I remember driving to North Bend one evening right before Toby and I got married. Toby was in the process of moving into my townhouse and I was hauling some of his stuff from Bellevue. Cruising down I-90 in the dark, I had several of his hunting guns in the back, a cougar pelt hanging over the seat and a live turtle riding shotgun on the floorboard. And I thought, my life has forever been changed.
For those of you who knew me Before Toby, then you understand the magnitude of this moment. Instead of running away from a relationship, I was running headlong into it. WITH GUNS. Not to mention the guy doesn’t drink, swear, relish breaking rules (unless it’s the speed limit on a motorcycle) or get itchy at the thought of a stable life, yet he’s willing to put up with me. It was a defining moment.
I had another one of those moments today. After spending the morning changing diapers, tripping over toys, pureeing any vegetable I could find and picking Cheerios and clumps of my hair off of every surface of the house, Roper and I hopped in the car to run an errand. Errands are the Very Exciting part of the day when I get to see other adults. I even showered.
As we were driving through town, we passed a T660 truck. I designed a couple of parts for that model when I was a mechanical engineer at Kenworth Truck Co. It’s always a cool feeling as a designer to see parts and products and be able to say, “I made that.” Unless it’s failing miserably, then it feels much better to point a finger at someone else.
So I was reminiscing about the days when I had something to show for my work. Like a paycheck. Or something that actually has a function in this world. I wondered if the cool factor of seeing something I designed was worth the nine years of cubicle dwelling. And then I looked in my rearview mirror at the drooling, shrieking, pants-pooper strapped in my back seat and thought, holy crap…I made THAT! And I didn’t even have to sit in a cube for 10 hours a day.