Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tolerating Unforeseen Events and Circumstances

How do you tolerate those unforeseen events and circumstances that invade everyone's life at some point or other? Does the frustration turn you into a raving maniac? Do you take it out on someone else? Do you pull your hair out, pace the floor like a caged animal or complain incessantly? How much can you tolerate before you reach your breaking point and your pressure valve goes off?

Those are all questions I'm dealing with right now. Well, except for the one about pulling my hair out. That's not a possibility for me these days. It's 21 days and counting since My McVansion and I limped to the engine hospital and I admitted the patient (and 23 days since My McVansion had a heart "engine" attack).

Okay, so I'm personifying a pile of metal, rubber, plastic and fabric. But, it's both my home and my transportation (read that as freedom). While I don't fall in love with "things," I think it's fair to say that we all develop a degree of attachment to those things that provide us with freedom and comfort.

What's Up, Doc?

To use Bugs Bunny's famous line when addressing Elmer Fudd, what the heck is up? Yes! I've asked myself the questions, "Why me?" and "Why, out of all the thousands of engines that have gone through this "engine hospital" does mine have to be the one with "complications?" Of course, these are rhetorical questions. I'm sure everyone has had at least one occasion to pose similar questions. We know there are no answers for them. Call it the luck of the draw, the roll of the dice, bad karma, or anything else you choose to. It doesn't change anything.

Sure, I call the engine doctor and ask the question, "What's up, Doc?" I, I visit the patient regularly, too, after all, the patient is both my home and my freedom (transportation). Much of the "stuff" of my life is in My McVansion even though I pulled out the stuff I needed to have to function when I'm not in my home on wheels.

The response is that the patient's heart (engine) is restored and in everyway except for one, the patient is operating at its prime. The problem is . . . the one thing that is not. And, worse yet, the doctor has done everything he seems to know how to do. Additionally, I've had all kinds of valid, logical and rational suggestions by others who are familiar with the workings of an automotive heart and have passed them on to the doctor. But, there is still no solution.


I don't know about you. If this were maybe seven or eight years ago or more, I probably would be reacting very differently. By now I would have totally lost my cool. I'd be acting out some of the questions I posed at the opening of this article (except for the hair pulling one). I'd be running up and down the people working on the engine. But . . . I'm not

So, let me weigh the Pros and Cons of toleration or the lack there of.

Pros Of Being Tolerant

First, let me pre-qualify my reasons for being tolerant. The biggest one is that I happen to be staying at my son's small abode in the suburbs of Los Angeles. I have no motel expenses. I'd probably have to stay in one of those "Rooms by the Week" grungy motels somewhere near the engine rebuilder. That alone would be a major stressor. Second, I'm not in any particular hurry to get anywhere in particular, although there are places I'd like to be traveling to. Third, I'm just shy of 70 years old and I've been through all kinds of challenging events and circumstances. Shit Happens. Now, to move on . . .

1. I have a comfortable, clean, friendly, quiet place to stay
2. I'm enjoying spending some quality time with my son, something we haven't had an opportunity to do in over a decade.
3. It's sunny, blue skies and warm here as opposed to nasty winter weather.
4. The owner of the engine rebuilding business is pleasant, knowledgeable, collaborative and communicative.
5. I have the use of my son's wheels when he's at work only a mile and a half from his place.
6. I have lots of time to myself and I enjoy extended times of solitude.
7. I have all kinds of projects to work on including writing articles for the blog, doing some upgrading and facelifting on the blog, editing thousands of digital photos in my photo files, working on any of several ebooks I'm working on and reading numerous books in my Kindle files. I'm also catching up on emails and if I'm really bored, I can catch up on TV shows by viewing them on line.

That's a lot of Pros right there.

Cons Of Being Intolerant

All the same conditions as noted above remain constant, so . . .

