you make me jealous

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Blog entry by brian88 posted 10-08-2011 06:21 AM 1363 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok. So first of all I have been a lumberjocks creeper for a couple of years now. Not completely, I have posted some of my work but mostly this site is my way to unwind after my day in the shop. Second, This is my first blog…ever…anywhere so give me some grace on the format, expression, whatever…This is really more of a exhale than anything…

I have always had the desire to woodwork. A few years ago I found myself landing a part time job in a small cabinet shop working nights. This just turned the desire into an addiction. Well as time goes on and you tell a couple people what you do you soon find yourself doing side projects and making a little more money. Pretty soon the addiction took complete control over my life and I started my own part time business. I now had two full time jobs!!! After a couple years of this I figured I needed to decide if I was going to make the leap into being self employed full time or take less work because of burnout. Well as it turned out soon after I got laid off from my steady paycheck job so that was my answer. I jumped in with both feet. This has been bitter-sweet for my. I get to do what I love to do but I have slowly been losing my love of what I do. Everyday is a job now and I am losing my passion for it.

When I come to lumberjocks and page through the projects I drool over the creativity and passion from all of you. I dream of just messing around and enjoying it again. I long for the time for myself to get absorbed into a piece of wood that transforms into an object that will be displayed or given to someone that will stir up a conversation or two. I miss that. So now I have grown to the point of “hiring” my son and business partners son to learn the trade. I spend all day training, fixing mistakes and always behind schedule.

Wow, this is a rant…or maybe its just whining. This was a especially challenging week for me so I guess I just needed to unload. Anyway, My point is meant to be that I look forward to stopping by and seeing all the beautiful work here and daydreaming about being able to work with some African padauk, or purple-heart, or figured cherry.

So how do those of you who do this for a living keep your passion alive. Where do you find the balance in your day? I am thinking that after the newbies are running on there own I will be back in that special place again but maybe I will have uncovered a new set of challenges….

Thanks for allowing me to vent out all my whining….I am feeling better already…..

-- "thats all I have to say about that..."

6 comments so far

View wouldi's profile


34 posts in 3909 days

#1 posted 10-08-2011 06:46 AM

I feel you on the burn out…. But we are all newbies so cut them some slack and teach them the trade with patients. I have yet to figure out the balance between the burnout and the passion…

-- to the endeavor

View Brett's profile


950 posts in 3001 days

#2 posted 10-08-2011 06:53 AM

Brian, I don’t do woodworking for a paycheck and I still get burned out every once in a while. Just keep feeding the woodworking fire by checking out all the cool projects, tools and shops then one day when the passion hits you agiain, go with it. Everybody needs a break, sometime.

-- Hand Crafted by Brett Peterson John 3:16

View Don W's profile

Don W

19055 posts in 2809 days

#3 posted 10-08-2011 02:17 PM

Brian, I’ve been where you are. Twice. I left woodworking to follow my second passion, computers. I found the same thing happens, you get so involved with the need to get better, go farther and do more you forget to live. If there is one thing I’ve learned is you need to figure out how you “balance” it. Its called “work life balance”. Large organizations strive to keep there employees from burn out. You’e self employed, so you need to figure it out. Its tough, maybe even impossible. My oldest son worked with and and went on to do it on his own. He does the work-life way better than I did.

So woodworking is now my hobby, I collect and restore vintage tools and try to enjoy life. You need a hobby, a release. Its tough to say, but woodworking is your job, so whats your hobby? “Work Life Balance”

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View brian88's profile


108 posts in 3011 days

#4 posted 10-08-2011 05:56 PM

Thanks guys for your feedback….Its funny, I just told my wife…Lumberjocks is my facebook….I’m not much of a social net-worker but I feel that on here I can connect with people that share a common interest. This has been therapeutic for me. I decided to take a complete weekend off to completely break off from business. That mind-set gave me a new set of dreams last night. I actually dreamt of “creating” again. I woke up with the desire to draw, thinking of new ways to make and design concepts. I have a desire to run to the shop when no one is there and do something but I think Ill just take the time to breathe and draw. My shop is mostly a cabinet shop but my dream is to make furniture for a living. My concept is to make furniture that is cost effective so that the masses can afford but not cheap…make sense? I am trying to put a plan together to do this with some dressers and end tables and keep material/labor costs down to make a marginal profit. Any ideas??? I would like to brainstorm with some of you. I would love any ideas from assembly to material usage to production procedures to marketing….This is the direction I would like to go. My dream is to have a shop with showroom space with the back wall of the show room be completely glassed out that has a view of the production space…

Thought I lost this dream for a while…feels good to be on track again.

-- "thats all I have to say about that..."

View MadJester's profile


2065 posts in 2672 days

#5 posted 10-09-2011 04:19 AM

I feel you’re frustration and have seen it happen to a lot of my friends. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a steady contracting job doing furniture repair, so I keep my hands on the wood with a steady (ish) paycheck…so my refinishing business is basically gone part time…I always have the huge fear that I will lose my passion for it…I can’t let that happen, but I know if the contract doesn’t get renewed, I may be in a position similar to your own. My pop just told me today that he thinks I should go full time with my own shop…I’m just gonna wait it out until Dec when I find out more about the contract…let’s me have my basic necessities and still have my own business that provides me with my sanity….don’t lose sight of what is important…if it means doing a little side woodworking hobby that is different from your regular day to day job, try and make the time for it…if you don’t feed your heart, you won’t want to do it anymore…good luck…

-- Sue~ Mad Jester Woodworks, "Not what I have, but what I do is my kingdom" Thomas Carlyle

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2881 days

#6 posted 10-09-2011 04:50 AM

I hear you. Susan said what I have to do. In my case, I have to compartmentalize.

In the job (paying) work that we do, I try to be the customers’ advocate… to make them happy. Whatever it takes (within the stretch of reason). We only have one chance at our one reputation to protect at all costs.

But after work, in my shop I only have to make me happy.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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