In this day and age everyone needs a car, don't they? We all have places to go and people to see. Some need a car to get to and from work, pick up the children from school, take them to sport and so the list goes on.
I have always been a rather nervous driver. Just ask the policeman who passed me when I sat my driver's licence forty years ago. My friends will tell you I drive too slowly. However, over the years there have been times when I have had to drive to get to work and it certainly can be convenient to have a car when time is short or the weather is unpleasant.
Last time I got repairs done on my car, a 1989 model, it was suggested I think about replacing it. I didn't want to as it has served me well and I am used to it.
Recently my car once again needed a considerable amount of money spent on it and it seemed time to replace it. Then a thought came into my mind. Did I need a car at all?
I sometimes walk to the main street. My home is close to the railway station and I always catch the train if I am going to the city or anywhere between here and there. Buses which travel locally leave from my train station. My doctor, chiropractor, podiatrist and dentist are within walking distance. There are taxis and a dial-a-bus service.
Why have a car? These days I only use it to do the shopping, to bring home larger items and occasionally for an appointment which is further away than the places I go regularly. My current lifestyle is not reliant on a car.
A car costs money for registration, insurance, road side assistance cover, petrol, servicing, repairs, tyres and so on. Even if I pay for a taxi now and then I will save money by not having a car.
Previously I hadn't considered not having a car. My friends all have cars, it is expected that one will have a car. I have needed a car in the past.
I said goodbye to my car a few days ago. I felt a bit disloyal sending it to the wreckers as it has been reliable. Other than that, I just feel relieved.
Because I am not a keen driver, being without a car will mean a reduction in anxiety. I won't have the stress of driving. I will no longer have to worry about what would happen if it broke down. Never again will I worry about the possibility of it being stolen from a parking lot.
Walking is good for my health and further reduces stress. I enjoy walking and observing the world around me. Sometimes I take photos.
The environment will benefit from one less car on the road. I can feel good about that.
I know many people would feel anxious without a car. They are uncomfortable using public transport. They go out at night and feel safer travelling in their own car. On the rare occasion I go out at night I am able to get a ride or could pay for a taxi.
One adapts to one's circumstances. I did my grocery shopping online this week and enjoyed the convenience of having it delivered. There are many things which can be bought online these days and lots of places will deliver.
This morning I used the local bus to visit a friend instead of driving. I noticed things on the way I never saw when my eyes were focussed on the road in front of me. Yes, it did take longer to get there and back. The bus meandered through some back streets but that was interesting as I got to see roads I have never driven on.
There is now extra space in my back yard because there is no car in the car port. I have moved some things off the back verandah into the car port to give more room for relaxing outside. The back verandah can be better utilised and looks better now. I have further ideas for sprucing up that area.
It makes me wonder if I am holding onto other things in my life which I don't really need these days. I may have needed them in the past, but do I now?. Other people might need them, but do I? Perhaps it's time to reassess what I really need and what makes me happy and healthy.