This is #3 of 40 Things I’ve Learned In 40 Years. To see a list of these short daily writings, click here.
The day I arrived to Austin after a three day road trip from Ohio, I unloaded my few boxes of clothes and kitchen supplies, made sure Coda felt comfortable in our new home, and then drove to Carmax.
Carmax is one of those huge used-car malls. And they will buy nearly any vehicle on the spot, including my 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport with over 160,000 miles. Within 2 hours of moving to my new city, I sold my car. And it was the second best thing that I ever did.
Sure, this lightened my budget a bit. I was paying about $100 per month for car insurance and spending around $200 per month on fuel. And then there are the occasional maintenance costs that add up over time. But I didn’t get rid of my car to save money. . .
You know that feeling when you can’t find a parking place and you really need to find a parking place because you are running late? I never have that anymore.
The near weekly (if not daily) fight-or-flight response of adrenaline in the veins and red in your vision when some asshole cuts you off in traffic? Nonexistent in my life.
The faint but ever present thought scratching in the back of your mind wondering how you are going to get a down payment for a new car when the eleven-year old Jeep you are driving is on its last leg? Gone forever.
Yes forever. I am so pleased with my car-less life that I never want to own another one. When I started down the path of reducing my material possessions by getting rid of 10 things per day for 30 days, I didn’t expect that it would lead to being without a vehicle. But it’s not about being the weird guy without a car (yes, I’ll admit it has been inconvenient once or twice for social occasions), it’s about eliminating an unnecessary stressor from my life.
For some people that unnecessary stressor might be a client, a job, a habit, or relationship. For me it was my trusty old Jeep. And I’m now pleasantly vigilant for the next piece of friction that can be removed to free more time and energy for work and play that I enjoy.
Is there a source of stress in your life that you view as necessary that may actually be discarded? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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