Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dying to be car free

It has been my dream for many years, to be car free. The cost of petrol, road tax, parking fees, clamping, nct, Insurance and the big one for me repairs to the car can end up costing me more than I can afford, Leaving me working to support my car. Caught in a vicious cycle of needing the car to get work to and almost all the money I earn going back into the car.
For many years I had a love affair with Fiat car. The reasons for this were I loved Italy.
Italy is still today one of my favourite countries. To me a Fiat is a cheeky car with Italian charm,easy on petrol cheap on tax and insurance. What I saved on tax and petrol was lost on the cars I owned, as I spent more time down at the garage getting bits that fell of the car put back on. The exhaust never liked my Fiat Punto it tried to escape from me every 3 months or so, the Irish Roads didn’t help my relationship with the exhaust either. Then there was the fiat battery that must of met all of the AA men working in Dublin. The AA rang me to say that they would not come out if I called them regarding a battery again as I had called them out so often.
I often joked that Fiat stood for Fix It Again Tomorrow. I just want to clarify that I love Fiat I am a super big fan and my problems with my cars was more due to the fact I could only afford old bangers of cars. If I took a road trip I would often have ensure there was a friend driving behind me just in case the car sized up. For no reason my cinquecento would just stop without warning if I was driving it for any length of time. Even with all the troubles the car gave me the security of a car was worth the trouble. I was always so happy to see my car just sitting waiting for me when I finished work like a welcoming old friend. Although I love the freedom a car gives plus all the benefits it brought to my life. I feel in a way the more I use the car the closer to dying I become. Over the years I walked less and less and gradually piled on the pounds. No exercise driving to work and sitting all day in work lead me to a sedentary life style. This is not good I have high cholesterol I am unfit. This lazy sedentary life style a car can create is slowly killing me.
I am happy to report that in 2009 I sold my Fiat punto. Now just we have one car in the house my husband takes the car to work as he works on building sites, he can be called from site throughout the day and has bring heavy building tools with him. Which means we are totaly car free but car lite.Instead of having two cars we share one in the evening to do shopping and on the weekend we don’t use the car we bike or walk everywhere so that is our contibirtaion to going car lite. Benifts of car lite are great, helping me to get active, helping our finances as we are only paying for only one car now and also it’s a little bit better for the environment.
So everybody’s happy.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Crossing the finish line

So this month I have achieved a life long goal,
I jogged/walked a marathon. The last race I ran was more than 20 years ago, and it couldn't of been more than a 6km race.It was a new years resolution made I in early Jan 2010, I said this is the year I am going to get fit. So its only the third month of the year and I am more that impressed with the level of fittnes I have already achieved. I describe how great it felt to finally cross that finish line I was so happy not only for completing the race, also for the experience involved of running with friends and family and making new friends on the way. My husband Adrian my Dad and myself all took part in the race and I really have to say a big thanks to dad who got me through the race without his guidance I don’t know if I would of crossed the finish line.
Adrian did really well as the race started he was jogging along side ,he told me he wanted to stay with me all the way through the race. I knew I was holding him back so me and dad kept telling him, to go run get a good time and off he went blending in to the crowd of bobbing heads ahead of me.. Congratulations Adrian you did so well on your first race I am very proud of you.
Right now I feel unstoppable and have already got my application to do the Dublin women’s mini marathon in June 2010.
I was inspired on the race by a many people. But one man who sticks out in my mind is Bill Young he is a 75 year old man riddled with cancer he has ran over 107 marathons and 135 half marathons. Doctors have told him he should of been dead years ago, but his love for running and keeping fit has helped him to fight his cancer. Sadly he is too ill to run but that doesn’t stop him from competing in races as he no longer runs and just walks them. Bill Young walks at such a speed I found it hard to keep up with him. For mile one and two I was ahead of Bill Young and mile 3 we walked along side each other this is where I got the chance to hear some of Bills amazing story and he talked nonstop for all of mile 3 without gasping for breath. Then he said to me he was going to start stepping up his speed and away he went his figure getting smaller ahead of me until finally disappearing over a hill. It seems he walks with such a speed he forces himself to walk faster each mile as most other people in the race slow down with each mile.
I am so happy with what I have achieved so early in the new year 2010 my goals for this year have been to downsize simplify and get fit so far I am achieving all my goals.
So now I am looking forward to training properly for my next race and I will keep you my readers updated on how it’s all going. Don’t forget ladies the Dublin’s Women’s min marathon is taking place in June so get your applications in. See you there.....

Friday, March 5, 2010

So much stuff we don't know what to do

Saturday Mornings for the last two months have turned in to trip to the charity shop day. For the first month each Saturday we took so much stuff to donate, we had to borrow a Tesco shopping trolleys to help us transport all our bags from the car park in to the charity shop. Now we are down to a half filled bag and some nick knacks that we just don’t need on our weekly trip.
All in a quest for a simpler life.
It is now into March and although we are stuff lighter we are still struggling to achieve a satisfactory physical de cluttering of our personal space and the thoughts of how much we had accumulated is a real wake up call. We want to strip out life of the unnecessary and make room for things in life we enjoy. We are moving away from the world of consumerism and bigger is better and the burden of stuff. After the Celtic tiger has now come and gone I now realise that acquiring stuff does not make me happy in fact quite the opposite it holds me back and weighs me down. Costs me a lot of money to up keep and store this acquired stuff. Our motto from here on is it’s not quantity its quality, quality of life health wealth and happiness.
This makes me happy having no debts and lots of time to spend enjoying life with Adrian so we are focusing 2010 in changing our life styles to make the following 10 steps happen in our life.
1 Have more freedom.
2 Have more time.
3 Have more room.
4 Have less worry
5 Have more pleasure
6 Be more Frugal
7 Become Greener
8 Become Healthier
9 Less Cleaning
10 Be Happier