This week I get to drive my daughter’s 92 Honda Civic. She’s borrowed my car for a trip because..well, it’s possible hers isn’t as dependable. Driving her car brings me back to a little issue I have about ‘stuff.’
A few years ago I traded in my 91 Honda Civic for my nice Toyota Matrix. But I resisted doing this so much!
“Why would I get rid of it? It’s still running! And the rusty fender isn’t going to fall off anytime soon,” I would say to my other daughter, who would respond: “Mother. You have a business. Your car cannot be a beat up piece of crap.”
She was right of course. And I do love my Matrix. I had to justify the change because I really did need more room for grandbabies and for camping gear, and not because it wasn’t suitable for a woman running a business. There’s a rebel in me who really dislikes doing things for ‘social acceptableness.’ There’s a rebel in me who is horrified by the waste that is so often based simply on making sure our ‘status symbols’ are current. Not so many years ago, we knew those old traded-in cars just kept on ticking in someone else’s hands. Not true anymore. How many old cars do you see around these days?
And really… there’s a lot ot be said for old Honda’s.
1. Megan’s car still has better gas mileage than most nowadays. When I traded mine off, there was an offer from the government to give money back for trading to a more fuel efficient vehicle. As it turned out, NO car I looked at was more fuel efficient than my 91 Honda. Seriously? 20 years later and none in my ‘range’ are better? (No, I wasn’t looking at the very expensive hybrid cars, it’s true.)
2. You stop worrying about .. oh, things like “mom backed into my car and wrote “oops sorry” on the dent.” (It’s still there.. a bit hard to see in the picture) You stop worrying about those things because really, is it worth a lot of repairs when it’s this old and may not last? But it has kept on lasting. And maybe I should get it fixed for her.
3. You can say to some young new driver who is horrified that he backed into your car and took out the side mirror, “That’s okay. Just get the mirror fixed. The crunch is fine.” You can imagine how much he loves her.
Besides it gives the car symmetry and balance. One crunch on each side.
Now the very cool evolution I see happening amongst some people is this: Less waste, more simple. Simple lifestyles. Small homes. Cabins on land shared with others. (I’m in for this one.. anyone else?) Old cars and old furniture are okay.
And what is starting to evolve is that others see people making these moves as brave and innovative.. and perhaps a move like that is going to become the new status symbol, instead of the bigger homes, fancier cars, etc.
I heard someone say the other day, “Did you hear that so and so is moving out into a cabin for $200 a month? Sold their big home and simplifying!” And they said it with admiration instead of what we might have heard in the past.. scoffing judgementalism.
I think we’re going to see more of that: approving attitudes.
But I don’t think we are at the point where I wouldn’t be judged as to the success of my business if I were driving my old rusty Honda. I don’t think I’ll hang a “Musings and Mud Coaching Studio” sign on Meg’s car this week.
Megan, on the other hand, can be the beacon of a changing world by hanging onto her little civic until it decides it’s time, or until it is no longer safe to drive.
Really, it all comes down to making choices based on what’s right for you and your lifestyle and your dreams, and taking care that those aren’t being determined by external factors like media, consumerism, and society’s expectations of what you should be doing. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a new car. There is something wrong if you want a new car only because others think you should get one. Thank goodness I could justify my new car for camping and grandbabies. ~smile~