Combatting winter neglect

Winter Tires

When it’s winter, I find I let things slide. Or maybe they slide all by themselves, and I just don’t do anything about them. That’s often because I find I’m quite unaware that something needs doing. Take, for instance, some inflation issues I encountered recently (no, not of the economic kind…).

This is the first year I am parking outside overnight. Previously, I had been in nice, hermetically sealed shoebox-like condos with underground parking. There, my car didn’t really encounter winter until I drove it outside. It got a little crusty as I drove it from parking garage to parking garage, but really, winter was something we both ventured into only for brief periods of time. So tire inflation issues weren’t really something I was particularly familiar with. Imagine my surprise when I realized just how much tire pressure (10% or more) my brand new tires lost over the course of a couple of weeks at -20°C! I found myself wondering why my Subaru’s steering was off and things were feeling a little, well, sloshier than even the sloshiest of Toronto’s icy streets should. I was also mystified about why my fuel consumption seemed way up… I thought, “Okay, a cold engine might use more fuel, but…”

So I stopped by my friendly neighbourhood gas station (okay, it’s actually a completely impersonal chain gas station that gives you ‘points’ every time you fill up; I just like saying ‘friendly’ and ‘neighborhood’) and properly inflated my tires. What a difference!

Another thing I realized a month or so ago was just how bad my mattress had become. When bought, a number of years ago, it seemed like a good one – expensive and properly supportive. Maybe a little too fluffy in that 18″ pillow top kind of way. But okay. What the pillow top masked, for me at least, was how unsupportive the underlying structure had become. It was sagging in the middle, and its occupants would sort of roll into the centre. When this was pointed out to me recently, I bit the bullet and went to my friendly neighbourhood mattress store (there is actually one in the neighbourhood but it, too, is a bit soulless, filled with salespeople pretending to be sleep consultants). $700 later and I’m now the proud owner of a brand-spanking-new mattress. My back thanked me immediately and continues to thank me every day.

Clearly, winter is a season that requires me to be more structured and organized than I normally need to be. Nothing feels naturally as if it needs doing; my caveman instincts tell me it’s time to bury myself in my home, stay inside, consume the food I have stored in my cupboards and hibernate. From now on, I think winter will require me to make lists and check items off as I go. The relief of addressing these two things was immediately tangible, so I think I’ll continue to go through my list of things I don’t want to know about (or do) as winter turns into spring.

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