Living in a small town with a five minute commute, I often go great lengths of time without looking at my fuel gauge so when it flashed on this morning on my way to work, I wasn't to thrilled since it was a balmy minus 18 degrees outside. I pulled into the gas station, pulled the lever to release the gas tank flap and got out into the frigid air. The gas tank flap was still in place so I opened the door and pulled it again with the same results. I pulled out my pocketknife and stuck it in the crack thinking maybe it was open but just hadn't kicked out and pried gently. It was still firmly latched so I pulled the release for the third time and this time I was rewarded.
I turned my attention to the pump and pressed the pay with credit outside button and again received no reaction to my action. I tried again. The third time I pressed with all my might and finally heard the beep from the machine as the screen shot slowly dissolved into the next screen with instructions. Instead of the usual fraction of a second transition, it took a full 30 seconds. It was agony as I waded through the various options before I finally got the gas to start flowing. I can't say I blame the pumps because I am moving pretty slowly to myself this morning. In fact, I did something I haven't done in years. I gave up my normal farthest from the building parking spot and trolled the parking lot until I found a spot close to the doors.
On another topic, I received my quarterly statement for my retirement accounts from my financial guy a week or so ago that covers the last quarter of last year. It took me until this morning to find enough courage to open it. I wish I hadn't. All the money and gains that I have put in over the last five years since I opened the account upon starting my current job are gone. It is down 50% from the high less than a year ago. Had I known then what I know now, I wished I had stored all that in my mattress instead and opened it up today to dump back into the stock market. But I didn't and thus I am stuck with the knowledge that retirement certainly isn't going to come this year. Of course when I am in my 30's, I've got time for that but I still want it to come as soon as possible. I'm just glad I opened it up this morning when I have the full day to forget about it and not in the evening right before bed.