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.