I got my car back this week. It was in the shop for 28 days (supposed to be 10 days but who’s counting). For those 28 days I got to drive a minivan. It was new (only 20,000 miles on it) and had all the gadgets. The doors opened with a press of a button. There was navigation and music and it linked to my phone. Each kiddo had their own captain’s seat. There was a ton of cargo space in the back with the seat folded down. It smelled like nothing.
My car is 16 years old. It has been mine for the past 14 years. It has a lot of miles on it (way more than 20,000). It still has a tape cassette player and does not have keyless driving and the navigation system is me (or whomever else is sitting in the car telling me where to go). There is plenty of cargo space. And it smells like a lot of things, old leather and rain and stale cheerios and mud and grass and kid barf and so on. And I love it. Getting back into my car was like slipping on the most comfortable pair of jeans ever.
Everything fits. It’s smooshy in all the right places and my elbow rests on the window ledge and I can reach both kids from the driver’s seat. I fully recognize that I will need a new car some day (probably sooner than later). And I fully recognize that the new car I just drove for 28 days was really nice and had a lot of convenient features. But it was not what I knew.
And that is why it is so hard to make changes. That is why it is so hard to start new habits and step into new things or jobs or places or relationships. When you are used to something it is comfortable, like old jeans or your favorite sweatshirt or broken-in slippers. Even if you are presented with something new and wonderful it is so easy to want the old thing or to slip back into the old habit.
So if I were my own best friend I would remind myself that change is hard. It is so much more comfortable to stay with what we know. It is so much more comfortable to keep doing what you are doing (keep driving that 16 year old car or slipping into that old pair of jeans or doing that habit that really is not so healthy for you). But sometimes you cannot stay with what is comfortable and you have to grow and you have to make changes and you have to be uncomfortable. So today I challenge you to think about what has gotten too comfortable in your life and what might need to change. And if you decide to make a change I will be here virtually cheering you on from my broken-in, 16-year-old front seat that smells faintly of stale cheerios today.