You may have noticed that its wednesday already and I haven’t posted a new challenge. There is a new challenge ready to post, but I just can’t bring myself to post it. Why? Because I totally failed last week’s challenge so hard that it just doesn’t feel right to move on to the next thing.
My husband had the last week or so off and since we only had a few days notice of this little vacation, we had nothing really planned for this time. The first few days were really great, we walked to the library, we walked to get groceries, we walked for fun. Though husband doesn’t like the idea of the bus we managed to get around to where we needed just fine without the use of his car.
Then we got bored. With two adults around full-time there is surprisingly little to do around the house after a while. No projects to finish, nothing to clean, the toddler happily playing alone after the novelty of Dad wears off. We puttered, we twiddled our thumbs, we contemplated breaking our current television ban, we read a bit, listened to music, played music, and after all that there were still 5 days left to fill with family fun.
It started with just a little break of the car-free rules. My husband had made no real commitment to being car-free for the week and after two days with virtually no time alone I was all too happy to suggest he take the toddler for a drive. The next day we wanted to check out an indoor play area across town that we’d heard good things about, and I had every intention of taking the bus there until I missed it and my husband, who was not so hot on the idea of taking the bus in the first place simply got in the car and told me he’d happily meet me there in an hour if I wanted to be stubborn. I got in the car, and did again when we left because I had a meeting to be at and I’d already written off the day as a total fail. Then a few days later, for the real nail in the coffin of my goal, we drove 45 minutes to Moose Jaw to go to the Western Development Museum, a shrine to all things car-culture, only to find that it was closed that day and we’d made the trip for nothing.
After all of this I strengthened my resolve to live car-free this week now that my husband (AKA the enabler) is back at work and my routine can go back to normal. But I feel like I need to address the dynamics a circumstances that made last week such a fail. The circumstance being that we had a week away from our usual routine, the dynamic being that while I am perfectly happy to live car-free, my husband like many people out there, doesn’t see a car as just a way to get around but as an enjoyable activity.
I feel like the challenge I wrote last week was a little dismissive of how hard it may actually be for people who do drive, who enjoy driving, and who are in the habit of driving, to suddenly change their routine in just one week. Or, if they did change the routine for one week (or two days) and found it enjoyable that still doesn’t mean that they are ready to embrace a car-free lifestyle with open arms. I had secretly hoped that I could change my husband’s ways with a week car-free where he wasn’t away at work all day anyways, but instead he pulled me further into car culture.
So this week I call Mulligan.
If you tried to go car-free last week and didn’t quite make it, try again, if you did make it and it went well, keep up the good work! If it didn’t go well and you can identify the reasons why take some time to meditate on those reasons and see if you can’t make any changes to make the car-free lifestyle easier for you. Or just stay tuned for next week, and we’ll move onto something different!