Monday, September 15, 2014

Odyssey Envy

I love Honda Odysseys! In my mind, they are like the be all, end all in coolness when it comes to mom transportation. Me, I drive a gray, 2004 Pontiac Montana. It is soooo not cool. I have to actually pull the sliding doors to shut them. My six year old tries, but a lot of the time he can't get it shut all the way, so a good portion of my day is spent walking around the van, shutting doors. Meanwhile, I jealously look over at the mom across the parking lot as she pushes the button on her key chain and her sliding door effortlessly shuts. My van has no DVD player, no extra deep cargo area, no back up camera and not even a built in vacuum!

We could probably get one if we wanted. I mean, I'm sure any reputable financial institution would be happy to lend us the money for one. We are a one income family though, and as much as I love them, having cool mom transportation is not a financial priority.

For one thing, how did a minivan become my dream vehicle anyway? I freely admit that before kids and even when we only had one kid, I said those fateful words that I should have known would come back and bite me in the ass, "I will never drive a minivan!"

My old dream vehicle was a Mercedes Benz SUV. Now I pine over a fully loaded, brand new minivan with all the mommy inspired bells and whistles. Seriously? What happened to me?! Oh yeah, I had three kids, that's right. And damn do they, and all their crap, take up a lot of room! I never got (and probably never will) get my Benz, but I drive a minivan, not a cool one, but we have plenty of room for said kids and said crap.

So why do I still have Odyssey envy then? Why do we all have something that we wish we had better of? A better van, car, house, vacations, electronics, etc, etc... I mean if I stop to think about it, I'm sure that to someone my "uncool" van would be a dream come true. After all, it is a form of reliable, safe transportation, not every mother has that for her children.

Sometimes it is easy to forget how blessed we really are. We look at those with more than us and feel as if we are missing out, but one look at someone with nothing and immediately we are humbled. Like when I see a mom who's only way around is her Valley Transit bus card. My van probably looks like a Rolls Royce to her.

Would my life really be any easier if I had a better van? Would all my problems and all the kids' tantrums and typical kid behavior disappear if I could close the door with the push of a button? I don't think so.  We have gotten so used to modern conveniences, we start to believe that our lives are only worth as much as how easy they are.

My six year old is getting better at shutting the sliding door. It kind of makes it worth the hassle when I see the look of pride on his face when gets it on his own.

Okay, so if you are reading this and you already drive an Odyssey or another van or car or SUV nicer than mine, please don't think I am trying to insult you. I honestly think that jealously applies to us all. Admit it, have you ever wished for a newer model or one with more features? No matter how much we have, we always want more. We all have something that we long for, something that we think only the lucky have. For me it is the Odyssey, for someone with an Odyssey it might be a Mercedes Benz, for someone with a Mercedes Benz it might be, I don't know, something even more expensive...

My point is, I am trying to remain humble. I am trying to let go of Odyssey envy, all envy really. At the same time, I recognize that it is not entirely possible. I am human and there will always be something I'll long for. I just try to keep it in check and am always reminding myself that I am soooooooo blessed to have what I have.



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