1. I could stress myself out and impact my health negatively.
2. I could make myself a pain in my son's posterior and cause a riff between us (ugh).
3. I could break down the collaboration and communication with the engine shop owner that could negatively impact our working relationship and ultimately impact my wallet negatively.
4. I could get nothing productive done because I'm not only a pain in everyone else's ass, but I'm a pain in may own ass.
5. I could negatively impact my friendships by being a constant whiner, complainer and bellyacher, especially those people who care enough and have the knowledge about vehicles and engines to share with me.

Well, I think that's enough. I can see no clear advantage to being intolerant.

It Is What It Is!

So, here's the bottom line. Yes! I definitely would rather be rolling down the road and meeting up with various people I'm looking forward to seeing. That in no way implies that I'm not enjoying time with my son. However, my son is a mid 30's adult with a responsible position and his own very active life. We are also friends, which not every parent can say about their offspring. But, we each have separate lives and interests at our respective ages. So, too much of a good thing is, well . . . too much. I will have other opportunities to visit with him while I'll be here on the west coast. We may reach a point at some time where enough is enough for now. We're not there, yet.

The situation is one of those best described as, "it is what it is." Being intolerant isn't going to necessarily make it resolve any faster. Sure, I have places to go, people to see and other things to do, but all in due time. The world, especially mine, is not going to come to an end (nor will I let it) because of some circumstances that are currently out of my immediate control.

I'm actually enjoying getting some things done that I've kept putting on the back burner for way too long. Being tolerant of the circumstances is actually opening opportunities for me to get to things I've been putting off.

I could go on and on. But, there is a point. Ultimately, everything will resolve and I'll be "on the road again," as old Willie Nelson sings so well.

Are you tolerant or intolerant during situations like mine? How do you handle these real life situations? Do you just see the lemons or do you see the opportunity to make some tasty, tangy lemonade? Is you life so tightly wound that the least thing out of the ordinary or your plan causes your spring to become unsprung? Think about it and let me know


  1. What's the matter with the engine?

    1. It gave up the ghost on the way out of the central valley of CA on the way to LA climbing the steep climb to the Tejano Pass. I managed to limp into the LA area to my son's place. Found a highly reputed engine shop. They rebuilt it, but they can't get the exhaust manifold to stop glowing cherry red after a few minutes of running at about 1800 to 2000 rpm. Been through all the obvious - disconnected and checked the cat converter and the rest of the exhaust system, All fine. Looking at timing issues, rich fuel mixture and why and possible gasket leak allowing air in to cause it to burn hotter than it should. So far, the gremlin is still eluding discovery. Hopefully VERY soon the bug will be found and I'll be back on the road.


  2. Afternoon Ed, I just found your blog upon watching your you tube video. I look forward to reading back posts and new ones a like. Good health and safe travels.

    1. Hi and thanks for dropping in.

      Glad you enjoyed the YouTube video and I'm honored to have you reading the blog. As you probably already know the 2livefreely.com URL takes you to the main blog with all the articles. This blog is just a peripheral blog where I place some of the categorical things. But, you can find everything I write through 2livefreely.com

      Have a terrific day,

  3. If you came through Quartzsite, AZ your van probably caught something from one of the ladies' vans here... so many women having van issues. Hard to find a good mechanic who won't try and take advantage of the situation. Good luck. Hope our roads cross one day.

    1. Nope! I bypassed Quartzite, Charlene. My McVansion did this all by itself (probably with a little help from me). Sorry to hear so many vans belonging to the ladies of the open road have had issues. Being taken advantage of by unscrupulous mechanics is one of the hazards of the road, and, I would say even more so for women. I found a very reputable place here in Hawthorne, CA near my son's place, plus I have about four other people (old college friend and the others basically vandwellers with combined over 120 years of automotive and engine knowledge and experience who are my on-line consultant/advisers. So, I'm fortunate all around.

      We will cross paths one of these days, there's no doubt in my mind. Happy Trails wherever you are currently.