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Friday, December 14, 2012

Conclusion on going car less


this will be my last post that is exclusively on going car less.. after almost 3 months I have a few points I wand to bring up...

We haven't had a car in almost 3 months now...  basically, the following is what really happened between then and now.

At first, I was lost.  I must admit!!  I had a car for roughly 12 years... and at some point we even had 2 cars!  We managed to go down to one 5 years ago and we had plans to be car less by the time my son is out of high school.  Another 5 years. However, life chose otherwise... as is often the case for great changes! We decided not to fight it... but it was not easy!  I was a little lost.. I had to adapt...  my week end were always planned according to going from A to B using a car!  using public transit or my legs (or my bike in decent weather) is NOT as fast!  Obviously, there cannot be as many A to B in a week end! I was panicking.. how will I get to do everything with not enough time?  until I realized, that I did not HAVE to do all those things all the time... and I could work out a better schedule!  I also changed some of my habits!

So slowly but surely my husband and I came up with new week end routines...

Friday nights are most time spent at home instead of wandering around at the mall not buying anything because we are minimalists.

Saturdays are spent either 2 ways... if my son is there, we rent a car to go to his judo lessons and then perhaps they go play paintball... if my son is not there we go downtown to have a Starbucks and walk around... we enjoy being downtown!!! We get back home early enough to prepare a nice supper and drink some kombucha and chat or watch a movie.

Sundays are early rise and grocery shopping (trust me, you buy much less food when you gotta carry it home walking - no extras just for fun - you get what you need for the week and that's it!  This also means that I throw out much less food - only one small size garbage bag a week for all 3 of us - since wasted food is wasted money this is good news!!!).. by 9 am we are back home, unpack groceries and then head of to Starbucks to meet our best friend...  or go to my parents if my son is home...we get back home early as my husband weird work schedule require him to sleep between 4pm and 8pm on Sunday night...  therefore between the time we get home and his sleep time we can relax, do some cleaning and or laundry, organize a few things.. when he goes to bed, I either catch up on my reading, crafts or I spend some quality time with my lovely son...

so these are our week ends now... and the weeks are pretty much work and home... except for Thursday when we all walk to Sushi (rain or shine) and stop do a little grocery shopping of fresh product to bring us to Sunday.  I have learned to enjoy being home...  first of all it is much more relaxing than being anywhere does not cost tons of additional money (I have to pay rent anyway, whether I am there or not)... I eat better... and overall, not having a car has "forced" me to spend more time outside and hence sleep better!

I also had to come up with new lunch routines...

To me lunch is time spent outside... preferably... because I need it!!!  I used to take my car and go to the mall or Chapters... which were 5-10 min away by car.... take a chai latte on my way back and sip it slowly over the afternoon...
Now there is a Starbucks 15 min walk max from my workplace... so I walk there (rain or shine - REALLY!), grab an extra hot chai in a stainless steel mug, walk back with the chai packed away and sip it slowly during the afternoon.... this allows me a shorter lunch time indeed but I get to leave a little earlier and save public transit traffic!!  (Yes there is such a thing...) My 90 minutes ride is more enjoyable in a less crowded bus!

All this to say that after we got used to it, let's say about roughly a month, it has become a much more enjoyable experience... and I definitely won't buy another car...  Here are the plus side of my life as it is:

More time outside (walking instead of driving, downtown instead of the mall)
More walking (good exercise - at least 45 min per day)
More relaxing (driving was stressing me out so much - I didn't even realize it!)
More reading (3h bus ride every week day all by myself - gotta keep busy)
More presence in the moment (meditation, observation)
More home cooking (better food on our plates)
More crafting (YE!  use to not have time for it!)
More quality time with husband and son (at home or in the bus - I do not have to watch the road!)
More doing what I really care about (instead of just doing stuff to keep busy)
More weight loss (all that walking, fresh air and eating better pays off)
More money to put towards my small debt (will be debt free faster!)

and even if I try to, it's hard for me to come up with a negative side other than it's longer to get to places... but is that really a negative side?  especially when it allows me to spend quality time with the ones I love and  read when I am alone...

So all in all, it has been a positive experience! I am glad we gave it a fair chance before rushing to buy another car!  It may seem weird to not own a car for many people but by the number of people I see every day using public transit, we are certainly not alone!!!

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