I’m selling my car. Yep, that one! The one my late husband diligently searched for and found in another state, drove it home and handed me the keys on my 50th birthday. Yes, that one. The one whose name is “Blackbird”, the code name for a program I worked on many years ago, perhaps you are old enough to remember the Stealth Bomber? The one that screams “soccer mom” but has overtaken many obvious “street race” cars. She is my alter ego that wears gold wire Aviator Ray Bans and black leather driving gloves, reminiscent of my younger days of racing cars on an oval track in California.
I am a numbers/data person. I love to track and compile, compare and analyze, chart and review. I live my life in black and white, yes or no, go or stop for as far back as I can remember. During these last few days of the year, I start my journey, looking backwards, as I begin my compilation and review of the past year.
For me to make sense of the hours, days, weeks and months that have passed, I look to my daily journal, the photos that were captured and my checkbook! Yes, my checkbook. Were the units of exchange (life vs. money) worth it? This is where the rubber meets the road. This is the hard, sometimes cold truth that answers the question “What have I done with the time and money that I was given?”
I calculated the total expenditures for “Blackbird” in 2014 and then averaged out the cost by month. The total included regular maintenance, repairs, tires, gasoline, insurance, registration and DEQ (smog testing).
What did the numbers reveal? $660 a month! What!? Really? The cold hard truth smacked me in the face and left a mark. I had to let this fact simmer awhile before I could write this and act accordingly. My head searched for excuses to explain the absurdity of this expenditure. “You just replaced the engine two years ago”, “You just rebuilt the transmission last year”, “All of the major work has been done, it will last another 500,000 miles”. Blah, blah, blah.
My head and heart are opposing each other with this decision and I will mourn the loss. It’s more than just the physical act of driving the car that I love, it is the emotional attachment to the man that knew me better than I know myself.
Our thirty year anniversary would have been tomorrow.
There is nothing like a gut punch to the emotions like a checkbook. And the best way to look at the ROI of a car is to compare what it’s costing you a month compared to a new car. Blackbird may be ready to fly the coop! Good for your strength!