Have you ever needed a reminder that real life is simply amazing? The past few weeks I had the opportunity to work with several of our clients in person. After looking at flight schedules, train schedules and the routes, it was fairly obvious that this experience was going to be more time on the road than a plane. It wasn’t exactly great timing, but my dear Volvo finally looked at the itinerary and said politely, “no thank you” and made her final bow. You have to understand that I have deeply meaningful relationships with the cars I drive. My father, a rural doctor, loved cars, and some of my fondest memories of seeing him happy involved his antique cars and a view of him with an engine up and reaching over a hood. That’s not to say he was much of a mechanic, for the truth was, he wasn’t. However he appreciated style, agility of the inner-workings of an engine, and the power to get things done. Our “lot”, an area where he kept his toys in an old building, toys ranged from a Model A to a drilling rig, from an iron lung left from a torn down hospital during polio days, to the newest John Deer or Kubota. An eclectic collector of people and things, I believe that’s where my love of well able people, community service, and stylish cars came from as well.
My favorite car in our space currently is my 99 VW Cabrio…Vroomhilda. She’s a stylish girl, 18 years old, flies like the wind and they don’t see her coming. She’s got the engine that a previous car, a Porsche 914 had, and she’s a bit tattered and worn, but she tends to be a hybrid in her ability to haul hay with the top down, walking horses home, or clean up for a parade for a local beauty queen. I like that about her and she’s just fine with her roles. However she’s a bit finicky about rainy or hot days, so she said “pass” too when the itinerary was shown. Personally, I have a rule about non air conditioned cars and Vroomhilda is much more a top down girl.
A quick trip to Honda Decatur to check out a small SUV brought me to an unexpected choice. I had looked at the VW Suv’s, Subaru’s and a BMW, but when I saw the Honda HR-V, a new smaller SUV based on the Fit’s engine (which I personally dislike the shape of) yet more spacious and higher, well, it was love at first sight for me. A car that gets 40 mpg, is agile, and easily relied upon yet stylish. Dad would have asked “Will you be proud to drive this one, for there’s no point in trying to be yourself in a car that isn’t you” My thoughts were to get the black one, as it is, in my opinion, my formal in business pick ups, but there was a cherry red one, and well, it was just more truth in advertising…for I’m not a quiet one, nor do I always live formally…but red pretty much is my personality, favorite color, and this one looked just like a red my Grandmother Geddie drove in a 1960 Cadillac.
She came home that afternoon.
There’s something about doing for yourself what you know needs to be done that is empowering. I’m a great believer in cash purchases, so it bothered me that I chose to put about 1/3 of this car down in cash, but would finance 2/3 of it. August is back to college month for us and 2 still in college, along with a multi state set of meetings and 4 more trips directly behind, it didn’t seem prudent to engage my cash in the car. However, as we do, I made it a game to say, okay, it’s financed for 24 months, let’s pay it off in 6. (and so we’re 1/3 of the way through now!)
There’s something about a long road trip that changes you. It enlarges your perspective, encourages you to think, to spend time with yourself and whomever you’re traveling with in ways you cannot achieve in almost any other way. I love road trips. I’m not a very good traveller in that I have a great love of people and seeing beauty, and learning, so maps and schedules have little to do with how long it takes to accomplish a day’s travels. This particular trip would be even more engaging, for it would be my home schooled daughter Madi’s “senior” trip though she had already been out of school a year, we simply didn’t get to do that special something last summer. I believe it’s never too late to begin to do what excites you, so a cross country trip with Madi onboard was simply the cherry on the top of the focused reasons for the cross country trip. Madi and I are especially close, something about homeschooling for us worked that magic. (now remember, I’m the one who cried when I realized her dyslexia meant she’d be more attended at home…as I recall, I considered it solitary confinement with a 2nd grader when it was suggested I would be the better choice for her needs)
And so the adventure began in early August…and the next few posts, I’ll be sharing just how glorious we realized our America is…a refreshing view after the last months of violence in the news, tales of the “has been” status of our people, and the concerning political players on the scene.
I find that when life is hard, when all deadlines seem difficult or complex, the most empowering thing is to find a new perspective. A pause, a step away, or sometimes, when those pauses aren’t possible, just to take time to do what you do from a more supportive position matters. Focusing on success, sometimes you need a different set of tools in your repetoire to keep your life working smoothly. #BasicsMatter