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I’ve talked about progress and how it starts to drag on you before. In fact, I wrote a tiny mini-series on keeping motivation early on for this blog. (Part one is here, if you’d like to revisit that.)

Still, all the motivation hacks in the world won’t keep you from feeling down and out all of the time. So what’s a car nut to do?

Look Back…

Duh, look at where you’ve come from. Simple, right?

Yeah…. So incredibly simple that I rarely ever take my own advice. Figures!

Honestly, though, it’s effortless to forget that you didn’t start on this journey yesterday. (Though, for any of you who have and made lots of progress in one day… I hate you?) When you get into the middle parts of a project, you’re still intently focused on the end result. You’ve still got your eyes on the prize and are diligently working in that direction. You aren’t looking back at what you’ve already managed to do because there’s still so much more work that needs to be done!

And yes, that’s a very good strategy. Please, don’t take this as an excuse to go and dump it, because that’s definitely not what it is. For anyone who’s ever skated through one half of a semester at school, to think you’ve finally achieved some breathing space, just to crash and burn and end up having to work your butt off for the last week or two just to recover…. It’s not fun. (I mean, I don’t know what you’re talking about!)

Just take the occasional break from your work to look back and say, “Damn, I have come a long way.” Or maybe it takes somebody else to point this out to you.

What my Miata used to look like.... Stock!

Story Time!

Yes, this is one of my rare posts spurred on by an actual event, not just me having too much time to think! *gasp*

So we all know that windshield wipers don’t do a very good job after two years of service. If you have been using windshield wipers that are more than two years old, I would recommend replacing them. It’s okay if you’re like me and only remember when it’s raining out and they drive you insane. Do it tomorrow so you don’t forget.

Anyhow, I finally remembered that I ought to get in and buy the new wipers. It wasn’t even raining, imagine that! After stopping to get gas, which was the mental trigger that reminded me of my next stop, I made my way over to Autozone.

I had one of the guys look up the size of my blades on the computer, which was all I really needed done. About five minutes later, I had my two Rain-X blades in hand. $20 later, they were in my Miata’s trunk. (Confession: I can never remember how to take them off or put them on… And I’d be way too embarrassed now to ask the people there to do it for me. Simple things always get me, or at least that’s what I say to make myself feel better.)

After I got home, I realized that the guy had actually given me 10% off! Pretty cool, if I do say so myself. I didn’t ask for it, but he did seem to know me… Well, my car at least. You see, he asked me if I had, “that Miata with all the stuff done to it,” or something to that extent.

Erm…. Yes…? Maybe? I dunno. I honestly wasn’t sure how to answer. I definitely do not go to Autozone all that much, so they don’t see the car all of the time, unless they catch me driving around. I have talked to them about the car before, though, and all I can think of is that the car is so unique to this area that she sticks out.

My lesson learned? Hey, we’re famous! Or my Miata is anyhow. And while I definitely don’t consider her heavily modified, I know too many other crazy Miatas to claim that, we have come a long way in our modification process. We may not be heavily modified, but by all reasonable standards we’re definitely moderately modified. We’re also purposefully modified, which makes us stand out from the crowd around here even more.

Now Look Forward Again.

She's definitely not stock anymore...

It was one of those moments that, when I recited the story to my husband for the first time, made me smile. Honestly, anyone who modifies their car lives for those moments… It’s the social recognition of one’s hard work, passion, sacrifices and dedication.

I wouldn’t call it a stamp of approval in this case, because I’m not entirely sure that the guy was what I would consider a peer. When Miata drivers tell me they like my car, that’s a big stamp of approval. When I’m told I have an awesome autocross car or a great track set up by the racers of those two groups, it’s a stamp of approval. When I have another tuner compliment my car, that’s a stamp of approval/acceptance. When it’s not from a peer, it’s more appreciation, I think.

Really, I’m just happy to get any positive attention that we can… Too many “car people” still don’t understand how much of a racer’s car the Miata is, and I get a lot of flak for having one yet. Since popular opinion isn’t as conducive to Miatas as I’d perhaps like, I don’t openly talk about my car that much. When asked, though, I certainly don’t mind.

Not that it bothers me too much, though. It’s nice to have a sort of “in cognito” car to drive around in, something that’s not noticed by everyone. After all, my attention-getter seems to be my 240SX… And I’m still figuring out how to field all of those questions yet. Wanting the attention and then getting the attention are two very different things, I’ve found out.

Still, how strange that people are interested in my cars, when much of my time is spent drooling over other people’s cars myself!