I remember that new car feeling. It was the summer of 2005 and I had just purchased my dream car, a Hyundai Santé Fe. The color, mocha frost. I bought it brand new with my own money and conducted all the research, bargaining, and haggling by myself. I still remember the pride I felt driving it, in its immaculate condition and new car smell. But that exhilarating feeling was crushed on that fateful day of the very first door ding.
I was reminded of that feeling the other day, vacuuming around my 11-month-old May Berlin piano. I regularly polish, tune, and baby it with great care. But I’ve discovered…scuffmarks. Just a few very light ones where my music binder brushes the ledge as I open and close it in a hurry. It’s hard to accept, but I knew that day would come eventually.
So what do I do now that the “newness” has worn off? I can either let it fall further into disrepair, or just work that much harder to keep it safe. I suppose it’s like any relationship. Everything evolves and changes. I think it’s up to us to decide whether that’s for the better or worse.
My car has a few more scuffs, scratches, and dings on it (stains, smells, gashes, paint chips...), but it still runs like a dream with over 105,000 miles on it. I take it in for regular maintenance because I love the thing. In return, it has taken me safely across the country so many times I’ve lost count. I can imagine my piano will take a beating over the years, but that won’t keep me from attentively caring for it.
All of my relationships - marriage, friendships, and professional - go through ups and downs. It could be that I’ve lost touch, experienced hurt feelings, or had a flat out disagreement. Some are worse than others. But after that first “scuff,” the one you think you can’t get past and has tainted the relationship forever, what will you do? Let it go by the wayside and brush it off as damaged, or fight to maintain it? If it’s real, important, and special, I will fight for it, and I hope others feel the same way about their relationship with me. I can’t imagine what I would do without my car, my piano, or my relationships.
Me, Duchess, and my car leaving on my first long trip from Nebraska to Fort Bliss, TX
Me and my new piano - look how shiny