A light came on in my car. That always makes me nervous.
Actually, I get nervous whenever something isn’t working properly, but when it’s the car, I immediately start thinking about contingency commuting plans if something is seriously wrong, plus I worry that any solutions will be expensive.
Plus, I’d have no idea how to fix it.
I’ve never been particularly good with things mechanical, partly due to a lack of ability. but also due to a lack of confidence.
I struggle with something (or just can’t figure it out), which convinces me that I will struggle the next time something comes up, which makes me nervous when that next time comes up, which makes me struggle with it … wash, rinse, repeat.
Even something as simple as checking the pressure in my car’s tires used to cause angst, because I had trouble putting the gauge on straight, meaning instead of getting a reading, I was just letting air out of the tire.
The strange thing is, there have been multiple times where I’ve been able to completely improvise solutions — reattaching a bathtub tile, dealing with a hole in the siding, bolstering a collapsing couch.
Maybe it’s because, strange as those situations were, the solutions were basically right in front of me.
In theory, the source of the light going off in my car — low tire pressure — shouldn’t have been much cause for concern, and not just because it could have been a whole lot worse.
After all, it had happened when I was at my parents’ house a few months ago, as we were going out to breakfast with my father.
I fretted the entire trip to the diner, but my father said the same thing happened on his truck. It was a bitterly cold morning, so we figured that was the problem.
After breakfast, we went to the local convenience store, he walked me through the process of inflating the tires and all was fine. Yes, I know that inflating tires isn’t a job that should require parental guidance, but again, lack of confidence, plus the air hose had the same setup as those pressure gauges that always gave me a hard time.
This time, I very briefly contemplated just driving to work and figuring it out later, but “Nothing’s going to go wrong, right?” is probably not the best approach for a 45-mile drive.
Also, I had done this. All I had to do was find a gas station with an air pump, and I’d be all set … which is why it didn’t work when I first tried it.
Enter panic, but then I realized I wasn’t holding it the hose to the tire with enough pressure. Once I sorted that out, everything went smoothly, and I got four satisfying little beeps when the pressure reached the desired amount.
So maybe that’s one very simple mechanical thing I have sorted. One down, all the others to go.
After that, my only concern was that it held me up for about 15 minutes on my way to work, but that didn’t even last long. I was still going to get to the office in plenty of time for my morning meeting, and other than that, who cared?