A long time ago, I had a couple of beautiful black cars and I took great pains to make sure they looked perfect. Zaino car care products, actual feather duster, toothbrush on the trim, Q-tips in the vents, 303 Protectant on the vinyl, etc.
After a while, I realized that I was spending a lot of time keeping them clean, instead of doing fun stuff like BBQing at the beach, or hiking, etc. I began to wonder why I was doing it. After all, I wasn't entering car shows and winning prizes, I was wasting my time obsessing over a fraction of an inch of paint
that someone could easily destroy with their keys or a shopping
cart in a parking lot.
I came to the realization that time is the one resource that we cannot replace, so I decided to live my life as if I might end up on my death bed
next week. Would I look back proudly at all of my accomplishments, great trips to wonderful places, wonderful people I'd met, fun times with friends and relatives, or would I look back in bitterness because I wasted countless hours of my life with a rag obsessing over a water
spot or a less glossy area of the paint? Who really wants to be a slave to their material possessions? Sure, Jay Leno has a beautiful car collection. But he's rich, and he pays someone else to do all of the work.
I used to have a next door neighbor, stubborn old codger. He spent every weekend washing
and waxing his 2 cars and cutting his grass
, trimming shrubs, etc.
One time I asked him if he ever planned to go anywhere, do anything, live a little. He grumbled that he took great pride in how his yard looked and people judged him by his yard and his car. I couldn't keep myself from laughing in front of him. "Do you really think that everyone is honestly that shallow? I judge people on their kindness toward one another, their major accomplishments benefitting mankind, what they've accomplished. A week after you die, your grass
will look like you didn't mow it, not like it was freshly mowed for 30 yrs, your cars and your yard don't have a memory, they only look as good as you treated them in the last week. All of those years - you could have been doing something fruitful or fun on your weekends."
He just harrumphed.
A few months later, he had a mild heart attack and they installed a couple of stents. He was in the hospital for about 5 days, and was bedridden for a couple more weeks. He saw his grass grow, he saw some dust on his cars and realized the world hadn't come to an end, but he almost did.
He talked to his wife, who was so heavy she couldn't get up the stairs to the main floor of the house, so she slept in the guest bedroom downstairs. They put the house up for sale
and found a house in Lake Havasu City that was one story, no grass, air conditioned garage for the cars. He's a lot nicer person now, meets new people, spends a lot more time with his wife and they go out and do a lot of things including travelling they never tried before.
Sure, everyone loves the beautiful curves of a sports car, a super model, or the freshly varnished wood on a boat. But as soon as I'm done admiring all of them, I tell myself, "I'm glad that's someone else's high maintenance
nightmare." I'd be much happier with a girl-next-door type, an all fiberglass catamaran
, and a champagne Toyota Camry. As reliable as the sun, good gas mileage, great ride, pretty quiet, decent interior
room and doesn't show any dirt. Drive it, put gas in it, get the oil changed and run it through a car wash every couple of weeks.
It doesn't run any better when it's shiny. Neither do boats, except for the bottom. LOL