Exercising Patience

img_20161005_185800Today I did the 6,000 mile service on Murdock, my F800GS Adventure. Well, mostly… I still have the air filter to check/replace and adjusting the chain slack. I learned a lot in the process, but I realized a lot more in the aspect of exercising patience.

I have always been a patient person. Granted, I am only human and still have my weak moments, but it is a trait that I take pride in. Lately though this aspect of me is being tried again and again. For what reasons? I am not sure, but there is something…

In the early afternoon I headed out to the garage to begin working. Ah, but first I need a different oil filter wrench. The previous ones I bought from Harbor Freight were not the right size for the BMW filter, go figure. Harbor Freight being too far away for what should be a quick jaunt, I skip over to the Home Depot that is two blocks away. $10 later and a shiny new tool to show for it, I start unscrewing the skid plate.

Pulling off the skid plate so that it is out of the way, I move to the drain plug. I leverage all of my weight against it and it gives no sign of even moving. The torx bit I have starts to deform the hex-socket of the plug slightly. Well lets go to Home Depot again…

Pulling into the parking lot, I am irritated by the absent-minded drivers fighting over who can get the closer parking space. But I am not irritated at them… I am irritated at the negligent mechanic at the dealership who overtightened everything on my motorcycle from when I had the 600 mile break-in service done. Too late to do anything about that now except complain. A deep breath later, I come out of Home Depot with a couple more shiny new tools.

Back in the garage with the appropriate hex bit and a breaker bar, I torque on the drain plug again. Still no budge. My wife ventures out to see what I am up to, our 5-month-old in tow in her carrier wrap. I must look like a mad-man covered in dirt and grime from the underside of the motorcycle, uttering profanities under my breath. Cautiously, they both approach and my wife suggests using a cheater-pipe for more leverage. I am apprehensive at first, concerned about striping out the socket, but at this point I am desperate and have lost all semblance of logic in the furor I have stewed myself in.

Applying force again to the oil plug, gently ramping  it up until most of my weight is on the cheater-pipe, a thunderous ping fills the garage and my hands drop a few inches. My wife and daughter jump a little. The oil plug is finally loose with minimal damage to the hex socket. What a relief.

I move to the oil filter and test how tight it is. Of course, why am I not surprised? It is has been overtightened as well. At least the filter is made to be disposable. I just have to ensure to not crush it completely before its completely loosened. After a few choice words and pulling out the cheater pipe again, I unscrew the spent oil filter. It looks like a dog’s chew toy at this point.

New filter, oil plug and crush washer in place (not overtightened this time), fresh oil poured in, the oil change is done. The hardest part about it all. By doing it myself I have now ensured that I will not have to take as drastic of measures the next time around.

I decide on tightening the chain drive next. After 6,000 miles it has a lot more play in it than what it should. I begin on the adjustments, only to realize that I need to slacken the axle safety bolt first. I do not have a big enough wrench, so its back to Home Depot.

This time I can only be frustrated with my own lack of foresight and not thoroughly reading the directions first. I had planned ahead, but not fully so, in buying a set of wrenches that I assumed would be enough. The only downside is that most sets like that only go up to a certain size. Sure enough, I needed an even bigger wrench.

Getting back to the garage, guess what? The new wrench still isn’t big enough. At this point, I have to laugh. The afternoon is gone, friends are coming over, and I have no choice but to put my work on hold. But I managed to get this far…

The day’s events undoubtedly flustered me more than usual, all because of external factors that I had no way of being aware of or could not control. I was flustered primarily because I took a mechanic’s negligence personally, when for him it was a very impersonal thing. It was just another motorcycle. I was impatient in having to go through the growing pains of learning how to do the maintenance on a new motorcycle.

To realize these aspects is the first step in exercising patience. You cannot be patient if you never take the time to slow down and realize why you need to be patient for. In this case, I needed to be patient as I learned the correct tools I needed for my bike as well as being patient with circumstances that were predetermined 5,400 miles in the past. Being bogged down with anger and frustration in the present moment never helps you get through that hardship any faster. In fact, it actually impedes things.

Be mindful and realize what you need to be patient for…



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