On Purpose and With Purpose

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Sometimes, you just gotta work with what you got.

Back when I was a very young, newly-minted adult, I drove a convertible Fiat, a 1973 Sport.  It was a groovy little maroon car with black top, tan leather interior.  I loved driving it around town.  It wasn’t the best car, there was usually some sort of mechanical failure every month, but I put up with it because I was eighteen and it was all I had or could afford.  Plus, it was a convertible, I mean, come on, right?  That cool little car got me where I was going, and at the time that was all the mattered.    However, it wasn’t long before my location, where I actually lived, became more of an issue.

 A Frozen Tundra? 

I lived in Northwest Indiana, about 60 miles outside of Chicago.  Summers were hot and humid, falls and springs were rainy and winters were long and bitterly cold, filled with snow, sleet, ice, and freezing temperatures.  After a couple Midwestern years, the moisture mixing with those cold temps had its way with my little Fiat.  I began having trouble getting into the car during winter, for the doors were perpetually frozen shut.   I began carrying lighters (to heat up door locks) and de-icing sprays, all so I could actually get into the car. When those no longer worked, I learned to leave a wing window open so I could reach in and open the car from the inside.  I grew weary of this practice, but sometimes, you just gotta work with what you got.

New cars have come and gone

None have had leaky windows or frozen doors.  Some I have worn holes in the seats or worn out transmissions. Others have outlived their welcome.  There are many which hold no fun memories at all, but my Fiat?  Memories galore.  Good times.

Working With What You’ve Got

When you have to work with what you got, you learn to make what seems impossible possible.  You learn to improvise (as I did with the wing windows), you learn to negotiate (as I did with numerous mechanics), and you learn to appreciate (as I did when I finally got my first brand spanking NEW car, a glorious Volkswagen Jetta).   When you work hard for something, the gratitude is greater.

I have had numerous “purchasing a car” discussions with all my kids as they broached their 16th birthdays.  First jobs or summer jobs have a way of buoying the spirits but not the bank accounts of hopeful car owners.   Reality soon breaks the backs of hope which beams “buy your own car”.  Understanding every expense:  gas, insurance, maintenance and the cost of the car itself often proved quite disheartening but also bore an instant appreciation for how each of these kids got around, Mom’s taxi service.  Gratitude.

What’s Already in Use

Figuring out how to best utilize the tools/practices you already use or own is a continual process.  Sometimes, those tools/practices become outdated and need to be laid to rest.  Time to update.  If you are unsure, ask around or Google.  Most people will gladly dispense and share their knowledge and expertise on what works for them and the information readily available online is quite prolific.

Yep, It’s a Metaphor

When the car won’t start, check the battery. If it isn’t the battery, check everything else.  If the car no longer gets you from point A to Point B, why keep it?

A purpose for all things and all things for a purpose. 


by Rayanne Thorn





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  1. True on so many levels Rayanne. And timely. I’m ordering a new car tomorrow morning — after a friend suggested that I was strongly resembling someone who couldn’t let go of a beloved pet, even though it’s time.


  2. Donna –
    I know exactly what you are talking about. When it;s time – it’s time. Enjoy your new car – you deserve it!!


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