Rust & Wrinkles

When I bought my 1999 Acura 1.6 EL with a standard transmission it was a pretty big deal. And ever since I stopped stalling at every stop sign I have felt pretty proud driving it.  This past month my trusty vehicle even made it through an 8,000 km road trip. That’s 5,000 miles, my American friends!
But here’s the issue: I’m not proud of it anymore.
It started earlier this year when someone saw my car and said “That’s your car? I guess I don’t have to worry what you’d think about my ride.”
And it wasn’t even meant to be rude. It was like she was saying “Oh, you don’t really care about what you drive either.”
But I was insulted… so apparently I do.
It just came as a surprise.  I kept putting miles on my sweet car and suddenly, one day, I’m driving a cracked, dented, rusted out crap-box.
And so I make myself feel better by telling myself that one day I will get another car.  Then I will roll down the windows without fear that they won’t roll back up.  I will pop the hood without the use of pliers. I will look in the rearview mirror and…
Have you ever looked at yourself in your rearview mirror on a sunny day? I have, and this is what my mind did:
“This can’t be right. There are two, no three, no FOUR separate wrinkle lines on either side of my face when I smile –  and that’s not counting the ones by my eyes! And my skin… it looks so… transparent!”

It came as a surprise. I kept living my life full of dramatic facial expressions when suddenly, one day, I’m rocking a face that rivals my fingertips after a soak in the tub.

And I realize that although a new car may be in my future, a new body will not.

So I find a new way to deal.  I smile as big as I can and look hard at those lines.  I imagine how many times I must have smiled like this to create such resilient facial memory.  Next I frown. A long crooked line threatens to break my forehead in half and I say a short prayer of thanks for all the hard and painful moments I have made it through.  I raise my eyebrows and it looks like waves on the beach.  The beach is my favorite place.

This face of mine is the product of a bazillion little moments that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

And as for my car… it is daily reminder of one of my favorite quotes.

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and thieves break in and steal… wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”   –  Matthew the Apostle


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