Archive for March 15, 2024


Homebody Woes

I learned this week that today’s cars with their fancy touchscreens and electronic everything aren’t compatible with the homebody lifestyle. I didn’t go anywhere last week because I was focused on writing and didn’t need anything from the grocery store, so it had been nearly two weeks since I’d last driven when I went to head to the grocery store on Wednesday. And that meant my battery was dead.

After roadside assistance jumped it, I drove around for a while to recharge. It’s bluebonnet season, so I looked at flowers, then went out to the lake and drove around it, then followed the advice of the roadside assistance guy and when a wrong turn took me right to an auto parts store, I stopped and asked them to check the battery. The battery registered as good, as did the other electrical system stuff, but the guy at the store was a Subaru fanatic/expert, and he noticed that the battery was the factory original. Batteries have a short life span around here because of the summer heat, and with the mileage on the car when I bought it, the former owner probably had driving habits about like mine. For peace of mind, I just bought a new battery. I figured it was good to have someone who was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about my kind of car while I was there.

But now I know that I need to get out more. I’ll confess to being a bit of (a lot of, to be honest) a homebody. It’s a major effort for me to leave the house, and the longer it’s been since I went out, the harder it is for me to force myself. If I don’t have a reason to go somewhere, I don’t go, especially if I have to drive.

I live in a pretty walkable neighborhood, so I like to walk for as many errands as I can. I would be happy living without a car, though that would be pretty inconvenient around here. Another reason I like my neighborhood is that everything I need is right nearby. I don’t have to get on freeways. Most of my driving is the two miles to the grocery store and back.

I don’t know if I’ve got full-blown agoraphobia, but I did have a great aunt who apparently got weird and never left the house at all, so I guess it runs in the family. Pre-pandemic, I made sure I had several activities to force me out of the house a couple of times a week so that it got easier to go out. Most of those activities ended with the pandemic.

I guess this is kind of like how having a dog forces you to go out on a walk every day. My car is going to force me to leave the house at least once a week and drive for more than five minutes at a stretch, and I probably will need to get on a freeway a couple of times a month. I’ll have to come up with a list of driving outings I can do. There are parks where I can go walking, and I can make more of an effort to meet up with friends. The afternoon spent driving this week was probably good for me, though it would have been more fun without the stress of worrying about the battery.

Oh, and with the unexpected bill, this would be a good time to tell someone about my books!