What Are All the Tanks

since approx becoming a dad I keep asking “why is life so hard now1, and can I do it better?” and one answer that’s formed in my mind is “yeah I absolutely can, I just have to keep all the tanks full.”

imagine I’m a fancy sports car2. I have all sorts of tanks: gas, oil, uh windshield wiper fluid, engine coolant, transmission fluid, there are probably a lot of others3. Everyone does, but some people are like beat up 2007 Toyotas and they can run just fine with low oil and old transmission fluid, but I need everything to be in perfect condition. One high maintenance machine4.

It certainly feels like it! When I’m generally ok, I can handle all of this. when I’m not, well.

so what are all my tanks?

A non-exhaustive list that’s hopefully slightly more detailed than Maslow’s Hierarchy:


I don’t know. I vacillate between:

  1. note for myself for posterity: actually this month has been really good, until approx this last week. maybe that’s why I haven’t been posting ↩︎

  2. of course I wanted to make this about bikes instead. but no, that’s the point; cars are obnoxious high maintenance machines with 1000 tanks. bikes are simple and good. I wish I were more like a bike. ↩︎

  3. I’m not even sure if these are all real. if you know cars and can give me a list of all the tanks you have to fill, please do ↩︎

  4. of course, to the tune of This Year ↩︎

  5. tumblr post: “My deepest darkest fantasy is that I collapse on the street and I am rushed to the hospital. They perform a bunch of tests and find out that I am severly deficient in some kind of vitamin. Then I start taking the vitamin and I become the happiest cleverest person alive because all my problems were caused by this one deficiency.” Reply: “Moreover, everyone gathers around to be tremulously compassionate and discreetly admiring: all this time, you lacked the Vitamin? And yet you persevered?” ↩︎

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