Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Slow Leak

One of the banes of my existence as a cyclist is the slow leak in a tire; the problem this presents for me is whether to live with it or fix it; and the problem this presents for me is endemic in my life: should I make do with what I have or effect the changes necessary for full repair?

I can go some time regularly pumping up a tire that’s slowly losing air before I decide to patch it, as long as it’s losing air slowly enough to make it feasible for me to pump it up regularly and still ride.

I’m sure this is a metaphor for how I live my life; I’m consistently putting up with small annoyances that could be alleviated were I to make the effort to put things really right.

Like I wouldn’t have to paint the exterior windowsills every summer if I replaced them. Or I could spare myself the headache of scrolling across my Excel spreadsheet grade books if I upgraded them from the version I created years ago. Or I wouldn’t have to use duct tape on the knees of jeans if only I sewed on a fabric patch.

Part of my difficulty is that I’m not always clear on the prudent course of action. Is it better to deal with the symptoms or actually fix the problem? And does the problem really merit the all-out solution?

Because, after all, at some level, all fixes, even the major ones, are only temporary, right?

So, if we can get our clothes dry by running the dryer cycle twice instead of replacing it with one that could do the job in half the time, but will eventually end up like the one we have now, why not?

Today, though, perhaps I turned over a new leaf; I fixed my slow leak after just a single day of putting up with it.

Am I becoming more practical? Or just less tolerant?


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