My Gas Tank Is On The Wrong Side

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I might also bite my nails. Actually, I do this fairly constantly.

At lunch, I realized I needed gas in my car. Awesome gas mileage is not the same as eternal gas mileage. So I pulled into my usual gas station, turned off the car, hit pause on my audible book ([amazon_link id=”0765350386″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson[/amazon_link]), got out and then shouted, “Son of a MONKEY WHORE!” I drew quite the stare from the blue-haired lady across the pump from me as I got back in my car and flipped it around to the other side, where my gas tank is.

I’ve driven this car now for 4 months.

Some Habits Are Hard To Break

I am a creature of habit, and most of them are horrible. Everything I do is part of my routine. I wear it like a comfortable jacket, warm and safe. The problem with a routine, though, is that if you wear it long enough, like a jacket, it’ll get worn out. When a routine gets all worn out, it becomes a rut, and nobody wants to be stuck in a rut.

The problem, though, is analyzing which habit is a keeper, and which habit must be smashed with a giant hammer until nothing is left of it but a fine paste that you can spread on your toast. There are plenty of good habits out there. Eating healthy is a good habit Brushing your teeth is a good habit. Then of course, the dark side of habits, like picking your nose, or cleaning your ears with an unfolded paper clip. Not that I’d ever do anything like that. That’s horribly disgusting.

Make a List, Check it Twice

The best way to cultivate good habits and trounce bad ones is to figure out exactly who and what you want to be, and then create a list of good habits that will help you get there and bad habits that you’ve developed that will keep you from reaching that goal.

That list might look something like:

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  • 30 Minutes on the Treadmill every day.
  • Scribbling down every thought that spends more than 30 seconds smashing around in your dome.
  • Putting your keys and wallet in the same place so you can always find them.


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  • Eating an entire package of hot dogs in one sitting.
  • Taking your socks off in bed so they fester at the bottom of the sheets.
  • Putting candy wrappers under the cushions of the couch.


The lists can go on and on like that, you can probably imagine it to be a little closer to your own habits instead of the completely made up habits above. So try it out. Sit down and make a list of the things you want to do and the things you want to stop.

Change is a powerful force when you figure it out.

4 thoughts on “My Gas Tank Is On The Wrong Side

  1. Mark says:

    I got a real kick out of this, Matt. I also like the way your mind works. Very cool!

  2. Brandee says:

    First of all, the picture hits too close to home. I’m a professional grade nail biter…gross, but true. This post made me laugh, because there’s not one person that couldn’t benefit from this. The way that you write amuses me, because it has the same tone as my youngest brother…although he’s MUCH farther out in left field. (I adore my brother, so it is a compliment.). Great post!

    1. Thanks. I’m not sure what I do is really “nail biting” so much as the disgusting habit of cleaning my nails with my teeth… I probably shouldn’t admit these things on the internet.

  3. Inkytwig says:

    Love that last sentence, “Change is a powerful force when you figure it out.” Like Brandee, I am a nail biter – well – not so much nails as I bite the skin AROUND the nails. BAD bad habit. But one I am having a hell of a time breaking. Nice post!

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