An Exercise in Rolling with the Punches

“Wait, why don’t you drive a Subaru?”

A funny thing about my family – or at least about my dad (and me, too, since we share this trait) – when we find something that we like we tend to stick with it and never change. My dad, having done his thorough research and comparisons, at some point declared that Subaru station wagons were the best bang for the buck, and that was that. My dad drives a Subaru, my mom drives a Subaru, and I, up until a head-on collision back in August, also drove a Subaru. (Neither of my sisters drive a Subaru, but that’s irrelevant to this post. Carry on.)

In yet another instance of this trait of ours presenting itself, we have also have had all of our car servicing done at the same garage, year in and year out. Enough that our family is both known by all the mechanics, and known to drive Subarus. That above quote was spoken to me this morning by Fred while on the phone with him asking for service on my small, white, decidedly non-Subaru car.

Meet Baymax (named so, of course, for his white bulbousness):


I bought Baymax from a friend of mine after the aforementioned head-on collision prematurely took the life of my blue (unnamed) Subaru wagon, and this little car and I have been everywhere together (almost literally, but now is not the time to detail just how much I find myself driving; let’s just say, it’s somewhere between “a lot” and “excessive”).

Last night, however, Baymax would not start. And – after a period of time where he started up long enough to get me over to my dad’s house, for my dad and I to look at him and decide to drive him over to the garage, only to have the engine stop on the way over, forcing me to steer my car into the nearby parking lot using the momentum of gravity – he was soon on a tow truck.

I made my first foray in the Great Wide World of Budgeting this month. (This is related, I promise, bear with me.) My friend Derek set me up with budgeting software (YNAB, highly recommend it!), ran me through the basics, and I am absolutely determined to follow through with it and become even more of a Reasonably Functioning Adult.

YNAB is big on their “rules,” a set of guidelines that they believe will help their customers conquer their money woes. It’s my first month, so I can’t rattle them all off the tip of my tongue, but rule four (EDIT: it’s actually rule three; I told you, it’s my first month) is sticking in my head at the moment: “Roll with the punches.” (See, I told you it’d all tie in!)

Forgive me while I continue to personify my automobile, but I’ve known for a little while that Baymax has been sick. He would, from time to time, give a bit of a cough. Now, I know admittedly very little about cars, but I at least know that they aren’t meant to give you the occasional cough, they are meant to run smoothly.

And so, I planned. I said, “Ok, so long as my car lasts long enough, I’m going to use my newfound Adult Powers, budget out some money, and get the engine fixed before it becomes a serious issue.” I was so proud, so wise. I had a Plan.

Then my car died. Just like that.

All of a sudden, my plan to get it fixed in a month or two turned into getting it fixed right now. It is not convenient, it is not easy, and it just isn’t fair… I mean, can’t life give me a break? Work on my schedule?

Nope, no, indeed it cannot.

And so I find myself sitting here, thinking about YNAB’s rule number four (three, it’s rule three, guys *sigh*). They know as well as the rest of us: Life doesn’t always go to plan. There will be punches, and we have to roll with them. Sometimes we have to write a new plan.

So, for the moment, I find myself driving a Subaru again, thanks to my dad, and learning a bit more about humility, and rolling.


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