Things have been a bit quiet here lately. At least I’ve not had anything significant to add to the discussion.
But now I do:
On Tuesday, 2 January, 2007 at 6.15pm, Anna, Molly, and I will board an Alaskan Airlines plane bound for Seattle. When we arrive, we will be home.
Back in the summer of 2002, I sold all my worldly possessions to move back East. Now, 4.5 years later, encumbered with new possessions, I’m returning to Seattle.
But I’m returning with more than just new possessions. I’ve a truly wonderful wife – who genuinely understands what motivates me and is (almost always) patient enough to put up with my insane and often whimsical ideas. But that’s not all! I have a daughter.
Yes, I know.
There once was a time when I considered all children to be an evil scourge on civilisation. And that’s largely still true. In fact, my daughter is an evil scourge on civilisation, or at least the small outpost of civilisation represented by my home. But she’s a darn cute evil scourge on civilisation. And for some reason, known only to herself, she seems to love me.
If this seems rather sudden. It is. And it’s not at the same time.
Feeling the pinch from time
The metro Boston area is really big. It’s considered perfectly reasonable to commute 40 miles or more. Each way. Every single day. My own commute was minimal by comparison: a mere 23 miles taking only 45 minutes on average. Many people commute from the I495 loop down into Boston. Some commute from New Hampshire down into Boston. And there are even some complete loonies who commute from Maine down into Boston.
We’ve lived in this really wonderful New England town for two years and I’ve hardly had the chance to spend any time here. Either I’ve been at work, driving to or from work, or I’ve been wiped out from work. For example, we live 3 miles from the ocean and yet, all summer I never took an afternoon to hang out on the beach. I did take a few days off this summer to enjoy the Yankee Homecoming and Buskers’ festivals.
But the undeniably worst aspect is that each day I wasted between an hour and twenty minutes and an hour and a half away from my wife and daughter. Between work, commuting, and the most basic household activities, there just wasn’t any time left. And gods help me when there’s traffic.
Nothing is perfect
After living in Seattle for 7 years, I’m well aware of its warts and idiosyncrasies. I know it’s not perfect. But it has so much to offer us as a family – things I never really thought of while I lived there. Everything from the Woodland Park Zoo, Discovery Park, the Seattle Art Museum, the International District, the Pike’s Place Market (I hope they’ve forgiven me), and so much more.
Now, Seattle traffic is nothing to write home about. But the entire Seattle software industry is packed into a 10 mile radius of Downtown. And even better, most commutes can be made by Metro bus all while reading, listening to a (new) iPod, or working on a Powerbook. So much better than driving, even if you are driving a Miata.
Full of optimism
Although the move promises to be very stressful. I’m my usual optimistic self (Note: for those of you who ask, “Since when has Jeff been optimistic?” The answer is since I fell down a waterfall and didn’t die.) and am confident everything will work out for the best.