"Are you done yet?" It is a question with a lot of weight behind it.
"Are you done yet?" My kids ask me when they see me working on the car. Usually means that they want a snack or want my attention for a while. I have to resist my natural urge to work until completion, stopping only for basic sustenance and minimal sleep. I have a 9 and 5 year old, a wife, and all the demands of work and home life that I take seriously. For this, I'll wrap up my task for later, wash up and get on with the business of life. It can bother me sometimes.
"Are you done yet?" It can come from my wife. She calls the car "the other woman". I spend time with it. I give it a parting glance when I leave. It needs me and my attention. I think about it and how its doing. I guess she has a point. I desire balance though, so it only has a small part of my reality. She wants to see it finished and ready to grab the keys and go. It can bother me at times.
So why have a project car? I got the BMW 2002 because I know that in my genetic composition there is hardwired a desire to build, to fix, to create, and perhaps even to punish myself. Even my (very understanding) wife knows this. It can be therapy. My wife knows this can be good, and while she may not fully understand it, she understands me. Maybe you could say its also a part of our love story.
"Are you done yet?" I often ask myself when I finally finish a job. So far the answer has been No, not yet. It can bother me when I look at the long list of tasks. I have to remind myself why I'm doing it. I like old cars, the designs, the simplicity, little quirks and all. I also love the feeling of a well set up car. Not the numb passive piloting of modern cars either. I like the visceral experience of throttle steering around a corner and hearing the engine wind out. Feeling well worn leather under my fingers and a stiff clutch pedal underfoot. To feel the engine vibrate and the rear tires scramble for grip. Being pressed into my seat as I pick up the scent of gas, oil and hot rubber.
I bought my BMW 2002 sight unseen and had it shipped to me from "Portlandia". The first time I drove it, I took a winding hill road by my house. In her tired and stock state I let her have her legs through the corners. I slid in the torn seats, the shift knob came off in my hand on the 1-2 shift, there was a rattle through first gear but... I had a huge smile on my face and started laughing mid-corner! This car had the feel! Its true that its more fun to drive a slow car fast. Once I installed seatbelts in the rear I took my two kids out for a ride on the same road and they were giggling and laughing and throwing their hands up for the "roller coaster". So its a labor of love... and hope... at this point.
"Are you done yet?" It's asked by my kids about when we can go for a fun drive. Its asked by my wife who wants to see the finished product and enjoy it with me. Its asked by me as I look over the growing list of tasks and my dwindling (self-imposed) budget. Sometimes it bothers me.
"Are you done yet?" It is a question with a lot of weight behind it. It hints at purpose, motivation, reasons and expectations. I turn 40 this month (midlife crisis / over the hill jokes abound) so I ask myself similar questions. What do I have to do? What do I want to do? Why am I doing it? What is good enough and what needs work? Well, I believe I know the answer, and have known it for a while...
"Are you done yet?"
No. I'm not done. I don't think I'll ever be. I've got too much to do; and it doesn't bother me one bit.