Life

Why Do I Take Better Care of My Car Than My Body?

The only thing I know about my car is how to open the gas cap and fill up the tank.  When I recently had to call roadside assistance, I didn’t even know how to open the hood as they requested.  Instead, I pushed the button that raises the rear door so they would be able to recognize my car when they drove by.  Silly, yes. Ridiculous, probably, but true, nonetheless.

When I bought my car, they suggested I use unleaded gasoline, have the oil changed every 5k miles, and take it in every several thousand miles for servicing.  I think it was 10k, 30k, and 50k miles.  Also, they recommended tire alignments every so many miles.  To this day I have no idea what an alignment is.  I don’t remember the exact instructions at this moment, but I can tell you that I dutifully took and continue to take every suggestion given to me.  After all, I want my car to last, right?

At 62 years young, I am 30 pounds overweight, have a sedentary job, have a severe addiction to carbs, and haven’t quite adapted the idea of portion control.  I have one body that has been through chemo and multiple other surgeries and, let’s face it, is wearing down.  I don’t “bounce back” like I used to.  It feels like everything takes longer to return to normal, whatever that may mean.

Recently someone challenged me and asked why I take better care of my car than my body, and sadly I had no answer.  The question has been lingering with me ever since.  It has raised more questions than anything else.  Do I not feel I deserve to be my best self?  What is it about food that I place ahead of my own well-being?  Do I somehow feel invincible despite proof to the contrary?

The fact that I continue to ask this question of myself means that something is stirring inside.  That is definitely a good thing.  At the time of penning this, I have no answers.  What I do have is a desire to keep digging; a willingness to receive outside help to assist in guiding me to my truth; and enough self-love to look at this as a huge opportunity for growth.  There is no reason to beat myself up even though what I have written is very painful.  It is also very courageous.  I am letting whoever reads this know something I have hidden, denied, and even tried to justify much of my life.  The idea that I value a car more than my own body isn’t something I am proud of.  However, just writing this and seeing my words has provided some freedom.  I can’t wait to see what the rest of this part of my journey holds for me.

2 thoughts on “Why Do I Take Better Care of My Car Than My Body?

  1. Wow Karen this is such an inspiring and honest post. I really appreciate that you’re asking the question without knowing the answer– I feel like this is something I have a hard time doing. I don’t want the uncomfortable feeling of being unsure or feeling there are parts of me I don’t know or can’t answer for. At the same time, I don’t want to unknowingly reinforce my pattern by focusing on the why instead of the how– How do I do this? What are some of the specific things I do on a daily basis to build this pattern? How can I change? The why is where my mind automatically goes, but if I don’t know the answer sometimes I get caught asking the question over and over instead of moving into the solution.

    I think there is a place for both the exploration of the why– giving myself time to notice the pattern, build a fuller picture of my actions (or inactions)– and the how– letting go of the past and finding ways to treat myself as well as (or better than) my car. I will say it’s a lot easier to take my car to someone else to maintain than to change the oil myself lol! I have never done that and honestly I don’t want to.

    MAYBE THAT’S WHY– it’s in your post! The answer is right there– I don’t know how to care for my car, I just know how to ask for help with what the car needs. Maybe that’s what’s so difficult about owning a body– I still don’t know how to care for it, but it feels hard to ask for help from others with what my body needs. Aren’t I supposed to just know that? But I don’t. I need help. I need help even knowing what the list of things to do is– what do I do every 5000 miles? When do I go in for a physical?

    I really appreciate your candor and your confidence in asking this question without having an answer. It’s so reviving to explore this with you, to think of myself in this way. Because I’m definitely like you– I have a mechanic and I unreservedly ask for help from him when it’s time. Thanks for speaking up, in all that you do.

  2. WOW! You always make me think, reconsider and think more. What a great observation that we take our cars to someone for their care. We on the other hand need to care for ourselves. I’ve been getting some guidance from a power that lives within me the last couple weeks. I’m giving it a few more weeks and will continue writing on the next part of this journey. Thanks for taking the time to right such a thought provoking comment Resa.

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