The school-aged children had a half-day on Friday so, following the success of the Longwood Gardens trip, G (nanny) and I decided to brave the Philly Auto Show with all five kids. I am happy to report that the baby was peaceful on the drive downtown, and slept in the carrier while we looked at cars. (The ride home was a different matter, but two out of three isn’t bad…)
I got the kids motivated to go by telling them we were researching my next car. I am currently driving the SUV I bought in 2011. It has served its function well, that function being to get me and my passengers to and from our destinations. The kids had all sorts of ideas on what I should purchase next, including the pick-up trucks, and the Lamborghinis and Maseratis we saw. I pointed out that I couldn’t even transport most of them in the models they liked of the latter two (no backseat definitely means no car seat!), but I don’t think this consideration sank in.
In any case, while my husband replaced his 2010 car last year, I’m not sure that I am truly in the market for a new vehicle. My car works. Until that changes, buying a new one seems like quite a bother.
I’ve been realizing lately that this is my philosophy about a great many things. I generally like to avoid bother. My tendency is always to make do. I am sitting on an office chair with a giant hole in the upholstery. In some cases, I think it’s a positive attribute. I’ve saved a great deal of money by not being prone to seek out something shinier (e.g. in the vehicle department). In some cases I hope my “making do” comes across as lovably eccentric (my car clock has been an hour off since the time change in November…but I know what time it is and the time is going to change again in early March so…why bother?)
But, it’s not always positive. I was never a big fan of the kitchen in this house. Since I work from home, this meant I was disliking it at breakfast, lunch, and dinner…for seven years. Finally, in 2018, I decided to renovate. The renovations weren’t complicated: painting the cupboards and walls, installing a new backsplash, countertops and lighting. We did not have to move appliances or walls or put in windows or anything like that. There were some bumps along the way, but when it was done, I loved how it looked. It was a bother, but in retrospect, not a huge bother, and in any case, the bother is now in the past. I have been pondering why it took me so long to get around to it. I wish that realization would nudge me to deal with the stain on the front of my house that I also hate looking at but…Making do can be about contentment, but it is sometimes about fear of the unknown, or laziness, or cheapness too.
In what categories of life do you “make do”? Which are you happy about, and which are you not?
Photo: Not my next car