Who here loves the smell of a new car? You know, that rich, leathery, soothing-yet-overpowering scent that oozes when you stick your head inside a brand new car for the first time? …It just might be the best. So it’s no surprise it’s one of the reasons I absolutely love driving my first ever, month-old new car around town. One of many, but it’s definitely up there.
I know I’m not alone in this because when I shared with friends and coworkers about my new wheels, many paused for a second to ask with a smile, “Does it smell like a new car?!” But I’d barely get an answer in before they’d respond, “You’ll get used to it.”
“You’ll get used to it.”
Okay technically they are correct. We are habitual creatures and our senses quickly adapt to our surroundings. We live in routine and we like routine. Some time ago, I heard it only takes two weeks for something to become a habit. (Who knows if that was a trusted source but it sounds right!) But what if we – what if I – do not wish to “get used to” the smell of my new car? Each time I heard this response, the stubborn part of my personality switched in gear. I won’t get used to it! I’ll show them! Challenge accepted.
And sure enough, I am making more of a conscious effort to really breathe in each time I sit behind the wheel, and take a moment to enjoy, well, the moment. I can’t say it happens every time, but even on short trips to Kroger or driving the extra block to park in German Village during Sunday brunch hours, I’ve forced my thoughts to come back to the smell, the car, the engine, that minute. Someday, it won’t be the same as it is right now.
And this doesn’t stop with the divine smell of automobile materials. Let’s not get used to the feeling of coming home after a long day, wherever that may be. Let’s not get used to the smiles we share with coworkers each morning on our way for more coffee. Let’s not get used to summer nights, sunsets from patios, good morning texts, laughter at the family dinner table, kisses from grandma, hugs from our very best friends. Someday, it won’t be the same as it is right now.
Is it possible to break our human habits? Think outside of daily routine? Breathe in the moment for just one second? I’m up to the challenge.