« Big Paper Session Part 2: Love | Main | More Thoughts about PDEL »



From everything that you have written, I doubt that selling the house and moving to a condo is the answer. Living in a building with others has its own headaches, plus things still break and need tending to. Not that I have any suggestions about resolving the underlying issues that you wrote about; I just think that PDEL is an amplifier not a root cause. Don't bother with the amplifier. As a sensitive person you will still hear see and feel the emotional noise that is so distratcting.


Rebyonka, I remember you posting about buying that car. How in the name of the great green greasy Limpopo did you get 95k miles on it that quickly? (Or did I miss the post where you traded it in and bought used?)

That said, 80% of the time the "check engine" light comes on automatically after a given number of miles - on my Honda, it used to be 7,500, but now that I'm past 100k it doesn't seem to come on at all. Taking it in for "regular maintenance" will get the light turned off, if it's in your budget; if it's not, change the oil and put a square of black tape over the light, like so many other people I've seen. (In my Honda, again, there's a little socket next to the light, and if I push my key in the light resets.)

Also, wab's point sounds reasonable.


To extend (and summarize): you can probably find a solution to the "check engine" problem by Googling "check engine light [make model]" where [make model] are the make and model of your car.



I love your PDEL acronym. As a single woman living by myself all those little details sometimes get me down, too - and I'm a mechanical engineer for heaven's sake! Don't be afraid to reach out to others for help - sometimes even getting advice from someone over the phone helps get me unstuck.

You know, if it *is* a VW, the check engine light most definitely does not come on automatically - it comes on for a reason. That reason could be huge, or it could be minor, but you won't know until you take it to a VW service guy who can read your computer. That part takes 30 seconds. Then you can decide whether or not you are up to dealing with it. I disagree with posters who tell you to ignore it.

The good news is that the check engine light simply lit up, not flashing, means that you are not in imminent danger because of it (if it does start flashing, please don't ignore for even a day). (This does not, however, mean that whatever it is is not taking years and miles off the engine.) The bad news is, of course, that these lights do tend to be expensive. If this is your first check engine light in a VW at 90K you are already beating the odds...

Go see your mechanic. Wouldn't you rather know what you are up agains than cringe everytime you turn on the engine and it does not go away, even though you keep hoping it will?



I've been reading your blog for not too long, but long enough for me to fall in love with your writing. This is my first post. I have a suggestion:

Have you thought about taking in a lodger/tenant? You could either rent out a room in your house, or you could take someone in for free in exchange for fixing stuff and being handy around the house.

Is that possible for your situation?


I feel you on this one, and the first commenter is right--the PDEL issues aren't the root cause. It really goes back to the love and loneliness issues. That doesn't go away if you move to a condo.

I think this issue is quite common among single women beyond their mid-20s--it hits when most of our friends are married and starting to be parents, we've moved away from the close networks of friends we developed in school, and we're less likely to have roommates. Plus, we're at an age where we start to feel silly calling our dads for every light that comes on in the car and every leak in the bathroom. The social structures that supported us through day to day life up to now--our families and friends--aren't there the same way they used to be. For many people, that function is filled by a spouse or partner. But for those of us who remain single, it feels very isolating.

Anyway, I don't have any advice. I'm going through it too--trying to figure out how to be an independent person who is generally happy with her life, but still longs for a partner to share the work and the decisions of life with. Just letting you know that your PDEL issues are not a sign you're incompetent at life! You're not alone in sometimes feeling overwhelmed--I was near tears not too long ago trying to make decisions about car repairs.


This series of posts really hit home with me. I've felt all those things, very strongly.

I have a suggestion, because I remember being overwhelmed and feeling helpless about it and not knowing where to start. The worst that ever got was when I was out of work for a long time and got desperately poor. I didn't mind living poor, because my life is rich, but it makes everything so much harder if you aren't handy. You can't justify spending more money if you could spend your time instead, but you don't know how to fix your car or house yourself.

So I finally got a job, and I can afford to hire people to fix stuff. I sort of feel like I am wimping out by not learning how, but I mostly feel like I am fixing it. I'm fixing it with my money, which I earned. It creates a whole new breathing space.

Maybe, instead of getting stuck on chores which are disproportionately daunting, you might go in a direction that you already know how to manage? Like earning more money?

Wishing you the best - Megan

The comments to this entry are closed.