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We recently bought a new to us car, a 2015 Toyota Carolla with only 15,000kms for a great price. We were thrilled to have discovered such a find being a family that puts on a ridiculous amount of kms on our vehicles each year. The car drove fantastic and was even the required manual transmission! Heated seats, push button start, navigation, satellite radio, sun roof, it was more than we thought we’d be able to get at this point, a blessing for sure.

The only thing we didn’t like was the colour. Thankfully it wasn’t the red I never wanted, but it’s white which the kids didn’t even want. “I don’t want to get it, it’s going to look dirty all the time,” they said, and they’re right. Though sparkling clean when we got it, it soon became quite dirty and showed it all. Even after going through the car wash it still had some dirt showing on the back. Short of washing it myself and scrubbing some places I feel it may always show at least some dirt.

Today I had to travel for work and when I arrived I saw just how awful it looked thanks to our current winter roads. Basically the entire car was gross, no longer white but rather a brown/gray. Driving highways in melting snow does not help. I no longer want to touch the trunk to close it or the door, knowing it will get all over my hands and whatever I may be holding.

We’d never noticed this with our other vehicles, one silver and one gray. We know they would get dirty, but surely they couldn’t have gotten this dirty! They never looked this dirty!

Heading in to work I was reminded how much these vehicles are like people. As we go about our days and travel through this journey called life we get dirty. There really is no way to get through this life without hitting some dirt, dust, or mud at some point. Just as with the vehicles, some of us show the affects of the chaos more than others, but that does not make them any less dirty, touched by the journey.

Life gets dirty sometimes, there’s no denying it, and no one can escape it. The mess, or dirt, means you lived. Whether visible or not, it’s there. So have a little more grace and understanding the next time you see someone who may not be showing their chaos as much, or stop comparing yourself to them. We all show things differently, as I’m sure we’ve all seen this past year of Covid.

So cut yourself some slack, pick yourself up, and see the car for the adventure or journey, not for the mess.

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