We bought a new to us car this week. It was a long time coming and we are happy to have it (I admit, I’m mostly just happy that the whole car buying process is over) but it has made me think about change.
We had our old car for 7 1/2 years. It has served us well but we have also had a lot of issues with it. It was 15 years old and had 182,000+ miles on it. Several years ago I let a guy use it to try and jump start another car and he hooked up the jumper cables backward. If you don’t know, that is not a good thing. There were flames and melted jumper cables and electrical issues in the car ever since. Electrical issues are not fun to deal with. In addition to the electrical issues, the heat/air registers were stuck on the defrost setting, the button that moved the driver’s seat forward only worked half of the time, another seat back was broken, and this is just a short list of all that was wrong with it. Needless to say, we weren’t super in love with the car.
But, yesterday when I knew we were going to leave it at the dealership I got kind of sad and sentimental. It is just a car but it has been a part of our life for the last 7 years. It’s a part of my kid’s childhood. I think I was really feeling the emotions of leaving it behind because it was going to be a change for us. We had been in that car for years and were used to all of its quirks. I was used to backing it into the garage so that if the battery happened to be dead AGAIN when I wanted to leave next it would be easy to jump start. The kids were used to sitting in the seat with the broken back. I knew how all of the buttons worked and the ones that didn’t work. I was used to it taking 10 minutes to warm up in the winter and equally as long to cool down in the summer. Now we were going to be experiencing something new. And change is uncomfortable.
It didn’t take me long to realize that change can be good. After an hour or so of driving the new car around on errands, all longing for the good old car days had disappeared. This newer car was much more comfortable, was easier to drive and all of the features it has actually work.
I have heard it said many times that the only constant in life is change. We are constantly facing changes even though we long for the comfort of sameness. Even when that change is good it is hard for me to let go of what I am used to. This is so interesting to me. Why is it that I am so hesitant to change even when it can bring so much good? How many other areas of my life am I holding myself back in because of comfort? What am I missing out on by not allowing changes to enter my life? And why am I so afraid of being uncomfortable? What could I become if I welcomed change and the uncomfortable growth that came with it?
Change obviously isn’t always a bad thing. And things often don’t change completely. Even though my new car probably won’t have nearly as many dead batteries as the old one did I’ll still back it into the garage. And it will be a lot easier because it has a backup camera!