that you have to do isn’t always very comfortable, either.

I did a brake job in the snow this afternoon.

At one point, I was picking lug nuts out of the snow, and wondered, “what the heck is making these things so sticky?” and realized that it wasn’t really anything sticky about them….they were freezing to my fingertips.

That’s too cold for doing any mechanic stuff….but it was something that I had to do.

What had happened, and the thing that made me have to do a brake job in the snow, was that one of the calipers had enough frozen dirt stuck in one side that the caliper couldn’t retract the way it was designed to do, and the shoe wore down (unevenly) to bare metal….and gouged out the rotor.

Of course, it is going to be some of the coldest part of the winter so far starting tonight, and I didn’t think that I’d get a chance to do the job later, so….it became the “thing I had to do”.

(And….it happened over a couple of months….so, in reality, I could have done the job when it was balmy and comfortable….I just waited until the brakes wouldn’t work anymore….and were making a horrible grinding noise….)

I guess that what I was thinking about all of this is this: the thing that you have to do, when you’re finally confronted with something that you have no real choice but “to do”, is often a pain in the rear.

It’s a pain in the rear, but, at the same time, is really kind of empowering.

To finish a brake job in below freezing temperatures, in the gravel driveway, when it’s the “thing you have to do”….and…..you do it….is very empowering.

Like every other person who does that thing that they don’t want to do, but has to do, I felt empowered out in the driveway when the brakes were working right again.

How mundane is that?

You do things…and you feel empowered.

No matter how uncomfortable, the end result is empowerment.

And, when I was done with the job and the tools were put away, I could come inside where it was warm and wash my hands (with some Lava soap! I am going to have to write a post about how great “Lava Soap” is….) and it all felt so good and….so sucessful.

That’s a comfortably painful lesson to learn.

It feels good to be able to stop, too.

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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