3 Things My New Car Has Taught Me

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We’re excited today to introduce Polly, the newest member of the Sayer family. A sister for Sally, Polly made her appearance about half past three yesterday afternoon, and weighs a hefty 800 kilograms (or thereabouts) with gorgeous thick black car-seat covers, shiny silver paintwork and a dreamy back-seat-flippy-down-bit-with-OMG-cup-holders. She’s a Commodore; our first Holden. Mother and car both doing well.

Now I have friends who will be reading this and asking themselves “How did I not know about this? Was this planned? Did I even know you were trying, Megan?” to which the answer is No. We weren’t trying. It just happened. We’re still in a bit of shock, although we are absolutely over-the-moon happy with our latest purchase. It has happened very, very suddenly. Let me tell you a bit of a story…

We’ve never been a two-car family. In fact, growing up, I was a No-car family. It was okay, you learn to make-do, get good at learning bus time-tables and accept that some things just aren’t possible. When we bought the house we live in now, some seven years ago, part of the attraction was that it was close to regular bus services, and it was in a nice flat area within walking distance of schools, shops and playgrounds. Perfect, really, for a one-car family.

Perfect, really, for a family where the Dad works in the city each day and can catch the bus there and back.

Here’s what I’ve learned though:

Needs change. That’s okay.

Our city-working-Dad has become something else, a highly sought-after Recording Engineer, who regularly packs up our darling Sally car with mega-amounts of studio equipment and mic stands and crates of leads and drives to obscure locations to make albums for people. This is wonderful, although it takes a bit of effort and great communication to sort out what days the car will be available or not, and how we can work around things.

Circumstances change. That’s okay.

We’ve been “poor” for most of our married life. It still feels a bit wrong claiming poverty, because this is Tasmania, where the divide between rich and poor is very VERY narrow, and our definition of “poor” still included a decent-enough car, a decent-enough house and always enough food on the table, so maybe I should change that to things have been “tight”. We pay the bills always, but we wear socks with holes and feel stupidly grateful if there’s money for a cappuccino at the end of the fortnight.

We are not there any more, things have changed. Sometimes, though, we stay there in our minds, and sometimes there have been just so many limits we forget what it was that imposed them in the first place, and we accept those limits as Part Of Us.

Here’s the third thing I learned. This is the big one, the clincher, the say-it-out-loud-in-all-caps-until-I-remember-it:

Sometimes the thing standing in the way of receiving what you want/need the most is YOU.

Nearly two years ago I had this dream, like a night-dream, while I was asleep. I’d just decided to do the Biggest Thing Ever, the Thing I’d Always Wanted To Do, which was go to the USA on my first ever overseas holiday. My husband was supportive, it felt right, I knew we could save the money in time, there were people to stay with, it was There On A Plate…until I started thinking that I couldn’t, that it was Too Big, Too Hard, and I Couldn’t Drive on the Wrong Side of the Road, and therefore I couldn’t go.

My night-dream was this: I came home one day to find a crowd of people and a TV crew with camera filming to present me with a New Car. It was this beautiful thing, with shiny silver paintwork and fluffy black car-seat covers, and possibly even had a dreamy back-seat-flippy-down-bit-with-OMG-cup-holders. It looked a lot like our new Polly. The crowd were wild with excitement, people were cheering and jumping up and down and a man in a suit was there in front of the camera to present me with the keys to my new car. In my dream I’m speechless, flabbergasted, and when I get up there on the podium, as he hands me the keys, what did dream-me say? “I can’t. We can’t afford a second car sorry. We can’t afford the petrol, or the insurance, or the registration. And not only that, we live so close to a great bus route, it’s why we bought the house!” They stared at me, this elated crowd. The man in the suit stared at me. The conscious part of sleeping-nearly-awake me started jumping up and down “JUST ACCEPT THE THING, MEGAN! EVEN IF YOU SELL IT, JUST. ACCEPT. THE. CAR!” When I woke up I got the point: I needed to step into my dreams. Only I could do it, and nothing was stopping me but Me.

Let me encourage you today: Buy your Polly. Take your trip to the US. Call your friend. Say Yes to the crazy thing. Live your dream. In the end it won’t be the fear you’ll remember, it’ll be the regret of letting it ever stop you. 

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11 thoughts on “3 Things My New Car Has Taught Me

    • Thanks Amanda!
      It’s really been a remarkable year for our family, in so many ways. I love being able to blog about it and share our crazy journey with others. Glad it encourages you.

  1. Your first few paragraphs made me laugh way too hard; your last paragraph sobered me right up and made me wonder what I’d do if I knew I could, if I knew it would work.

    Congratulations on Polly! For me, a car is a only a pair of wheels to get me there, so when I stare at your photo I’m really just admiring the view in the background. I do the same thing with babies: admire the crib and outfit. (Because- and I’m whispering this- all newborns look the same to me, just like cars and unlike kittens. 😉

    • Haha! Glad I could make you laugh 🙂
      I’m completely with you on a-car-is-only-a-pair-of-wheels-to-get-me-places…but the luxury of having wheels is very, very sweet. And…gulp…to tell you the truth I’m with you on all-babies-look-alike too (and I’ve had 3 of my own! They all looked alike. I can only tell who’s who in the photos by the date!). I’ve always loved my kids, but I’m loving the season I’m in so much more now that we’re really out of babies-and-toddlers land. Life begins again! And, alas, so does the need for the second car… 🙂

  2. I couldn’t agree more Megan with you all three points…..little events to big events shape you and mature you and build you up, whether it’s buying a car (or having a real baby) or going to a far away place and embracing your fears to perhaps finding an adventure that will last a lifetime….life can be endless if you let it in…love this blogpost! But I have to ask what’s with naming your cars Polly and Sally….I don’t think I’ve ever named any of my cars except maybe some of my clunkers in my college years (which contained many expletives in their name) Love ya

    • Ha! We’ve never named any of our other cars either, aside from “the station wagon”, or “the corolla”. But then we had a daughter, who liked one of my friends so much she named our car after her.
      The kids referred to her as Sally more than we did – we just called her “the car”. Unfortunately, now we’ve got two, they both get their full names. We’ll see how that goes…

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