Creating New Habits
Yesterday my husband and I swapped cars.
We traded in my old Saab when we could no longer find replacement parts for it and bought our first car together when we got married in 2013. It's a Volvo suv and we thought it would be the perfect car as we embarked on our journey as grown ups. It survived winters living on the streets of Boston, at times was decked out in orange parking tickets, was our chariot as we drove cross country to move to LA, and was the car that we brought all three babies home in. It has a special place in my heart and we'll never get rid of it.
I love old things, and old cars are no exceptions. I would love to drive an old car and live in an old house, but as our family continues to expand things like safety, size, and amenities that make life just a little bit easier have taken priority. So I drive a new big car that I lovingly refer to as the uber. We had to buy it during covid and our options were VERY limited and it looks like what would pull up if you called for an Uber XL to take you to the airport.
It has a button to start it, the gear shift is a pull switch by the dash, and it requires no effort to accelerate getting onto the highway.
When Phill and I switched cars for the day yesterday, I got in and was confused. I had thrown the key into my purse and was looking for the button to turn it on. Doofus, you have to turn the key, good morning! Then after I picked up my coffee in town I went to put the car in drive and lifted my hand to the dash out of habit. Silly, you have to pull the gear shift into drive like Fred Flinstone. Then, when I arrived back at home, I opened the garage bay that we keep the uber in and pulled in without a second thought.
Ok, maybe a little bit of it was pregnancy brain. Maybe I really needed that coffee, but it also got me thinking about muscle memory and how many things we do each day on auto pilot. It's not that I didn't know how to drive that car -I had driven it for 9 years without getting confused. I just had grown accustomed to my system.
So as I went about the rest of my day I tried to keep note of how many things I just do on autopilot. And as I try to pave the way for new habits and thought patterns in 2024, I am reminded that they take time and repetition to develop. To be gentle with myself when change doesn't happen over night. When it feels clunky and awkward to get something started it's not because it's not authentic or meant for me, but because it's not something I am used to, and it will take time and repetition for it to feel as natural as turning a key, or pressing a button. So here I am. writing about nothing basket related. Just getting my thoughts onto paper, or computer. Because I really want to develop the habit of writing and sharing without the need for it to generate an order or shift an artistic perspective, or get an A+ from critics.
Anywho, that car is like my little baby, and we'll keep it forever. I enjoyed spending the day in it, and appreciate the life lesson it gave me. We always said it will be our son's car when he gets his license but he has other plans - he will be buying himself a lambo (no clue how he knows what that is).
The days of the Uber, on the other hand, are limited. It has a third row that can technically accommodate all 6 of us once the baby comes, but with the back row up we lose the trunk completely. We have two Springer Spaniels in the mix and obviously the gear that comes along with the entirety of our three ring circus requires a trunk. I'm not sure what we'll get next.
A van? The new wagoneer? Can I retrofit the Jeep from my logo to accommdate everyone and maintain modern safety standards? A school bus? We'll see.
Would love to hear from you if you're a family of 6 what vehicle you find works best (or what to definitely not get!).