Almost three years. That’s a long time to walk away from something that had consumed so much of my time, money, and desires. However, that’s what frustration will do to a man if you’re not careful.
Since there are a lot of people who joined after my disappearance from this site, let me recap. I was trying to build a book case for my mother. I saw how it would go together and had the tools. The dad-blamed router was kicking my butt. Power tools are supposed to be easier, right? I stepped away for a day or so, then my “shop”, which was nothing more than a pop-up gazebo thing, blew over and was wrecked. We got gusts that day of up to 65 mph and I hadn’t bothered to anchor the thing down. Lesson learned.
As time droned on, my frustrations took hold and became “I suck at woodworking”. I have no idea why, because in my projects are a couple of pretty cool projects. They’re beginners projects but you know what? I’m still basically a beginner. I can’t build a highboy because I have no clue how to build a bleeding highboy. But I can make a coat rack that looks pretty good and no one can tell is store bought. I made a saw vice that worked. That’s got to count for something, right?
A couple of months ago, my wife said something about woodworking. I repeated that I sucked at it. She just glanced at that coat rack and said something to the effect of “that doesn’t look like sucking”. I prattled on like a whiny schoolgirl about how that was a simple thing, anyone could do it. She just said nothing, but the idea festered; the idea that maybe I didn’t suck and really could do this woodworking thing.
Then, a little over a week ago, I got the word. What word was that? Oh, just the one that I’m going to be a father for the second time. My first thoughts – I mean after the “OK, wake up, manly men don’t faint” that is – was that the baby was going to need furniture. That stuff is expensive after all. So why not build it….oh wait, that means I would have to build it. Time to get back into the shop…metaphorically anyways.
So now, I’m back. Lumberjocks was always a fantastic resource. Folks here are notoriously supportive of one another. Even the controversies here are small fry compared to what I run into in other aspects of my life (I run a political blog for one…talk about nasty :D ). This was the one place I knew I could return and find familiar faces and new friends as well.
Now, I need to get back to work. I have tools that have gotten rusty and I need to repair. At least I always enjoyed that part :)
The thing I think folks should keep in mind, that I most certainly didn’t, was to take setbacks in stride even when they seem to lump one on top of another. Looking back, it’s kind of pathetic that I let that get to me, but I remember at the time that things were horrendously bad and I just couldn’t continue for the time being. Setbacks happen, both in woodworking and in life. It’s how we deal with them that defines our character.
-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!