I did not embark on this “car-free diet” skipping and humming for joy. I was reluctant, skeptical and a complete whiny baby about the whole thing.
I had an excuse for everything:
Him – We have lived without a car before.
Me – But that was overseas, not here… in America.
Him – You bicycled across the United States.
Me – That’s different, I was 21 and now I am not AND I have a 3-year-old to get around.
Him – You can do this.
Me – But, how am I going to get to the gym in the morning?
Yes, my principal concern was how I would keep up my hard-earned habit of going to the gym at 5 am. Somehow, I could not fathom traversing the entire 1.5 miles between our house and the gym. A bit absurd, since I would happily push myself physically for an hour AT the gym. But, it IS cold and dark at that time of day. I was barely able to get myself to the gym WITH a car. It was a worrisome prospect.
What finally pushed me over the edge to give up my beloved Volvo?
Was it that I realized I DID have experience being car free? Was it that I remembered we had chosen our location FOR its proximity to bike trails and public transit?
NO and NOPE.
It was the inkling that I was single handily paying for the college tuition of our Volvo mechanic’s children. A car that rarely leaves the boundaries of Arlington County and for which, a big day of driving is 20 miles, has no business needing THAT much mechanical attention! Yup, it was the money ($$$) that made the final sway.
I cried a little when I posted an AD on Craigslist to sell the car. I behaved poorly throughout the process. I had a serious buyer immediately and that freaked me out. I swooned about how much I loved the car as their family test drove it. I dragged my feet with vague contingencies on the sale and was extremely stubborn about terms.
For the final dramatics? My 3-year-old channeled my emotions and threw an impressive tantrum that included the kind of crying, screaming and kicking that I could only do in my mind. (Thanks, sweetie.)
When I finally signed away the title, accepted the CASH, cancelled the insurance, notified the DMV and declared our household car-free, to my surprise, the relief was immediate.
My black beauty galloped down the road and our “car-free diet” began.