Woodworking apathy

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Forum topic by Christopher posted 12-31-2008 11:45 PM 1518 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Christopher's profile


576 posts in 4159 days

12-31-2008 11:45 PM

Anybody else ever get to feeling that between life, kids, work and bills woodworking is just more added stress. I am on a 3 month stint where I have walked into the shop, stood there for fifteen minutes or so and then walked out feeling that for the time being woodworking is just to much to deal with. Strangely though, there is something satisfying about standing in the shop and looking around at all I want to accomplish, as if thinking about what I want to do is just enough to satiate my addiction to sawdust production.

I love to work the wood, don’t get me wrong, I just get so worn down by life sometimes I just don’t have the energy to think through a project. Am I alone in feeling this way?

Or maybe it is not nearly as complicated as that and I am just lazy…..

30 replies so far

View lew's profile


12509 posts in 3994 days

#1 posted 12-31-2008 11:53 PM

Lazy, NO!!

We’ve all been there and experienced it. Maybe it’s nature way to keep us from totally burning out.

Although, it is not the same thing, I used to Scuba Dive- I mean hard core! every pond, quarry, river, lake and ocean. If I didn’t go at least once a week. I stated getting withdraw symptoms. Then about 5 years ago I just stopped. It wasn’t fun any more. I haven’t done it since and haven’t missed it.

We wouldn’t want this to happen with woodworking.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3829 days

#2 posted 12-31-2008 11:58 PM

I know all to well what you are feeling. My situation is a bit different. I have owned and opporated a custom woodworking shop for the last 4 years. I have been doing what I love for a living. The economy has shut me down. I am considering bankruptcy, have lost my shop, and frankly, blame the profession all together. There are way to many people doing this trade these days, and if they aren’t being professional tradesman they are selling amatuer products out of their garages. It is still work that the “legal” shops are losing. Therefor “LIFE” has got me down to the point to where I look at woodworking as it should be, a hobby, and I realize now through experience that it is only a mediocre income, if not barely enough to keep our bills paid. If I didn’t have the project I’m working on for my girlfriend I wouldn’t go out there probably. And that is lazyness and depression. As soon as life gets back on track the tools will be there and things will be built.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View Christopher's profile


576 posts in 4159 days

#3 posted 01-01-2009 12:06 AM

It is good to hear from others that I am not alone. Especially from others that have the skills I can only dream of. Life is tough and has a tendency to beat some of our passions out of us. I know my desire to be creative will return…hopefully soon!

View robdew's profile


86 posts in 3953 days

#4 posted 01-01-2009 12:14 AM

When I start feeling this way about crafts and hobbies it’s usually because I’ve mastered the east to moderately hard stuff and the expert stuff seems forever beyond reach so I don’t bother.

Luckily not there yet with woodworking.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4061 days

#5 posted 01-01-2009 12:32 AM

I agree that this happens to all of us. Particularity when we have been involved in a long/complicated project. One thing that helps me is to build something that can easily be completed in a weekend. There is something about just completing a project that gets seems to help get the enthusiasm back.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4201 days

#6 posted 01-01-2009 01:45 AM

I took the summer off and came back renewed. I also don’t have much work in the shop but I’m enjoying working again. We well be going back to Wyoming for the summer and fall so will have a chance to renew again. You’re not a lone. Some times it is necessary to to force oneself to go to work. Been there, done that.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3728 days

#7 posted 01-01-2009 02:02 AM

We all experience this in one way or another. The stresses of life seem to creep into what we really enjoy, like frozen water splitting apart a nice piece of wood.

I experienced this in my glass work. I let the stresses of my job (Episcopal priest), the stresses of my health (11 heart procedures in 8 years, including a major heart attack and bypass), and the stresses of an IRS audit just totally eat me up and out of the glass hobby. I had a complete shop, could do cold glass, hot glass, beads, pretty much everything but blown glass. Then one day I just walked away. I don’t know why. My shop (basement) sat unused for over a year. I’d go down, try to get my creative juices flowing, try to pull out a vase to form or some plates to slump, or even make a dream-catcher for my wife. Nothing. Nada. It just wasn’t there. After 1 year I had a fire sale and sold everything I had, and I mean everything, down to the pens and pencils I used to mark the glass with.

