After I safely arrived at a gas station, my car was towed on a flatbed to a service station I wasn’t familiar with. But when your car isn’t running at all, there really isn’t a lot of time to read Yelp reviews.
The next day I cleaned my house and went for a walk and tried to shake everything off. The initial verdict was the alternator died, which would be around $250, but as the day went on, they said I needed a new battery, then they discovered a short fuse under the dash (which is why my air conditioning wasn’t working).
The shop closed at 3, so they said I could come by to get my car, but on the way there they called me and said there was more trouble…of course…
Apparently it was the head gasket, which I knew was the nail in the coffin cost-wise. They said that is why my car overheated last week. So now I’m up to 2k in costs (in case you were thinking they were ripping me off, a mechanic a couple years ago said I needed to replace the head gasket, but said it would just cause some leaks, so I didn’t consider it urgent).
Then Monday they told me that that my timing belt was about to go, and that I also needed a water pump. I’m now up to $2800. I also need new back tires (as I have an AWD car and only got the front two replaced in Oct), but I told them I was taking it back to Firestone. They also said I need a new axel, but I drew the line..I mean the car is old, and I feel like they are just fishing to get more repairs out of me. And to be honest I’m concerned because their Yelp reviews suck.
They gave me a loaner car (a Honda Prelude so old it has 185,000 miles on it and the radio has a cassette deck), and on the way home I stopped at the grocery store and called my mom to tell her the story.
My mom has a tendency to ignore everything I say, then change the subject to one of three things: the weather, asking how her “grandson” is (which is what she calls my cat), and telling me about someone who either has a terminal disease or who just died. That’s it. Just those three subjects.
This time it was about a former girlfriend (who I never met) of my brother who at 39 died on an operating table from an enlarged heart.
Well what do I say after that? I don’t, because when it’s all said and done, it’s just money. At least I’m alive and healthy!
And while I really, really tried hard to look at the bright side during all of this, I had to really sit down and list why everything is really OK right now, and how it could have been so much worse:
1. I had been typically leaving Glendale at 7 or 8pm, which means it could have been dark outside when I broke down. Since I left at 5, it was still light enough so cars could see me.
2. I had been taking the 110 freeway home because it was faster that time of night. The 110 goes along some rougher neighborhods. Not a good place to break down.
3. The car broke down on a Friday night, which means I had a lot of people available to drive me to the repair shop on Saturday.
4. Again since it was a Friday, I didn’t really need to be anywhere in particular over the weekend.
5. I’ve been working on a ton of projects, most with good-sized budgets, and I’m set to make a big chunk of change in the next month or two. Basically enough that EVEN with the car cost, I’m still going to be able to sock a lot of money away in my emergency savings AND actually be able to pay off my remaining debt.
6. I’m putting the cost of my car on my credit card, which means more points on Southwest Airlines. I will be able to pay off the total with my emergency savings. I’d say it was an emergency, yeah?
7. I haven’t had a car payment in…7 or 8 years I think, and up until this past summer my car has run really well.
8. Aside from all this work travel, I hardly ever have to leave my house for work related things. So most of my driving is done on side streets, or short distances (which is great for living in LA in general).
9. I have amazing friends who are always there to help!
10. I could have caused an accident and/or been seriously hurt being in that situation, and I came out of it just fine. A little rattled, but otherwise fine.
So that’s the reason for the title of this blog. I have a LOT going on right now (mostly positive, just busy) like work, dealing with the car, trying to find time to do my taxes…but all of this will get done if I just take one step at a time. Solve each problem as it comes. Not get ahead of myself with worry.
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