Monday, May 20, 2013

Car-free by choice

Almost seven years ago, I made the decision to not repair my car again. It was parked for almost year. Some time during that year it was either stolen or towed by my complex management. Don't know because I parked the car in a back parking space on the other side of the complex because we weren't suppose to have inoperable cars sitting on the property. Bad tenant, I know.

During that time I was taking the bus to work, and everywhere else we went was within walking distance or short bus ride. I'm really fortunate. In our area we have reliable public transportation. My doctor, gym, vet, movies, restaurants and grocer are within a three mile radius. After a while, I simply didn't think about replacing my car. For one thing, the walking was an easy way to get in exercise without it feeling like a chore and frankly all that walking meant having an observer's point of view of how people drive these days. The most alarming observation was the impression that every other driver was multitasking with a phone while steering a multiple ton vehicle. And don't let me get started on drivers' behavior toward pedestrians. In my experience drivers expect me yield the right of way to them. Really? You can't wait until I'm across the street before you turn and don't you know crosswalk lines are there for a reason? Ask me how many times a driver has had the deer in the headlights moment while turning his car and just missing me because I was paying attention.

I digress. By the time I could comfortably purchase another car, I didn't want one. I didn't want the expense (gas, insurance, maintaining it), didn't want the stress (not many happy, smiling drivers pass me while I'm walking) and I wasn't keen on the idea of sharing the road with a bunch of folks who have seem to have forgotten that when you're driving, your focus should be on, well driving. I don't miss the stress (can you say road rage, the other drivers') and to drive the a final point home (like that segue?) not driving means reducing my carbon footprint and that matters to me.

While I recently made a commitment to creating a minimalist lifestyle for me and hoping to convert my family, too, I was encouraged by the fact that in some areas we were already moving in that direction. Today I'm happily bus commuting to my third job since letting go of my car. I work 30-32 hours a week. I had a choice when I hired to take permanent part-time or temporary full-time with a chance at a permanent placement. I opted for part-time. It was a good fit for us in part because we didn't have the expense of a car.

The older I get, the stingier I'm getting with my time. Another reason why minimalism appeals to me. I want my time. You can't buy back time.

If you had the option, would you give up your car? If you don't drive, do you get startled looks and questioned how could you live without a car?

Wishing you a great week. Be well.


  1. My daughter would love your ways, LaTonya.
    She would do the same with her car.
    I don't know how many she has killed.

    I came to answer your nice comment on my Sun/Mon post. I will look for another blog you might have that was linked to OSI or Monday Toads.

    Either way or if now, thank you very much for your peeking in on my poem blog. I am very sorry for being so late in returning your comment.

  2. Jim, thanks for looking around. Your post here suggest you took time to explore and that is very much appreciated. You are worth the weight.

    Everyone can't go without a car and I acknowledge I am lucky. Hope your daughter finds greater awareness with her driving and those impacted by it. Be well.

    Thank you.

  3. Greetings from Colorado! I'm bored to death at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the info you provide here and can't wait to take a look when
    I get home. I'm shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I'm not even using WIFI, just 3G .

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