what's your little blue truck?

I drive a pick-up truck.  Well.  I drive a pick-up truck when my daughter isn't with me.  

Here's the story of me meeting my truck: 

I was home over the holidays from my life in Chicago.  It was about 12 years ago, and my dad was still alive.  I had been hauling my five tons of theatre stuff around all over Chi-town on the bus and the El in the freezing cold.  

So my dad and I found this truck together.

I loved it from the moment I first pulled myself up into the driver's seat.  It's so perfectly my size.

And then suddenly we bought it, and I sobbed my brains out as I drove it home.

That little blue truck hauled me and my five tons of theatre stuff all over creation.  It saw me through one 800-mile move south; one scary but ultimately very lucky wreck; and the making of theatre in an old department store, a long-ago bar, and a block-long tobacco warehouse.

Eventually, because it's a vehicle and vehicles break down, my little blue truck started to need work.

For a while there, my brother was able to do the work.  (My brother is the kind of smart that means he can take 4 or 5 pieces of broken vehicles and make them into one vehicle that he can actually drive on the road.)  So that was lucky for me.  But for the past few years, he's had a lot going on.

I've had a lot going on, too.  

I got married.  I had a baby.  The truck was awesomely handy for wedding prep at the family farm.  I confess that it's not nearly as handy for baby-hauling.  Or toddler-hauling.

Anyway, we've been taking it to a garage.  Or several garages.

It was going to happen sooner or later.  The "You Need A New Transmission" phone call.  I know that.

When the Transmission Pronouncement of 2014 was handed down, I was pretty clear.  I told my husband we needed to think about getting a new vehicle.  We needed to think about getting rid of the truck.  I was very calm.

And then I hung up the phone, and I cried for a very long time.  Because I love that truck and because it's part of my identity and because, well, my dad.

Okay, so here's the deal:  We didn't actually get rid of the truck.  We saved up some money over a few months and got the transmission replaced--because when we crunched the numbers that was actually the right move for our family right now.  And when I got back in the truck after all that time, I actually yelped for joy.


I did finally face the fact that my truck is not actually part of my family.  That my family's needs are more important than my little blue truck.

I'm embarrassed to write that.  It seems so obvious.  And I'm embarrassed about how sad the idea of saying goodbye to my truck makes me, even now.  

But I'm telling you about it anyway because part of having less and doing less is being okay with feeling two things at the same time.

We can simultaneously feel the rightness of a choice that prioritizes what's most important *and* the sadness of a choice that means letting go of something we love.  

For stuff and for non-stuff.

So.  What's your little blue truck?

This week, I'm exploring what happens when you admit the possibility that something big and important to you might need to go.