“I wonder how far I can go when the gauge says empty?”
I don’t know how many times I’ve asked myself that question over the last ten years. So far, I’ve never had to find out but something occurred to me today, on this journey towards abundance…
One of the symptoms of living paycheque-to-paycheque is that I rarely have a full tank of gas in my car. I fill it up on payday and when it gets close to empty, I start buying $20 worth of gas at a time.
Which doesn’t even make any sense. I still spend the same amount of money on gas, I just do it $20 at a time. And I’m constantly running on less than a quarter of a tank.
It’s a perfect example of the scarcity that has seeped into every part of my life. Even after topping up the tank with another $20, I’m still only a day or two from being empty again so it’s constantly in the back of my mind. And when the day comes that I need to get some, it’s suddenly urgent.
And that means I pay whatever the price is on a given day instead of buying it when the price is low. Not to mention that it usually hits empty on a day that I have to be somewhere at a specific time. That’s when I start wondering how far I can go when the “low fuel” light comes on.
The solution is pretty simple – I’m going to start filling up the tank whenever it gets to about 3/4 of a tank. I’ll still be spending the $20 on the same schedule, it just won’t be through the lens of scarcity. I’ll buy it when I see a good price and I’ll buy it when I’m not under pressure to get somewhere fast.
It’s a good metaphor for the rest of my life too:
- Start filling my bank account when there’s still lots of money available, not when it gets to zero (or less)
- Spend more time with my son when we’ve already spent time together, not when it feels like it’s been too long
- Get to bed at a time I choose to go, not when I reach the point of exhaustion
- Plan to relax and play before I get to the point of needing to relax and play to avoid a mental breakdown
I’m way too old to have this much nothing.