Based in Washington, Ross is a general manager of a food safety company. His musings explore life, work and every moment in between.

Goodbye to our 435xi

Three years ago Laura and I were experiencing life much differently than we are today. We lived in Denver in a marvelous little ground-floor loft that was walking distance to all the fun spots in town. We were both working and playing hard and traveling as often as possible to see family, friends or explore the world. I had just finished grad school and Laura had only one quarter remaining for her masters. Just after we had finally made the last tuition payment, Laura's car died. 

With all of this excitement and optimism in our life, Laura and I did not go out and buy the sensible, budget-conscience option. No, we leased a two-door sports car. I can still remember our many rationales, “Why wait until we are retired to have a fun car?” Or, “After working so hard in grad school don't we deserve a treat?” And the best one, “It's not like we're going to have kids in the next three years!”

The car was great. All-wheel drive, manual transmission; fun to throw in to a corner and wonderful on an open road. Even I participated in a track day experience, testing the outer limits of my skill and the car. But it was hard to park in tight spaces (long doors), ungraceful to enter and exit, and we were constantly worried we were going to ding it, break it, or otherwise cause us pain when the lease was up. In short, it never really felt like a car we could enjoy to the fullest. 

The assumptions we use to make a decision prove true or false afterwards. As we make choices over and over, we learn to make better and better predictive choices. Three years later we live our life much differently. We settled down into a house in Tacoma, got a dog (Fox), had a daughter (Sloan) and the car no longer makes sense for us. I drove it last week and realized I am not going to miss it. Life changes dramatically in three years. It's time for us to get the practical option.

Better, not harder.

Cognitive Tunneling