Around this time every year, life starts to feel like a traffic jam – and I’m stuck in neutral. I am spinning my wheels. That’s the moment I realize my fuel light just came on and I’m broke. Stuck. Miserable.

I can rev the engine all I want, but I’m going nowhere. All I have is the pocket change saved up for my drive-thru coffee and a heart that yearns to escape from the reality of my routine. Just one day.

Deadlines were mounting and the creative juices had frozen up like everything else around here. The house was a disaster. Kids had been sick, again. The Carpenter was aching and sore from days of working in this brutal, frigid weather. Everyone was cranky. We all had cabin fever. But the kids had their activities to break the boredom. The Carpenter had the comfort of the sofa and the glowing warmth of his iPad. He wasn’t about to go anywhere, with anyone, for any reason. Understood. But I was restless.

I equate restlessness with the open road, my absolute love of long, pointless car rides and a sense of adventure. And just like that, the clouds parted in my grey skies. I realized the International Car Show was on. I knew if I worked really hard on my assignments, came in on budget for my adventure plans and had a brief negotiation with the Carpenter (that started with the words, “You don’t have to come but…”), I could satisfy my February claustrophobia.

I cannot explain this infatuation with cars, and while I know they are bad for the environment, our greed for oil consumption and thus, the stuff of wars and conflicts and epic-scaled environmental disasters, I am guilty of wanting to own a luxury sports car. There. I admitted it. Everybody needs a dream.

The car show would cure my blues with the gleam of freshly polished chrome, the intoxicating aroma of new-car-smell, and the curves and lines of engineered perfection in a rainbow of colours. I could drool standing in a room of strangers and nobody would notice. I could fantasy shop.

And so I recruited my favourite travelling companion, my adventure-loving son, who, like his momma, loves a good car ride when the tunes are loud, the chatter is kept to a minimum, and the open road is laid out before him.

Together we discovered that while he loves the Lamborghini  we both could be satisfied with a McLaren (you know, if push came to shove). The yellow Alpha Romeo had me at first site; the Jaguar Sports Coupe too.

We agreed that neither of those would hold the boy’s hockey gear, so it was not practical. Still, it would make the morning car pool way more interesting. Drool.

We left the show with brochures of our dream cars and a wish list a kilometer long. But at least we had an adventure and plenty of laughs. Sometimes you have to do the things that don’t make sense to make sense out of the things that do, like blowing your budget to drool over cars you can’t have, so that you remember why you work so hard for your goals.

Who knows, one day that yellow Alpha Romeo could be mine. It could happen.