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Finding Motivation After A Trip To The Beach.

How to keep your car looking like new

I recently purchased a new car. My very first ever car that has not been owned by someone else before me. I’ve called her Poppy. Needless to say, it has been a little bit exciting. She’s a red Mazda CX-5 and has all sorts of bells and whistles, some of which I wasn’t even aware were a thing.

I can have different air conditioner settings for the driver and passenger. The headlights will automatically turn on when it gets dark and the wipers when it rains. I can play my phone through its speakers and I have an alert if someone is in my blind spot. All of these add to the enjoyment of driving her.

Well, it’s funny how this new car is making me behave differently than the way I did with my old car. My old car rarely got a wash (it was white and didn’t show the dirt until it was positively filthy), I only wiped the inside when the dust was obvious and I didn’t worry too much about the wet dog missing the towel I had put on the back seat.

This new car is a different story entirely

Usually on Sunday we take our dog (Pepsi) to the beach. Since getting Poppy however, poor Pepsi has been missing out.

This weekend we worked out how to get our 25 kg dog into the back of the car without scratching the paint (I’m too much of a weakling to be able to pick her up and she’s getting a little older now) and we headed off to the beach.

Of course, when we got home the car was a mess of sand. I quickly got the vacuum and gave it a clean and wiped the dog nose marks off the back windscreen. It was easy.

I then wondered why I found it so difficult to do the exact same thing with my older car.

I got to thinking and it struck me how silly this whole thing is. Just because my car is new doesn’t make it any more important that it is kept in a clean condition. It’s just that I don’t want it to look old, dirty and uncared for so soon. It only takes me a few minutes to keep it maintained because I am starting from scratch. With my old car, I would have needed to put in a larger amount of time at some stage to get it up to a minimum standard that I could then easily maintain. If however, I had spent a few extra minutes regularly making it look clean and tidy, it would have been a far nicer experience all round.

Our grandparents knew the value of keeping their belongings in good repair. It’s funny how we don’t do that quite so much anymore. We jump from one new thing to the next without considering how it would be possible to get a longer life out of our older things.

Now, my old car was definitely in need of retirement. The muffler needed replacing, my driver’s seat had collapsed and the wipers barely worked regardless of how many times I replaced the blades. She also had an annoying habit of regularly popping the headlight globe so I would be driving around like a pirate, with only one eye showing, quite a lot of the time. Anyway, quite apart from these things, it wouldn’t have cost much of my time to keep her looking a little better than I did.

Think about it like this, rather than despairing because the car is old, we can be proud of owning a car and devote just a little bit of time to keeping it in a neat and tidy condition for driving. It’s all about mindset really. How we think about something influences how we behave and because I had decided that it was old and would be replaced soon, I allowed this to be an excuse for neglecting it. If however, I change my mindset and approach the situation the same way I would if it were a new car, devoting a couple of minutes a day getting rid of any rubbish inside, wiping down the dash and regular washing, I will find that my car looks good and it feels better to drive it.

The same thing applies for certain areas inside the home. Take for example, a messy kitchen. We can despair that it will take too long to make look nice or we can set about taking action. If we block out a chunk of time to set it right then it is only a matter of maintanence in which we do a small amount each day to keep it that way.

Is there an area of your home that needs a longer blitz to get it up to standard so it is easier to keep in check?

As you know, I’m a huge advocate of doing things in small steps but sometimes an area calls for an overhaul all in one go if we have the time and the energy to do it.

What will you tackle today?

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