Mixed Salad of Thoughts

Monday, February 01, 2010

What a difference a day makes...

Last Tuesday. January 26th. Not a holiday, not an anniversary, not a particularly important day in any way. And yet... January 26th was a wonderful day for me. A turning point. The kind of day that inspires multiple short and incomplete sentences to flow forth from my pen (keyboard). I'm happy I had January 26th.

The day was a wonderful balance of good and bad luck and a constant stream of activity.

I don't know if I've spoken of my car problems here but they have been plentiful of late. A month or so ago I spent over $700 in one day when my car died and I found out I needed an electrical diagnostic, a new battery, new front brake pads & rotors, and a section of my exhaust replaced just to be able to continue driving. But what hurt me even more was knowing the repairs yet to come. You see in the state of Illinois you must pass an emissions check every two years to be able to get your license plates renewed. And if your Check Engine light is on you can not even begin the emissions check. And two years ago my Check Engine light was on because of a faulty O2 sensor (that I had paid $140 to diagnose and $430 to repair and had broken again after 40 miles), but I managed to go for my emissions check on a day the sensor was working and the Check Engine light was not lit. Then, seven months later the light had come on again along with another indicator light while I was on my way to my grandmother's funeral. I took it to another dealership in Ohio whom ran the diagnostic for just $45 and told me that it was the O2 sensor and a Transmission Position Sensor but that it should still be safe to continue driving it.

So long story short my engine light has been on and I knew that with my plates expiring January 31st I had to either pay for the $145 diagnostic and hope the light stayed off long enough for me to get to the e-check, or actually have the (likely incredibly expensive) repairs done. I was loathe to do this, especially since the car has a handful of other problems (hood latch broken~ $245, headlight and license plate lights out ~$50-90, antennae broken off ~$200, dash lights burnt out $???, and then, Christmas day, the driver's door lock broke ~$???OUCH)

So with all these problems I was seriously considering just selling my car, hoping to get $2000 for it and then buying a used Honda at around $4000. Of course this would be seriously dipping into my savings and since the pay cut at work at Thanksgiving and with me looking for a new job, it's not the best time to be savings-free. But I felt cornered.

Then... Monday night, for the first time in 8 months, I started my car and the check engine light did NOT come on!


So Tuesday morning I got ready to go to the emissions check. There was a large pile of items for charity that had been lingering in my living room for a few weeks and since I knew my favorite Salvation Army was near the testing site I loaded up my trunk. I got in my car and was happy to see the indicator still did not light up. I went and passed my echeck. I drove over and dropped things off at the Salvation Army, then stopped inside and picked up a dark brown jacket to match my new dress slacks (see previous shopping post). Then I stopped at a bagel spot for lunch.

While munching on my tasty 7 Cheese bagel I suddenly felt a CRUNCH as if biting into something hard. I chewed the rest of the bite slowly, trying to figure out what it was but did not find anything. Then I felt the roughness on one cheek, and sure enough, as my tongue went to explore I found a large pointy area where part of one tooth had been. I went to the bathroom and saw that a quarter or more of one of my molars had broken off. As I touched the tooth I felt pain and knew I was going to have to get it fixed. I called my co-worker and asked for the number of his dentist boyfriend. Thankfully the dentist said they would squeeze me in at 5:30. I rushed home, changed clothes and headed to my next appointment.

At 2:40 I arrived at the Bronzeville Lighthouse Charter School, where I will be reading buddies with two children each Tuesday this semester through a program through Open Books Literacy Program.

I arrived early for my dental appointment and knit for a while in my car and then went and had a Jimmy John's Sub and asked where the nearest Currency Exchange was.

At 5:30 I had my dental appointment, had my tooth fixed up and departed at 6:00 with a fixed mouth and $105 less money.

I drove a mile down the road to the nearest Currency Exchange and at 6:20 I purchased new registration for my car for $104.50

At 6:45 I arrived for my knitting group at Ipsento Cafe and for two hours or so enjoyed myself as I chatted and caught up with my knitting friends and newly pregnant doppelganger Sarah.

At 9:00 I went to Pint to hang with all of my favorite musician friends at their weekly Open Mic Night, helping Morgan celebrate his one year anniversary of hosting. I hung out chatting after with some of the musicians.

At 2:00AM I arrived home, feeling overjoyed at the productivity and fun of my day.

I have not had a day so wonderfully fulfilling and productive in ages. I have been feeling anti-social and overwhelmed. This day honestly did more to fill me with hope than a handful of peptalks or affirmations from every person I know could ever have. I now feel as if I CAN get things done, and will take care of more things that have been weighing me down.

Inertia. It's stronger than I ever imagined. May its force be with you.

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