Well, I did it! I wrote every day from early October to New Year's Day 2010. Now I will write for fun when I feel like it and see where that gets me. Cheers to all my small-blessing-appreciating friends!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Having only One Car

Obviously having a car at all is a blessing in terms of the comfort and flexibility of travel that it affords. I grew up in suburbia in the 1950's. Cars were a very big deal! My father did his own maintenance of his cars (note the plural). He taught me how to change spark plugs, drain oil and adjust timing. When I was still a child, he would ask me as we drove along, "If the car stopped now, how would you figure out what was wrong with it? What would you do first?" His love of cars rubbed off on us kids. My brother became a fine mechanic, going on to work on aircraft. I have owned some fine automobiles, and always had one for my own use. It is easy to take for granted.

Last year Tim and I decided that we really didn't need to have two cars. We sold his beautiful Saab and kept the Prius. The decision was based partly on saving money, but more on how we felt about the earth and trying to live a sustainable lifestyle. Yes, having to share one car is sometimes inconvenient. It requires a lot more communication and planning.

The small blessing that has emerged from this choice, and perhaps it is not so small, is mindfulness. I became much more aware of the trips and errands with which I thoughtlessly added up miles of travel. The habit of combining errands, as well as doing more on foot and by bus, is slowly becoming part of me. This awareness can apply to many more choices we make, to more mindful living.

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