Ahh, school is back in session, and my life gets to slow down a bit…
Now that all that resting is out of the way, me and the lady are heading up to Colorado tomorrow to visit some friends. This is a big trip for many reasons, not the least of which is that I’m finally getting to go IRL-wheeling with the guy who got me into all this web-wheeling nonsense in the first place. My good buddy tk44 from over on Reddit, talked me into (I mean really twisted my arm) starting a Grand Cherokee subreddit over on that ubiquitous site we all pretend not to go to. And now, just a few years later, here I am with a fancy blog with learnins and stuff to share with allyall. Anyway, while we’ve actually met before in person once, and ran a couple trails in his rig, we’ve never had both our rigs together before. I’m getting to wheel Colorado!!!
It’s gonna be good times.
Over the summer I managed a huge project at work, and its imminent and long awaited completion signals a sort of rebirth for me, or maybe better put, I’m waking from my hibernation. As anyone who’s read my last few posts has probably already figured out, I fell into a HUGE slump the last few months. Part of it was work. Most of it was work. But the rest of me just didn’t feel like turning wrenches or getting dirty. It snuck up on me, and it really freaked me out. I worried I was already getting burned out on the whole scene, before I’d really even got into it. To spare you the suspense, I’m finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, and it looks like there are some good trails ahead. Looking back though, this was yet another turning point for me on my journey to become a mechanic.
To be fair, I have been a bit burned out, and not just from work, but from the Jeep too.
The kind of burnout we’ve all been through, where we’re tracking down a problem in the car, and no matter what, we just can’t find the source. And you chase it and chase it and you chase it, and finally you just start not to care, and you just wait for the car to blow up. That kind of burnout.
Oh, I also learned some shit. This hobby isn’t just a money hole, it will take your time, your sanity, and even your people if you let it. Just like President Vladimir Putin says “Moderation in this, as with all things, is key”. When I started this new life, I thought that I’d be doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and Jeeping, but as it turns out, no matter how dedicated I am to this hobby, it can be exhausting, and requires some downtime once in a while.
I always used to wonder why my buddy Tim would be sitting in his living room playing video games when his year long project was only hours from completion just outside in the garage, but I sure get it now. Whithout taking the time to miss the hobby, it’s impossible to appreciate it. When the project (any project) becomes all-consuming, other aspects of life are necessarily put to the side. It can hurt the people around us, and of course, ourselves in the long run.
To tie it all together, while driving home with my lady from celebrating her birthday, my odometer turned over one hundred seven thousand one hundred eleven miles. Just then, everything paused. I saw a snapshot of my life from the outside. At that moment, at that mileage, with my beautiful woman at my side, and my faithful dog sleeping in the back, and Otis crooning on the radio, I found my spark again. I started to get excited about wheeling and wrenching and upgrading.
Once home, with new Spicer parts ordered and delivered, I set to rebuilding the driveshaft. Methodically, slowly, and with my full attention, I rebuilt the shaft over two days, in the evenings after work, taking my time and never rushing. I wanted to make sure I was getting back into things with the right mindset, instead of just rushing to get the job done. The end result is a perfectly ordinary rebuilt front driveshaft. But also, I feel invigorated, I feel optimistic. And instead of just grumbling about all the problems my rig’s got, I’m looking forward to working on them again. I guess you could say I’m starting to see the forest again through all these trees.
Now, we’re looking down the barrel of a 1400 mile trip, and many grand new adventures ahead.