What did I learn from this?? That if we let our stresses completely take us over, then we run the risk of losing that which we truly love. Not only our hobbies, but our relationships with others and our self-confidence.

I got a counselor, I turned things around with his help, the undying love of my wife and children and my faith. Even though I had to take a disability retirement, here I am neck deep in wood-working, and loving every minute of it. :)

We are never alone in this, ever.

Hope this helps.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 4000 days

#8 posted 01-01-2009 02:06 AM

On this site we have both professional and hobbiest woodworkers, and perhaps some who are “sliding” one way or the other. In my case, I would dread being woken by an alarm clock, and having to go down to the shop for an 8 or 10 hour day. As life gets in the way, I can take a break without feeling guilty.

Maybe when you don’t feel like generating sawdust, working in the shop, making improvements like wiring and lighting, and getting things better organized, will suffice to keep from getting depressed.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View trucker12349's profile


92 posts in 3724 days

#9 posted 01-01-2009 02:15 AM

Chris, take my word for it, the feelings will lessen as time goes by. I just went thru a bad depression episode and just didn’t want to do anything. You just have to use the shop as a get away place where all the stress and worries are blocked at the door. Trust me, it works.

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 4148 days

#10 posted 01-01-2009 02:29 AM

Look at it this way.. At least you have a girl friend! Damn if I had one (and wifey found out), I wouldnt be depressed, I’d be dead!. Keep the faith lad.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View Bob42's profile


456 posts in 4029 days

#11 posted 01-01-2009 03:07 AM

Been there done that. Still going through it!!!

It happens to all of us. Sometimes life just happens and you do need to make priorities. I have been putting off my shop renovation for the 16 years I have been in this house but this winter after I finish some other projects my wife has given the go ahead for the shop. Amen to that!!! Now when the time comes to start will something else take a priority? we’ll see, but I hope not because I have already started buying thing for it. The time will come and you will be in the shop and when you are start with something small so you can feel like you have been able to accomplish something. So hang in and it will get better.
I hope this was helpful.

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

View Mike's profile


391 posts in 3856 days

#12 posted 01-01-2009 06:52 AM

Dang. And I just ordered more tools.

Just got a drill press today.

I was trying to finish a project before Christmas, but I have to design it along the way and change what may work into what would work. But then some kind of stomach flu kicked my butt hard. So there was life getting in the way.

Ain’t given up yet. New year means new time and new ideas.

I have gone through hobbies. But woodworking is satisfying.

Vision, and turning it into something beautiful. Or just good looking and practical.

-- Measure once cut twice....oh wait....ooops.

View KenGa's profile


9 posts in 3673 days

#13 posted 01-01-2009 06:35 PM

I have felt this way myself at times, just overwhelmed but the support of your family is what gets anyone through these times. Plus the holidays always stir all type of feelings up.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4553 days

#14 posted 01-01-2009 07:13 PM

“worn down by life” This spring I was pretty beat up. Just needed a month off. I try to spend less time chasing the rabbit, but when that bell goes off….

View hairy's profile


2783 posts in 3771 days

#15 posted 01-02-2009 02:43 AM

I don’t get a too many days to spend all day ww’ing. I get an hour or two when I can. It takes me a long time to get it done. When I do get a whole day, I realize : Hey, this is work! I don’t work that hard on the job. But the whole reason for me to do this is so I can see something I’ve built, and say : I did that! Motivation comes and goes. Get on and ride when it shows up, do something else when you need to. Mistakes and injuries happen to me when my mind is on something else , those tools and stuff will be there when you get back. Have some fun when you can.

When I’m just standing there looking around, my next thought is : What in hell did I come over here for?

-- My reality check bounced...

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