The Art of Perspective

Kelly and I recently drove the dodge to New Mexico to pick up the ’69 Gladiator Jeep that I had learned to drive in as a boy. The “Green Machine”. My dad was the second owner from 1975, and my folks gifted the truck to me. I have never been a huge “car guy”, but there is something special about the first truck you ever drove.

Ready to head east

Anyway, the Dodge is a powerful thing and it will pass anything but a gas station. I don’t know why, but every vehicle I have ever owned has had terrible fuel mileage. Since I have to buy so much fuel, saving a few cents per gallon becomes a bit of a game. On the trip to NM, we had seen diesel from $2.21 in Amarillo to over $3.00 in Oklahoma. The fuel prices since Biden came to office has been wild. Check out the screenshot from the app. (I didn’t download this app until about 5 minutes after the events of this blog.) $.95 difference within a few miles. It was crazy.

Price Spread

Kelly and I have been doing most of our road trips in the last few years out of a plane. It has made us a little less of the road warrior than we had been when the kids were rodeoing, so a trip over 12 hours becomes a 2-day trip for us. (The plane does not have a Reese hitch on the back bumper for the tilt-bed trailer.)

We left the ranch in New Mexico on Thursday, planning to stop around Oklahoma City. One exit shy of our hotel in Yukon, Kelly had seen fuel for $2.59 as we came in. The fuel price at our exit was $2.79, so I thought I would go back an exit in the morning and save twenty cents per gallon. At 28 gallons, that would amount to almost $6.

One fact about Kelly is that she is as barn-sour as any horse you have ever known. She also believes the “E” on the fuel gauge in the truck stands for “Enough”. So once we loaded up on Friday morning, there was no chance we were going to go west for a few miles. But, the fuel gauge was dangerously close to that “E”, so we were taking a chance on paying a lot more once we headed east. I think the Dodge was predicting 40 miles to empty, so that really means 25.

Lo and behold, a few miles later we find fuel at an OnCue gas station for $2.49. I pulled in as proud as a treasure hunter with a gold coin. Smiling at Kelly I said, “The decision to go east just bought one of us breakfast.” We fueled up and pulled out of the station, still talking about what a cool thing it was to find fuel for $2.49, and happy with our obviously intuitive and extremely smart decision.

Since I couldn’t get right back on the interstate, we had to drive a few blocks north on a side street. Not 5 miles from the fuel stop there was another OnCue station. Diesel was $2.37. All of a sudden, I was not nearly so delighted with my $2.49 fuel of minutes ago. “Man, if we had only waited.” I said to Kelly. But then, I quickly brightened and decided to focus on the fact that I had at least not paid over $3 for the fuel. This was a bright spot, and a chance to have the choice to practice the Art Of Perspective. In just a few minutes I had gone from happy to find inexpensive fuel to disappointed that I hadn’t found the more inexpensive fuel that was available just around the corner. Deciding which feeling to focus on is an important decision.

I guess what it really boils down to is that you can decide to focus on situations from several points of view, and how you feel about the rest of your world can easily be influenced by your attitude. Nothing new in that, but it is nice to be reminded of it from time to time as the little things in life allow you to refocus. I like living with a Christian worldview, I like being happy for the good things in my life and allowing that happiness to keep me painting everything with a positive spin.  I like that the Art Of Perspective gives me a chance to have the attitude that I want.  Danny Ward is not the creator of this saying, but he is the one that said it to me. “I complained about not having any shoes until I saw the man with no feet.” Powerful message in that. I hope you all are having a wonderful 2021. Be Blessed.

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