Smoke Free 202 Days!
I didn’t realize how much I would miss it until I woke up Thursday morning and remembered I didn’t have a car anymore. It can be quite a shock at 51 years old. I have owned a car since I was 16 years old. Being stubborn has its drawbacks for sure but, getting rid of your car is a little drastic.
The reason I did it is twofold. My car was a 2005 Chevy Malibu. I had paid two years worth of car payments, ($310/mth) plus kept full coverage insurance and paid the taxes on it. Three more years of payments staring me in the face and rising gas prices and food prices, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I took a leap of faith and sold my car.
It is a relief to not have the car payment anymore. Considering I only make $27,000 per year and have a monthly rent payment of $545/mth it is a wonder I made it the two years. I am proud to say I was never late or missed a single payment. Not sure what good that does me now.
So, my plan was to walk or ride my bike to work. I have been ‘in training’ for the last couple of weeks walking my dog every morning what I thought was 2.5 miles. When I told my friend Mike that I was walking 2.5 miles in 20 minutes he was really impressed with me. Well, that made me stop and think, OMG, what if it isn’t 2.5 miles? I have been walking the same route for two years. When I was smoking I couldn’t ever finish because I would get short of breath. So, I would cut through the field to get home quicker. Anyway, I had driven the route with my old car that had the old fashioned odometers that weren’t digital. I’m not real good with math so I mush have goofed some how because when I mapped it out on Google Maps it said it was 1.5 miles. Crap! No wonder he was impressed with 20 minutes. Ugggh! So now I have a new route that is is 2.0 and 3.0 miles. I did the 3.0 miles Saturday in 45 minutes. Now that’s more like it isn’t it.
I also rode my bike what I thought was 3.0 miles one hot, hot, muggy day. Turns out it was 5.0 miles because I couldn’t find the turn that was on the map to make it 3 miles so I just kept riding, it was downhill after all. Nothing hard about that-until I had to go back and ride UP the hill. Well, I only had one bottle of water. I thought that would be plenty for a 3 mile ride. So, I walked my bike UP the hill and when I made it to the top I called my son and asked him to bring me two more waters. I was determined to finish the ride even if it killed me. And it almost did.
So now I was ready to sell my car because I knew I could depend on my legs to get me to work everyday. When Gas prices were pushing $3 per gallon I said I would not pay that much for gas. It’s the principle of the thing. Well, I did end up paying +$3 a gallon for gas. So when gas prices were pushing $4 per gallon again I said I would not pay that much for gas. Well, the last time I filled my car right before I sold it, gas was $3.99 per gallon. So the timing was perfect.
Now, back to Thursday morning. I ended up in tears because I couldn’t make a decision on how to get to work. I piddled around trying to decide between , walking, riding my bike, (actually with a heat index of over 100 degrees neither one was a really good idea) or the bus. I changed my clothes three times because as you ladies know if you are going to walk, you have to wear a walking outfit. If you are going to ride, you have to wear your biking outfit which includes your biking shorts , (with extra crotch padding), and if you are going to ride the City Transportation, (the Bus), you can wear your regular work clothes. By then it was too late to catch a bus or I would have been late for work so I ended up in tears and my 23 year old son took pity on me and said, “come on Mom, I’ll take you to work.”My daughter, (21 years old) picked me up after work. I never thought I would be dependent on my children at such a young age.
Friday morning I was better prepared and didn’t panic when I woke up and discovered I didn’t have a car anymore. I had planned on riding the bus and lucky for me it was a “free” day because of the City Sidewalk Sale. So I only had to walk a mile, (straight-uphill) after the bus dropped me off, to get to my building. I am a little sore from carrying my heavy bag, (I looked like a Bag Lady). I’m not sure what is in that bag, but I will never carry it again. I will get me either a backpack or a fanny pack. I did survive and fortunately it was downhill to catch the bus after work. The city bus is really nice and clean. It has Air Conditioning and is very inexpensive.Eventually I want to get a scooter, like a Vespa, maybe a pink Vespa would be cute. My work is only a short 3 mile trek so I really don’t need a big car anyway. Unfortunately I don’t have the $2500 to $3000 to buy a new scooter so that will have to wait until I save some money.
Yes, I have made the ultimate sacrifice because of our current economic situation. My Dad always taught me to live within my means. If you can’t increase your income, (I’m already working two jobs) then decrease your expenses. And if that means no car then that’s what I’ll do.
I could lose some weight anyway!