Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dude, where's my car?

Seriously, dude. Where is my car? I don't know because I haven't driven it for like a week.

In my new more simple life (that I haven't written about since October 19) I don't drive much at all. I can easily go five or six days without driving a car. That is probably hard for most people to imagine (unless you live in a city with public transport). For the past 14 years of my life I've driven at least 35 minutes each way to get to my place of work. Now, I live a whopping five minute walk from work.

Let me first say that it is most excellent to have a five minute walking commute. I leave my house at 8:55 and I'm at work at 9:00. Actually most days I've been leaving closer to 8:30 and I'm at work early. That is certainly a new thing. I have extra time in the morning. I can either get up at 7 and get to work out, have a leisurely breakfast, then get ready, or, if I have a late night, I can sleep until 8 with plenty of time to get out the door.

And then there's that popular commodity called gasoline. No joke, I think that I filled my tank for the first time in a month this past weekend. One tank of gas per month. Really, I think it's going to be more like a half a tank per month or maybe even a fourth of a tank. We shall see. That's some serious savings. I'm estimating that over the next year, I will save about $2000 from NOT buying gas. Not to mention the great feeling of being green!

That's all the good stuff. Which is really very good.

But living so close to work and driving once every six days can create a few dilemmas. First, I feel like my universe is very, very, very small. I walk two blocks to work in the morning, work for 9-10 hours in a refurbished mill and then walk two blocks to my home, also a refurbished mill. I'm definitely seeing that I'm going to need for us to take a weekend away in Vermont, Maine, Boston or NYC every once in a while just to break the monotony up a bit.

The other thing is there are times that I have no idea where my car is. NO IDEA. There are options. It's either behind the building, in front, on a side street (two to choose from) or in what we refer to as the "wild west", an area near our mill that actually does resemble an old gutted town from the "wild west."

Right now my Matrix is out back. I saw it this morning when I left for work and I was like, “Oh, yeh, I have a car.” Out back is the best spot, because I see it when I leave or when I take the dog to pee. But when it's in the other areas, it's really easy to forget its whereabouts and have to wander around to find it. Not good when you are running late, as I sometimes am.

One last challenge is there have been a number of break-ins since people starting moving into this building. Someone figured out and told their friends that there were GPS systems to be had and for a while there, those window-busters had a great time. It's quieted down in recent days.

Now, I would have had no idea if my car had gotten broken into, because I didn't know where the heck it was. : )

Lesson of simple living: Be prepared to ask "Dude, where's my car?"


  1. LOL this is great. When I moved out to Seattle in 2004 I realized the cost of insurance was going to cut into my fun budget too much so I didn't buy a car. I loved it for quite some time. Now I live too far for that to be an option but sometimes I do miss the car-free life I had for 4 1/2 years.

    From the amount I was spending on my last car in Florida I figured between gas, repairs, and insurance I was paying about $250 a month (and I owned my car so no car payments which would have been even more) so I figure I saved about $13,500 for the years I didn't have a car.

    Quite a savings.

  2. That is quite a savings. I've considered getting rid of mine. I have a $450 monthly car payment. It would be nice to have that back. I do need a car because I really don't live in a place where I can get by without one all the time. Ryan's car might work for us for now, but there will be times that I will be high and dry! We will keep working on it. Thanks for the inspiration!