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Bench Racing

by Ryan King

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Quality of life isn't a concept spoken about much in the car hobby — but it should be.

Often, car enthusiasts let their passion overwhelm their lives, or they get in a little over their head and sensibly get out from the noose they've tied around their necks in the form of their latest dabble into automotive obsession. It's so incredibly common that it is, quite honestly, cliché.

The reality is that the reason it is so cliché is that it's easy to do because it's an integral part of human nature. That doesn't mean it's the only way to do things, but it does mean that it requires some strategy and some tactics to overcome the propensity.

There are lots and lots of mistakes to be made in a hobby as complex and involved as the vastly varied, and resource intensive automotive pastime. However, one of the foundational checks and balances comes by first asking one very simple question:

Does it fit in my life?

That, of course, is a question with a great deal of ambiguous potential, because there are so many aspects to being alive — and that really is the point.

Being a simple question means it is easy to ask, and exploring those various aspects will give you the opportunity to grasp whether or not it's a good idea in the first place. To name just a few examples, consider cost, space, time, energy, and lifestyle.

The truth is, a concept often sounds great in an idealized setting created in the mind, but the practical realities aren't as easy as an Overhaulin' montage, or a stroll at a car show, or that cruise down the boulevard in the warm summer air you're dreaming about.

Owning a classic or performance automobile isn't the same as owning a daily driver. Creating a collection of any kind isn't the same as hanging a picture on the wall, or putting a nicknack on display on your coffee table.

Basically, a quality life is a considered life, and it exists in a balance where it is neither too demanding, stressful, and exhausting, nor lacking in value, purpose, and reward. This is known as well-being.

If your automotive hobby doesn't add to that considered, balanced, life — if it doesn't add to your well-being — then it doesn't fit, no matter how great the idea sounds in your head.


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