I drove my daughter’s VW Golf when she and her dad used my car for a road trip. I hadn’t driven a 5-speed manual transmission vehicle for many years and it stalled while I reversed out of the driveway. Twice I started up from a stop in 3rd-gear but as soon as I realized it, shifted to 2nd.
I listened to her song mix on CD while driving through the mountains and when I was near town I listened to her radio station of choice. For some reason she’s into Classic Rock and the tunes swirled memories of my college years. My goals then were for an office job and a studio apartment in-town, or in a historic neighborhood, maybe living above a row of specialty shops or a bakery. These weren’t big dreams but I wasn’t going to do the family-thing and was only passionate about singing and dancing, for fun, not with a desire for a life in musical theater.
The advice to “find your passion then live it” was not promoted in past decades. I associated passion to that cute guy, and the four daughters that quickly appeared in my life. Passion was not the word I would have used to describe my interest in reading and writing. Those activities were as necessary to me as breathing and not a desire. Books were free at the library and there were enough on the shelves to entertain me for life. Typing my stories required nothing more than paper, and less of that with computers.
In my journey through the decades, I have never lived in a studio apartment, or alone. I’ve driven some fun little cars but most were vans, sedans, or trucks, as we’ve primarily lived in family homes in a country setting. It’s all been good and I do not look back with discontent but I am reassessing how I look forward now that my girls are grown.
After a week of doing errands in a 5-speed I found the zone, between clutch and gas, but was thrilled to return to my own car for my routines. When I take a vacation I often scramble for wi-fi connections to scan through dozens of email and social media feeds for an hour each day. I’ll make lists and notes of ideas to explore when I’m settled back in my office at home. I do not take vacations from reading and writing as it’s a primary fabric in the tapestry of my life.
To take a vacation means we leave our familiar routines and embrace a new adventure. We enter a different environment and pattern to our days. That’s why it was a vacation to drive a daughter’s car around for a week, while I was home and alone.