On being reliable

So, I washed my car on Wednesday.

This is not a regular occurrence. I’m not really a car person. And when it comes to the 3 thousand tasks to be covered in an average day of my vibrant and full life – washing my car is just not one of them.

This is a step away from my family upbringing. My dad always said a clean car is a happy car. And with every new car that I’ve ever bought, my dad buys me a “car warming kit”. Which I proceed to throw into the boot of said new car.

And promptly forget about.

This means I’ve never finished a bottle of any car product he has ever bought me. Despite my driving and car owning history of over 14 years.

But recently, being an olfactory person, I’d begun to notice my current car – well – smells. Heated seats on high for the last 2 months means an odour of kidney sweat and dog had settled within the duco. So that every time I opened the door, I was greeted with a waft. A waft that made me wince. And sometimes sneeze. Making me think it might be time for the bi-annual visit to the Apco car wash.

The last time I’d been there was in February when I needed to vacuum pretty much 13th beach out of the bottom of my car. I was with my wingman and even though it was half price Tuesday it cost me $22. The water gun becoming in his 5 year old world an actual gun. Which aimed and sprayed water “bullets” with full throttle sound effects for around 75 minutes.

On Wednesday, I went alone. Methodologically I worked my way through the least loved task that a busy working woman can do. I cleaned my car, inside and out. The method I used was handed down to me from my dad. Possibly from his Dad before him. A Dad he lost way too soon and that I never had the privilege to meet.

While using the products my Dad so consistently bought for me again and again in his desperate attempt to make me into the clean car driving person he could be proud off, I thought of him. I thought of my beautiful, strong Dad.

I thought of when he first taught me the artful skill of washing my toyota crown with a bucket and hose in the driveway. The way to get the chamois into the small hubcaps of my 323. Deodoriser spray for the Hyundi, nail polish touch ups for the Suburu. The green paint (left by an anonymous door) he recently removed from the Volvo.

And while my cars continued to die off and change, always with a can of Kit interior car spray, was Dad.

Consistent. Reliable. There.

Think grounding asana, heart openers and gratitude.

Sometimes, we can take for granted those who are always there behind us. The pillars from which we reach from. The consistent presence supporting the journey of change. Watching the shift in our cars and waving us along where the drive will go. All the while waiting quietly for each time we come home. To listen to the stories of our latest drama throughout the 3 thousand tasks for that day.

After I’d blackened the rims of my massive family beast, I looked at my big clean car. I felt so close to my dad, even though he was 2 states away. I was so grateful that he had not only not given up on the car cleaning products, he had never given up on me.

I rang my dad that night. It’s something I’m still so blessed to be able to do. I hadn’t spoken to him for a couple of weeks. Hadn’t taken some time to connect into the simple privilege of talking to this man I love. I’d been too busy. Had too much on. Had taken for granted that he would consistently be there tomorrow.

My giggling mum picked up his phone. She’d been on the chardys while my dad was cooking the barbie. I told her to tell him I’d cleaned my car. And that I loved him.

We chatted for a bit. In finishing she told me that my Dad would be proud of me. That he loved me too.

But in my heart, I already knew that.


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