April 14, 2010

Zen and the Art of Car Maintenance

 I was pleasantly surprised to find that my friend Sean and I have been reading the same book - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (P.S.) I had started it once, and as I'm planning on purchasing a car in the near future, thought it might be good to pick up again.

First, I love this book.

Second, I really can see now how differently my husband and I think.  He is very much a classical thinker, and I am very much a romantic thinker.  So I don't "get"  maintenence of anything.  And working my way through the book I realized that the problem was all about caring.  I haven't had a vehicle that I  "cared" about for a while.  They were all hand me downs, nothing that was "mine," and I felt no ownership over them.  So, to be honest, I have used and abused my cars.  I have jam packed them full with things, I rarely feel the need to detail them, and I take it to a shop when work needs done. Now that Brandon and I are sharing HIS car, that same problem arises.  I actually do treat his car pretty well... except for that time a few years back when I hit a parking pole, but that's a completely different story.

But how is that going to change when I have a car that I, personally, have picked out and care about?  Will I feel differently?  Or are my natural impulses going to take over? I have a feeling that after having read this book and getting farther into the discussion of quality that I really do want to take the time to learn how to change the oil and figure out where the spark plugs are.  I want to learn what my car sounds like so that I can tell if it sounds differently (currently a problem).  I want to learn to take good care of the inside of my car.  I want to maintain its quality and always learn something new about this amazing piece of machinery... not just treat it as something that gets me from point a to point b - which is how I have typically treated cars. 

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