November 21, 2022

A stoic approach to car repairs

 I recently read "A guide to the Good Life" by William Irvine

I found a lot of it very interesting - especially the idea of leaning into negative visualization rather than moving away from it.  I never got the hang of the whole "these are just thoughts" way of viewing negative thinking.  But the idea of looking at a worry as an opportunity to appreciate what we have makes sense to me.

Recently, the blower in our car broke.  This meant that we had no air... not really a problem except that it's impossible to defog your windscreen without the blower.  For two days we had to thoroughly clean the windshield before driving, then drive with all the windows open.  It's been about 58 degrees F (9 degrees c).  I've been wearing a down jacket whenever I've had to drive anywhere.

Andy fixed the blower this weekend, and when I got in the car and defogged the windscreen with the blower I thought "wow, I am so thankful to have this blower working again!" 

Instead of worrying the blower might break again (which it probably will) I found myself more appreciative of the fact it was currently working.  I think that's something like Stoicism?

Here's what I'm thankful for today:

  • Having a functioning fan in the car to defog windows
  • A delicious Speltotto dinner
  • Finding a new crazy sport-yoga class with a friend who is super keen for really odd sport-yoga
  • Going to London for work tomorrow
  • Kids being healthy and enjoying nursery
  • Andy taking over laundry
  • Clean sheets on the bed 


  1. I love lists like this; things like clean laundry, kids healthy (and NOT at home), and even a functioning car fan can feel so wonderful, especially if we pay attention to them, recognize the blessing they provide (e..g. I'm SO much more appreciative of my kids being able to go to school right after they've been home for a stretch sick).
    I hope the blower fix lasts for a long time. Brrrr. It is -4C here right now, and I wouldn't want to be driving anywhere with windows down!

  2. Appreciating what you have at the moment is definitely a good habit to get into :) my husband (who suffers from anxiety) has this mantra: if you worry about it and nothing happens, you worried for nothing. If you worry about something and something does happen, you worried twice. Therefore, it's best to not worry until there is actually something to worry about ;)

    That Speltotto dish sounds amazing. I've never cooked with spelt (only baked with it), but I imagine it's like other grains (barley or farro).
    I also love clean sheets on the bed.

    1. Your husband has a good point! I always use the slow cooker for grains like spelt/barley/farro. Sometimes it turns my recipes into mush but it avoids any last minute fears of not cooking it enough.