Saturday, February 20, 2010

Let the sun shine in

I've never been particularly fond of the driving experience - it's a necessary evil in today's urban landscape, something folks who grew up in villages and experienced their tight-knit communities mostly on foot would never fully accept.

Indeed, I never did, and I drive as much I do because I have to, not because I want to.

So whenever I get behind the wheel, I look for small ways to improve the experience. Like sugar-coating a pill, it's how I keep myself smiling as I lament the fact that I'm piloting two more wheels than usual. My tactics of choice? Lots of good music - G-d bless stereos with aux jacks, MP3 capability and USB slots - and a sunroof.

Most automotive reviewers despise the sunroof. They say it adds weight and complexity. Value-minded consumer advocates dismiss the sunroof - or moonroof, I guess - as a terribly expensive extravagance, the kind of thing that reinforces our collective standing as shameless hedonists.

But here's the thing: it makes me happy. It's an admittedly small and trivial thing, but when I slide that panel open, it transforms my mood. Even when it's closed - as it is through most of a Canadian winter - the bit of extra light that comes in from above is enough to change my mindset.

So when I left the office yesterday, I called my wife, who happily shared that she had had the wondervan's sunroof open on the way home from school. It was a gloriously sunny and warm Friday afternoon, a welcome break from weeks of freezing cold grey during which the car remained hermetically sealed. According to the basic tenets of logic, it was still too cold to have it open, but I didn't feel much need to subscribe to logic on a gloriously sunny Friday afternoon. So I opened it up, dialed up the volume and set off, happily, for home.

As I cruised through what passes for rush hour in this burg, I reminded myself that little things like this make life something to be lived instead of simply survived.

Your turn: What small things are YOU doing to tweak your own life?

About this photo: Self portrait from my BlackBerry. Don't worry, Officer Bob, I wasn't driving on a public road at the time.


~jill said...

I can totally relate! I drive a convertible....driving with the top down just makes me smile. You'll find me bundled up with the heater on but the top WILL be down!!!

craziequeen said...

Seriously cool photo, Carmi :-)

No sunroof in my new car - but roof bars are much more useful for a medieval re-enactor... :-)


Anonymous said...

Well, Carmi, We are the same and different.

I love to drive. Absolutely revel in it. Even when I'm tired and don't want to drive, I enjoy it. Except in horrible, dangerous weather driving - I hate it then, but I must do it. Not because I don't trust anyone else, but because I need to feel in control to feel safe. Thankfully my hubby understands this and hands me the keys in awful weather.

And, like you, I love the sunroof. Never knew how great they were until zoom-zoom car was totaled (we called it the boom-boom car after that) and we got a Malibu. It is so nice to have the sun streaming in. When I want to be streamlined (or warm), I keep the window closed and open the cover - but it's all about the light with me.

Good reflection there, Carmi.

Cloudia said...

Two wheels = happiness!

Aloha, Carmi

Comfort Spiral

Snaggle Tooth said...

Cool Blackberry shot. Particulary like the alternate source sunlight highlighting your face with the earphones n the tree shapes on blue- it exudes "freedom"-

Friday was great here too- I got out to my spot again. As long as I can squeeze it in on the way to or from errands, it's always worth the short detour. Just a few minutes of Sunlight on my skin this time of year often makes my whole day!

NJ said...

I am in the market for a new car. I've been hoping to wait until April to do so and I sooooo want a moonroof this time. Last summer when I went to Portland Maine for work my rental had one and it was awesome. At 50 I feel I deserve a few luxuries in my life so hopefully I find a car with that feature.

Great shot!!!

Anonymous said...

Logic? Schmogic!

Uh wait, I just tried to think of illogical things that I do, and I can't think of any.


I eat lots of Nutella.
I listen to my iPod while driving (headphones) because a) i have no aux jack in the car b) it drowns out fussy kids.

Is that illogical enough for ya?

Cool photo, Carmi!

theMuddledMarketPlace said...

small things?
choosing to walk along a certain street, only because the houses there make me smile/wonder/think/dream