My “Old” Car Is Fine

I bought my car the year before Ipods came out. It is a great car I have driven it all over the country and have put 130,000 miles on it. It runs great and as far as I am concerned I could easily drive it for 130K more miles. I also love my Ipod. I listen to books on it as I am driving around, and because of where I live I drive alot. It’s pretty much a half hour drive to anywhere so I get a lot of reading done on my ipod while I drive. I use it in my work and listen to music on it at the gym. When the ipods came out, of course I looked for a device that would let me play my Ipod through the car’s stereo, found one and got it put in so I wouldn’t have to drive around with headphones on. Then of course Iphones came out and various new versions of ipods. The technology keeps changing and improving. The car keeps trekking along with books playing on different ipods until the dohickey that hooks the ipod to the stereo breaks. I go to two different car audio places and they have all sorts of cool gizmos that attach Ipods and satellite radios and all sorts of sound wonders to new cars now. Of course my perfectly good car is a little too old for these devices to be installed, the new cars are all ready for these things and my car that is just a year too old has to have some jerryrigging, duct tape and other stuff done to it to make it work and then I get out there and hook my “old” Ipod up to it and it goes all screwy. They rigged it just fine for the new Iphones and Ipods that they had but something was wrong with my “old” Ipod. In deep frustration I paid the bill to the nice men who were doing their best took my “old car” and my “old Ipod” and went on my way confident that my car could play my wife’s new iphone over my car stereo.

I bought my “old car” in 2004 and my “old Iphone” in 2007.

What the system wants me to do. What this paradigm is set up to do and what I am pulled towards like a magnet pulls at iron fillings is to buy new stuff and take my perfectly good stuff and sell it or give it away to someone who doesn’t care if their Ipod works in this setup. What I am supposed to do is want something new and different, something cool that works perfectly. The last time I was getting my car tuned up I sat in the new version of my “old car” and Man oh Man it had it all. Jacks for any device I wanted to plug in. The best and coolest GPS and it fit me like a glove. I looked at my wife’s Iphone that works perfectly in the old car and drooled as I saw the cool things it did that my older one can’t do. Desire was stirring in me and I was part of the system of “more” and “better” even as I sat in my “old car” that I love and listened to the end of a book on my “old ipod” that works fine, if you listen through headphones, there I was wondering what it would take to get the new stuff.

I love toys. I love shiny new toys. I don’t want to play with old toys or broken toys. The tantrum starts somewhere down where anger is born in that area below the heart and above the sternum. My reason becomes muddied, my priorities start shifting like sand that is slipping through my fingers. My eyes get a little fixated and I become a consumer. I stop being the conscious human that I am and start becoming a consumer. I start to become a hero to my country and to the “economy”, I stand with pride driven by desire for more and feel for my credit cards and start to dream about how great my world will be when I am driving around in my new car listening to books over my new stereo, how fulfilled I’ll be. I begin to tune into “The Secret” and I look at how I can attract this STUFF to me. I start to strategize how I can wear my wife down to see how important this has become to me. After some time, it could be a year for some things and it could be a week for others, I GET IT. The mouth is foaming and the excitement and expectations are high. I drive around in this new car listening to everything I can and I FEEL SO GOOD. Then two weeks later or a month later the new technology is invented and I am driving around an “old car” again and the itch starts all over again.

Lynne Twist in her book “The Soul of Money” talks about sufficiency and the paradigm of Enough. We need to be able to replace our current paradigm of MORE with the paradigm of Enough. I love where I live I love what I drive and I love what I listen to on my old Ipod. It’s enough.

7 responses to “My “Old” Car Is Fine

  1. This is a great post Henry! Coaching can really address those satisfaction and enough feelings. I now only hire coaches that, not only let me revel in ‘enough’ before the next action, but actually help me think through ‘enough’ in the bigger picture.
    Our consumer attitude is killing our planet.
    I love imagining you cruising around in your “old” car with your headphones on! Somehow that feel more right. Hope it is at least as satisfying to you as it is to me!

    • Hey Carolyn,
      Great to see you popping up all over the place. Remember the long ago days on Burnside Road and that office in Sebastopol? Look where we are now. Whew.

      Thanks for the comments on the blogs and see you around the neighborhood some day soon.

  2. Wonderful piece (peace) Henry! I wonder if we were to transfer the attitude of more to inner growth and consciousness rather than to material things, what would be the impact. It seems to me that one could always benefit from new and better awareness rather than new and better material goods which just temporarily distract the mind and create havoc and unnecessary destruction on the planet. So here’s to more, and to shiny new realizations and deepened consciousness and awareness. May your being be flooded with these never to fall into obsolescence playthings.

    • Interesting take on “more”. I also wonder if growing consciousness is about more or about discovery of what “is” there. I am going to have to ponder on that one

      • Now you’ve got me interested in that question too! I consider all of what “is” out there/in here as thoughts and/or perceptions so that’s what I was thinking of as more. Of course, as we expand our knowledge the edge of what we don’t know also expands. (Or at least that is our perception.)

        When the mind disappears there is no “more” or “less”. In my quest to quiet my mind, “no-thingness” makes the gathering of more irrelevant as I’m already complete and not fixated on separation. That seems to be the mental paradoxical dance of the moment for me.

  3. Dear Henry,
    Thanks for the great story AND for the strong decision to enjoy the toys you are already having. I find it is a continuous struggle…When I commit myself to seeing the beauty in what is there already and available and taking the time to play with my “old toys” (or husband, etc…) it creates peace of mind and fulfillment in a solid way. And yet I am still fantasizing about the i-phone-5 that must be coming out soon….:-)

  4. Henry, LOVE your post.

    So much resonance…!!!!

    At first while reading I was like; “yes…” “yes, me too…” “I have a 2004 car and the next model year does all these OTHER things…” and I was relating….AND what happened NEXT was what I really loved – I got to think about what was underneath the desire for these ‘other things’ and so much interesting stuff is revealed.

    At the end of the day you, me and the rest of the world stand in choice (or the possibility of it) and isn’t that just AWESOME? Particularly when we are chosing INLINE with our values. 🙂

    Hug to you out there on the beautfiul beach – or in whatever foreign land this message finds you in.

    🙂 Lisa D, Waterdragon Beauty

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