Living In Your Car

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Every now and then life reaches out and smacks you one. Your house burns down. Your significant other leaves you. Your medications are too expensive and without them, you cannot maintain a stable lifestyle. Regardless of the reason, winding up in the back seat of your car alone happens to the best of us. Having done so myself, here’s a few tips for you.

First off, pat yourself on the back. You have a car, which puts you rather high on the totem pole as far as homeless folks go. You have the capability to warm yourself, cool yourself, secure yourself and move yourself without ever setting foot on the ground. Keep a healthy mindset – it’s half the battle.


(image credit
Begbie Images)

Hygiene is huge. There just isn’t much air in a car and stink happens – keep that in mind when you buy the packet of baby wipes or crash the shower at college athletic complexes. It’s worth the effort to keep yourself presentable – this makes a huge difference in your dealings with others.

If you’re trying to keep it on the down low that your Honda is your home, it’s much easier to do if you’re clean and don’t have seat belt indents on your face.

Spend time outside of your car, if at all possible. Sacrifice the necessary fuel and drive to an outdoor park (if it’s warm) or a coffeeshop (if it’s cold). It can do wonders for your mental state to spend a day in the warm sunshine, kicked back against a tree with a decent book or relaxing with a cup of cheap coffee at a bookstore or coffeeshop. If you’re lucky and have a laptop, wifi is free at many places. Pick up a refillable beverage and hang out until they make you leave (this is where proper hygiene makes all the difference in the world).

BE MINDFUL OF WHERE YOU PARK. I cannot stress this enough. Pick the wrong spot and you’ll be woken up to a cop rapping on your window. If you’re lucky, it’ll be a good cop who will tell you to move on without giving you any trouble. Like any profession, there happen to be douchebags in the law enforcement community as well — these are the guys that’ll search your car just to hassle you, leaving all your possessions lying out beside your car as they pull away feeling all manly and crap. Seriously, just avoid all that and park sensibly. Don’t park in a loading zone, in front of a driveway, in a bar parking lot after 2am, an interstate off ramp, or anyplace that’ll draw the attention of your city’s finest.

Keep your car clean inside. You more than likely will have a ton of stuff packed into a tiny space; decreasing your personal space inside your car. Keep it picked up – a bunch of wrappers and trash strewn on the floor won’t help you at all.

It’s never an ideal situation, but with the right attitude you might even end up enjoying yourself.

Challenge

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posted by Andy

A wise man once told me a story about a man and his house. His house was full of demons, so he set about cleaning the house and removing the demons from his house. After being banished, however, the demons gathered their friends and returned to the house tenfold in number, finding the house cleaned and empty.

The moral here is this. If you’re going to remove something from your life, replace it with something else. Don’t leave your house/life/body empty and inviting.

Now.

Go to your kitchen/local dollar store/Wal-Mart. Find/buy a cheap timer. Set said timer each time you flip your laptop open, pull your BlackBerry from your pocket or turn your TV on.

Throughout the day, write down how much time was spent jacked into the matrix that day. 2 points deducted if you keep track of your time with your BlackBerry

Set a goal for yourself to reduce that amount. Choose your own amount, but I suggest cutting it in half.

Replace time in front of a screen with something positive – call your grandmother, get some friends together at a coffeehouse, lose yourself in a forest.

What will you replace screen time with?