On January 29, we looked at our finances, our stability (we’ve been here two whole years in May!), and realized that maybe… maybe with a lot of scrimping and saving and extra jobs, we could spend part of our summer vacation in England. For free in the house of Vicki’s uncle who has 3 extra bedrooms. In ENGLAND! The SUMMER! (Or at least in July). We started dreaming- Stonehenge. Tower of London. The Eye. The Cotswolds. ENGLAND! Elizabeth started talking about a day trip to Paris. PARIS!
On January 30, my husband’s car- the 12-year old faithful blue Honda that had only once given us any fits (a new radiator in December) died. And died spectacularly by stalling on the causeway. He had it towed to the mechanic where she was pronounced Dead On Arrival- a blown head gasket that blew the timing belt. Not just “mostly dead”, but “all the way dead”. Dead. Deader than a doorknob. Scrap metal.
And so I Googled. I read up on cars. I looked at options. I ran numbers and options through my head like a hamster on a wheel. I stayed up late and I slept badly.
On February 1, we bought a new car- a hybrid Honda Civic. A car we need. A car we’re excited about (40mpg gas mileage!). We have to have another car, and we’re deeply fortunate enough to have a job to even get a car. But a car that destroyed our dream of Summer in England.
On the one hand, I’m deeply grateful that the faithful blue Honda did not die six months ago when things were tighter. I’m deeply, deeply grateful that it did not die a year ago when it would have been impossible to get a car at all. I’m very, very, very grateful that we have mostly the means to buy a car at all. I am truly aware of and appreciative of the fact that we have such a great car (40mpg!). I am deeply aware of how unbelievably lucky we are to have a job and stability and all of those things that we didn’t have for so long.
But it does mean that I am going to have to try to find a part-time something in addition to our two full-time jobs and our two part-time consulting- pick up a class for another college, or even work at the movies. It does mean that our already stretched time and income gets a little thinner. It means that the stress level goes back up to where it has been for far, far too long- where we’re operating in crisis mode- again. This ain’t even close to autism, but autism laid down the familiar tracks of crisis that we know all too well.
I should be used to this by now… but every time, it’s a surprise. The universe saw that we were making one set of plans, and decided that no, no we’re not ready for those dreams to come true yet.