There is so much I want to write about but right now my brain has been high-jacked by the latest craziness in my life. My car isn’t going to be fixed. I will never drive her again. I am grieving more than the physical loss of her, but what driving has meant for me in general.
Yes, I am getting a good pay out, but the question is do we just take a break for a while from being a two car family and save some money, pay off some debts? Or do I go out and get another car right away?
Driving is everything for me. It is a key to a level of freedom that otherwise is not attainable. Yes, I have access to buses. Yes, I live within walking distance of all major grocery stores and banks. Yes, my parents’ live a 20/30 minute walk from my house, and my mom is willing to loan me her car if I need it occasionally. Right now I’m not working so many weeks go by that the car doesn’t move much. But having my own car allows me to set my own schedule, to go places that busing is inconvenient, like Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo. It allows me to go up to the airport and sit and watch planes with my youngest son. It means I can go for a big grocery run all by myself or with just my youngest son and not be constrained by the size of the wagon or stroller as far as how much I can buy and carry. It means being able to leave at a moment’s notice if someone calls me, or needs me, like my kids at school. The small housecleaning job I have on the side is made easier by having a car. I can even meet my husband for lunch once and awhile.
That level of freedom comes with a price. Not having a car could save us around $400/mth. That could go a long way to paying bills and catching up our debt load. Maybe giving up that freedom for six months or so is worth it to regain our financial stability again, and with some luck maybe even move to a more accommodating home. I will stay on as a secondary driver on the van so I will not lose all my status as a driver, and I will be able to have access to the van in the evening and weekends, but it will leave my husband without a vehicle when I do take it.
Driving, or the ability to get away and do things without having to rely on others for help, is a huge anti-depressant for me. Even if I don’t use the car to go anywhere, I know it’s there, the option is there. Plus I just renewed our membership to Ray’s Reptiles and just picked up the membership to three of the big Museums here in Ottawa. I had my youngest out to the Aviation Museum a week or so ago and he loved it. He keeps asking to go back. Without a car, it’s a much bigger endeavour. Busing to the Aviation Museum is a little more complicated, and often my son is exhausted by the time we leave and is asleep in the car within minutes. A car makes everything easier.
So what now? I have a difficult decision to make. To give up my freedom to make my own decisions, and go where I want to go when I want to go and not have to depend on others for getting me places? It might free up some financial resources for us to be able to move and at that point perhaps it’ll be easier to afford another car for me. I may also be further along in my studies and be on the point of being able to earn some money from my education, perhaps even ready to start my business. I will need a car for my business. So if I can look at this as a temporary suspension of my driving freedoms, perhaps I can make my way through this time and out the other side where a car will be waiting for me.
Or do I get another car right away? A part of me feels that’s a selfish choice to make. It’s what I need, not what this family needs right now. And I’m a mom, so making a selfish decision is against every principle of my being! But I have to honour my selfish need to drive, my selfish need to not be at the whim and mercy of other people’s schedules and let myself sit with it so I can release it to make room for acceptance of what is best right now, and in my heart I know what’s best.
I will have a car again, I just have to be patient. Patience isn’t always my strong point, but this will be another chance to work on it!