There is so little that I, as an individual, can control. I’m not a lobbyist, a political mover and shaker, or even a major opinion influencer. I try to advocate on behalf of Boomers and beyond. I write about what I see from my unique perspective as a Canadian expat. My sense of social consciousness tears me apart as, at the same time, I am able to function as an entrepreneur in the hungriest consumer market in the world. I think about best choices for my child and worry about her future. Cook my own food, try to stay purist in buying organic and local. Take political action as I have the power to, write to politicians and bureaucrats knowing that I am just another number that gets standardized letters of response. I donate money to worthy causes and for disaster relief, even though my own coffers are tighter, as a small business entrepreneur.
So to combat these overwhelming feelings of powerlessness, I look long and hard (and just about every day) to what I can control, rather than drowning in what I can’t control.
Which brings me to today. Today, as I waited for 15 minutes in line at the Costco gas pumps to save $0.15/gallon, my van (a necessity in my pet service business) stood next to a Prius, both of them drinking the expensive brew. The Prius’ owner (a well-groomed, attractive man in a jogging suit) and I started a conversation. I told him my tank cost $92. He looked at me wide-eyed and told me he’d barely reach $36 AND he’d be able to go about 500 miles without a refill. I’ll go about 400 miles on my $92. And then he said something that got me.
I don’t care how much gas prices go up, now…not with this car. Not even if gas goes to $10/gallon.
Ayay. At $10/gallon, I’d never be able to fill my tank in one sitting. I’d have to drastically change all my routing (even though I’m extremely well-routed now.) So it gave me a good think…about what I can control. I bought my 2007 Buick Terraza in Januray 2008…and sadly, it is a lemon. The warranty is about to expire and at this point, GM has spent more money on repairing my car and covering my car rentals while the car has been in the shop than what I paid for it. Because of its age, it isn’t worth it to try and pursue lemon law legal relief (although I should have much earlier on.)
I still owe for the 0% loan that I took out on the vehicle and, this morning, looking at the beaming, shining, happy face of that Prius owner, I decided that I am selling my van. He LOVED his vehicle. I TOLERATE mine. Big difference.
Now comes the dilemma. With the horrible crisis and shortage of car parts from Japan, do I go for a Honda or a Toyota? Or do I stick with American and take my chances, again, with a higher mileage American made vehicle. I know a few of you would have strong opinions. I’m still in need of some sort of utility vehicle (like a Honda CRV, Subaru Forrester), and I like my little accessory luxuries, although I’m willing to do without for the sake of better gas mileage.
What would you do in my shoes? If you have an opinion or recommendation, I’d love to hear it (even better if you are a lawyer!! or a mechanic!!! or Marine engineer!) I’ll be making the switch within the next couple of months. You can post your comment, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org