Every morning right after I clock into the office, there's one routine I never fail to follow: I buy a P17 cup of Robusta coffee in our pantry, pour in some creamer, and watch the white powder sink into its abyss.
My fellow Top Gear PH staff writer, Jason Tulio, who's often in line behind me for coffee, once asked me why I did this. I never really bothered to give him an answer outside of, "I enjoy it." But in case you're reading this, Jason, a more substantial reasoning behind this practice can be found in the beginning and end of Desiderata.
Its first line reads: "Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence." While the last stanza starts with: "With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."
An aspiring motoring writer watching creamer fall into the bottom of a coffee cup probably isn't what my Dad visualized when he'd use to read Max Ehrmann's piece to me as a kid. But there's a lot to take in here--especially when you're taking into account the grand scheme of things.
It might sound deep, but it really isn't. In fact, I've summed up those two lines into a few simple words: "It's the little things that count." Because no matter how helpless or hopeless we feel--and we've all been there, we're sure--there's always something in life worth appreciating.
I believe this mindset applies to everything and everyone--including us car guys. So if you're down on your luck and reading this--whether you're struggling to pay off an ill-advised auto loan or simply stuck in traffic after a tiring day at the office--remember to take in the positives, no matter how mundane they may be. Here are 10 examples we're sure you can relate to:
1) Peeling the plastic off a new ride
Few rituals are more satisfying to the average car guy than peeling off the plastic of a newly-bought ride. You do it slowly and with affection: Seat by seat, component by component--as if you're undressing the love of your life on the night of your wedding. Hey, it isn't called a "cargasm" for nothing, right? And speaking of brand-new cars…
2) Enjoying that glorious new car scent
Just don't breathe in too deep, because it's probably toxic thanks to all the plastics, paint and adhesives involved in the manufacturing process.
3) Finishing an awesome song as you pull into your driveway
Every car has a soundtrack, whether it's an over-the-top rock ballad or beat-heavy rap track. And nothing's better than arriving home from traffic to the tune of your favorite song. If your timing isn't perfect, hell, just sit inside your car and finish the song before getting out anyway.
4) Watching the fuel gauge climb up to full
Three words that we're certain every car guy loves saying at the gas station: "Full tank, boss!" Now sit back, relax, and watch that needle point up with utmost satisfaction.
5) Seeing the reflection of your car while driving
A beautiful car demands admiration, even if it is just from its not-so-beautiful owner. Remember to take the opportunity to compliment your ride--and yourself as well--each time you pass a squeaky-clean window with one-way tint on the road.
6) Witnessing the odometer reach a milestone
You've owned this car and driven this long in anticipation of this very moment. Every kilometer with your baby counts, but seeing all those zeros on the odometer is a different kind of special altogether. Be sure to break out your camera phone and take a snap.
7) Putting the air-con on full blast in the middle of a hot parking lot
Ah, the sweet relief of cold air during a hot summer day. If you can appreciate it inside the mall, office or living room, you should take the time to enjoy it inside your vehicle, too.
8) Keeping your papers in order
Do you have your paperwork sorted out? Of course you do. Everything from your registration papers to your owner's manual is located in one neatly organized binder in the glove compartment. And there's no better way to remind yourself you have your life in order than by whipping it out to check its contents every now and then.
9) Watching your car get covered in foam at the wash
You know what's even better? Actually applying the foam yourself, then washing your ride down with a grin on your face.
10) Finally paying off your auto loan
All those sleepless nights at the office have finally paid off. Break out a beer, sit back, and give yourself a much-deserved pat on the back, buddy--at least until you find yourself in a showroom looking for another financial obligation to pay off. But seriously, congrats on being a responsible, working adult.