One of my superpowers in life is my ability to find anything. Can’t find your car keys? I’m your man. Can’t locate your hermit crab that wandered off from his cage? I can track him like he was wearing a GPS tracker. I wish I had started a log of all the missing things I’ve located over the years. And I’m not talking about the run of the mill missing easy to find car keys-type of locating. I’m talking about the “I can’t find my car keys and I’ve had 11 other people trying to help me find them” type of locating. In fact, there are only two things I haven’t located yet. One is a tiny accent diamond from a wedding ring that my friend lost in a banquet hall. The other is my broken heart that was ripped from my chest and thrown away by an ex-girlfriend back in college.

Another one of my superpowers and one that I’ve mentioned in my deliberate year before is my ability to not notice things going on around me, whether it is someone’s new haircut, a new outfit, conversations that I’ve tuned out of, or even a meteor hurtling through the sky. Yes, I was one of the very few in the Midwest who did not see the fireball in the sky the other week. I was not in the bathroom, I didn’t have four walls completely closing me off from outside world, I was not in an isolation chamber. I was in the dining room while my bride and kids were in the next room, and even though both rooms have the same southern view, they saw the fireball and I did not.

This superpower tends to get me into trouble. One day, not too far back in the past, my car suddenly stopped on the highway. It wouldn’t start up, wouldn’t crank or turn over. So I got a tow to the local garage, and the mechanic that I’ve known for 15 years, after examing the car, tells me I need to add some gas to the car to make it go. Something about the car having an internal combustion engine which requires fuel to keep it going. My new mechanic doesn’t know that story and never will. The point is, I missed the “Low fuel” indicator that was lit up on the dashboard. In my defense, being tall I can’t quite see the entire dashboard lights and the fuel light was wedged up and under the top of the dashboard. It is still embarrassing and is still on my bride’s “Not Approved” story list for her to tell anyone. Yet she still enjoys telling it. I just tell her my first wife enjoyed telling “Not Approved” stories as well.

Around the house, there are a number of things that just need attention, and if they don’t get attention, bad things happen. For example, true story, one winter the furnace quit working. After hiring my neighbor who is a heating and cooling guy, he discovered that the alert code blinking on the motherboard of the furnace was spelling out “Dirty Filter”. The furnace started right up once he swapped out the old filter for the one I had bought several weeks previously but had never installed and had it just leaning against the furnace. Also, bad things happen if one forgets to change the kitty litter weekly, bad things like finding cat turds in places one doesn’t want to find cat turds.

So I realized today that I need to take some deliberate action on this. I need to organize that part of my life in the same fashion as my other parts of my life. Otherwise, it can get costly. Running out of gas was a $100 lesson. Picking up cat turds was a lesson in holding one’s breath. Other episodes I’ve had must have cost me hundreds of dollars. Today’s deliberate action needs to get done so I don’t waste any more money.

Today, for my deliberate action, I’m going to write up a chart of daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly/yearly maintenance tasks. I’m going to post this in a prominent location in the house and mark things off as I do them. Plus, there will be a section for things that I notice that need attention, called the “Things I’ve noticed that need attention” section. Cause often I’ll see something around the house that doesn’t look right or need fixing, note it in my brain, and then 5 seconds later it is gone. Perhaps if I do not have one of these maintenance episodes over this year, I can save that money for our epic family trip.


Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

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