The Brand, Spanking New!

FindingResilienceToLiveFinding Resilience to Live in the Moment Again

I like new things. I like them so much that I seek after them all the time. Well . . . I’ll be honest—I lust after new things.

Things like new cars. I love new cars. That new car smell is the best. Even the new, used-car is fairly cool. But the fun-factor gauge definitely goes past “eleven” when you buy a new, new car.

You know how it goes: You think the moment you drive it off the lot that everyone is looking at you.

“Holy shit—look at that guy! He’s the best! Th.. Th– That car is . . . NEW!” You can hear people saying this (in your head) after you drive off the lot.

When you see the opposite sex pulling up alongside you at a stoplight and you think:

I know it. I’m hot. I’ve got a new car. It’s not just new. It’s brand, spanking new. Listen to my engine, babe. It roars—just like me. I’m an animal! A wild, raging, high-tech sex monster!!

It’s like you’re wearing the new car as an extension of yourself. I mean, crap, even the air conditioner and the funky heated seats make it seem like you have your own damn, private climate control system. And the sound system? Don’t get me started — I’m still amazed at the bluetooth capabilities of my iPhone connected to my car stereo.

Know something else? A new life is pretty fun too.

When I got sober five years ago, I was still reeling from a felony arrest and a DUI — and potentially losing my family and my wife — to care much about anything other than simply straightening myself out. So I worked on myself. Hard. I lived in a sober house and I went to meetings up to six or seven times a week. I worked it and it felt great! I thought, I can do this. And it’s all so new, anyway! Y’know what? This is actually kind of FUN.

It worked. After I had one year behind me, I was pretty darn proud of myself. It was still all so relatively new, too, because brand, spankin’ new things kept happening to me!

Life just seemed to work out, job and family-wise. And the newness of it was dizzying. Intoxicating, even.

I published my first book. I became a freelancer. I started a blog. Book two came out. Then three and four were in the works. Freelance and speaking events came out of the woodwork. We got a new house. We lived in a new city. New meetings. New church. New life. New, new, NEW!

It was all new. It was shiny. It was pretty flippin’ amazing, really.

But a new day arises. A new change is imminent — the change of the not-so-new- anymore.

With every new day the once-brand spanking- new things become . . . not as shiny.

Take that brand new car, for instance.

The brand, spanking new car becomes “just” new. Then it’s used. Pretty soon there are empty coffee cups and dog hair in the passenger seat. And the new smell goes away.

Of course, it was all in your head to begin with.

When you first drive off the lot, nobody cares that you’re driving a new car. Nobody’s head is turning. (Well, okay… if you’re driving a Lamborghini maybe so, but anything under 60k doesn’t count.)

And no, the opposite sex doesn’t give a crap what you’re driving. Or that you’re even there. She’s probably thinking instead about whether her idiot husband remembered to make supper for the family on Tuesday before she gets home.

A new car, a new life . . . everything loses its novelty, not just because everything ages.

I’m going to turn 45 soon. And, dammit, I don’t want to enter the next “age bracket” when I take an online survey or check the appropriate box when I get my new driver’s license.

When I thought about my past five years, when I went from 39 (kinda old) to 45 (what?!) I wanted more of the new: I don’t want to drive my damn 2007 Dodge Avenger (a hand-me-down from my wife) any longer. I want to feel the way that I did when I first got sober. I want the “new” life . . . again and again! Of course, all is not lost: I figured out something I think is pretty profound the other day while I was meditating before bedtime. It’s something I need to remind myself daily, in fact.

It goes something like this: MY NEED TO LOVE AND SEEK AFTER NOVELTY IS INVERSELY PROPORTIONAL TO THE WILLINGNESS I HAVE TO REMAIN IN THE PRESENT MOMENT.

I suppose you could also add into the first part of the statement above: my fear of aging, of losing my parents, my friends, of growing old, too. The less dreamy and enamored I am by the THE NEW or NOVELTY, the more I realize that I’m living mindfully, living in the moment. And I find I’m less afraid; that I’m less obsessed about getting a new car. Or new clothes. Or even a new job or a new house or a new life.

The now, the moment — this are all we ever have. And that’s my newest bit of wisdom for this week, which — when you think about it — is a transformative change and a new realization in its own right.


Dan Maurer is a writer and transformer living in the Twin Cities. Visit http://transformation- is-real.com/

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