It’s not usually until you have to go without something that you realise how much you rely on it. It’s hard to determine, in that moment, if you do actually need it or if in fact you just enjoy the convenience of it.
I believe that many things in our lives we can do without. We are so increasingly time poor that we rely heavily on convenience. We are also becoming exceptionally impatient as a result.
I was reminded of this on Sunday when my Captiva started playing funny-buggars with me. Some lights illuminated on my dashboard that I’d never seen before, and the car stalled when I slowed at an intersection on a busy freeway. I was several hours from home – on my way back from a friend’s wedding – and I had a moment of panic.
I was advised by roadside assistance that there was a 3 hour wait. The car’s manual suggested there was no great issue with the lights that had come on, so, given I had managed to re-start the car I decided to take a punt and head for home.
I managed to get home safely and I breathed a sigh of relief! The next day I dropped my car off at the local mechanics so they could determine what was wrong. The local mechanic was unable to fix the problem, so I had to take the vehicle to the dealership where I purchased it, and that’s where it’s been for two days.
What I’ve realised over the last two days is how much I don’t actually need my car. It is certainly a great convenience, and I enjoy travelling in it, but it is not something I need to have. I have come to rely on it, and I have become lazy in the process. It costs me a great deal of money to run it, and it depreciates all the time!
You see, I am fortunate. I made some decisions earlier this year that have allowed me to no longer subscribe to the rat race. I no longer commute to a work place. I now work for myself, from home, or from wherever I feel like actually. I have created more time for myself, and my life is no longer a rush. I guess it wasn’t until my car had a hissy fit that I realised that the circumstances I have created in my life mean that I no longer need a car.
Because of the nature of the work I do, I was still able to complete what I needed to on the train on my way back from the dealership. In this instance I listened to a podcast & started to write an article. All the while I was sitting in a comfortable rail carriage watching the countryside roll past.
I didn’t need to focus on the road and what other drivers were doing. The train ride cost me a fraction of what the diesel would cost if I was driving my car. I also didn’t need to pay for insurance, registration & maintenance in order to get from A to B on the train. And, it probably took me no longer than it would have had I been driving.
It was great! I managed to make my way home from the dealership on public transport and then walk from the station to my house. I achieved what I wanted to achieve, and I got some exercise along the way too. I really enjoyed being able to get done what I needed to do as well as get where I needed to go.
Now, I have no idea what the repairs are going to cost for my car, but I will be selling it in the near future because I have realised that my car is a convenience I don’t actually need.
I chose to change the way I lived my life this year. I decided to slow down, & reassess what’s important to me. I now live in a town where I can walk to the shops. I now do work that I can complete from home (or the train!). I really don’t need a car to live my life. Besides, I can always hire one if & when required and let someone else worry about the costs of its upkeep.
Anyone interested in buying a car?
I’m selling one.