I hate getting my oil changed. I hate it. My routine maintenance is even free…and I STILL hate it. Yet here I sit in the corner of the service center lobby. Waiting. Nationwide advertises “free manicures while you wait!” I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. I don’t know, it just sounds sketchy to me.
Usually this time feels like it’s dragging on and on, but today the time ticks away quickly. Almost too quickly. This is the only time I’ve had to “rest” recently. My schedule hasn’t necessarily been booked, but I’ve kept busy. Since I never know how long the mystery car maintenance is going to take, I don’t really make any plans for myself to occupy the time. I just let it happen.
Last weekend was my beautiful car’s 1st birthday! I named my car Jasper, which means “keeper of treasure”. My old car wasn’t the safest vehicle anymore, so I purchased Jasper so my daughter and I could be safe. Skylar is my little treasure, so naturally Jasper is my treasure keeper :)
While reflecting on the last 12 months spent with Jasper, I have come up with a list of the
5 Things I Have Learned Through Car Ownership
- Always remove your valuables from your car before leaving it for an oil change. I know you probably grab your GPS and Ray-Bans, but have you ever thought about your phone charger? Seriously. I’ve had my USB cord stolen from my car before. I have never been so bitter about shelling out 20 bucks than when I had to replace my cable. Turns out my “free” oil change wasn’t really free.
- You can’t always protect your car from accidents. Someone will nick you in the parking lot or the zipper from your backpack will scratch the paint. If you use your car, it will show signs of wear. Like the scar from a childhood fall, the dings and dents are small reminders of the journey we’re on.
- You will spill something. Unless you have a no food or drink policy, you (…or your kids…or your friend who brings a french dip sandwich in the car…) will drop or spill something on the factory fresh fabric that lines your vehicle. It will be sad. You may cry. But you have to decide: Would you rather live by a bunch of rigid rules or let things get a little messy along the way?
- A car is like a second home. If push came to shove, I think I could actually live in my car. I have rain boots, crutches, snacks, a blanket, water, clothes, an umbrella, a swim suit, stuffed animals, hair clips, and I’m sure a few other “surprises” tucked in between the cushions. Hey, you never know what’s going to happen.
- Your car is a boombox on wheels. I live in a house with my parents and 4-year-old daughter. My car is MY space. I love to drive. I get in the car and crank up my worship music and sing at the top of my lungs. I can’t do that in my room. Jasper and I have a special relationship.
I think I enjoy my car more than most people do. My old vehicle was all that remained of a painful life I’d left behind. Trading it in for Jasper felt like freedom. While I’m not thrilled with the monthly payments, I’m reminded of how blessed I am that I can make them. My family is safe and I have something to call my own; something reliable to carry me through my current life journey. You can’t put a price tag on that.