Self-Impossed Boundaries

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Forum topic by Don posted 12-24-2006 03:31 AM 2956 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2603 posts in 5228 days

12-24-2006 03:31 AM

I purchased my first woodworking equipment in August ‘01 which was my entry into woodworking. So I’ve only got five years of woodworking experience under my belt. There is just so much more to learn and to attempt.

In my mid forties I made a phenomenal personal discovery. Most of the limitations I faced in life were set by me. The many things that I thought I couldn’t do were simply things that I determined I wouldn’t do. The limitations were, in large part, self-fulfilling prophesies. The idea of “Just do it!” was foreign to me. Then through a series of incidents that I won’t go into, I learned that the limitations I had accepted as inevitable were boundaries I had placed on myself.

And, of course, this applies to woodworking as well. I still find myself looking at other people’s work and saying to myself, “I wish I could do that”, or “I wish I had the skill to do that.” Well, the skills that were employed in creating fine woodworking didn’t just happen – they were acquired through discipline and practice.

There’s little point in hoping for the end result without being prepared to do the tough slogging. Although time may not be on my side, that doesn’t matter, because for me, woodworking is about the journey as much as the destination.

Sure, I get a lot of satisfaction from completing a project, and from appreciative comments by fellow woodworkers. But the real joy comes from the process. It took me a while to understand this. At first, I was impatient for the end product. This accounts for my many errors, stuff-ups and abandoned pieces. There are no short-cuts. I can’t get satisfaction from the finished project if I am not prepared to take my time, learn and practice new skills, and continuously push aside self-imposed boundaries.

As I journey through 2007, the Lord willing, I will undertake projects that will both challenge and stretch. Now don’t get me wrong. These don’t have to be exotic elaborate creations. No – they can be quite simple pieces. You see, making a joint truer, cutting an angle more accurately, and improving the application of a finish, are all skills that enhance the final result.

Here’s to greater woodworking satisfaction during 2007!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

2 replies so far

View Philip Edwards's profile

Philip Edwards

245 posts in 5491 days

#1 posted 12-25-2006 09:57 PM

Well said, Don!
Enjoying the “journey” of woodworking is where most of the pleasure is. Oh, and those pretty projects we finish every now and then ;)
Best regards

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5457 days

#2 posted 12-26-2006 07:18 PM

Hey Don: I enjoyed reading your thoughts as well. In a world filled with time and money constraints, it is enjoyable to see another lumberjock enjoy the “process.” The meaningful things in my life have only come with hard work, and nothing without the Lord’s blessing. I like your concept so much that I will continue my thoughts in my Blog. I needed an excuse to write today anyway, thanks for giving me the motivation.

glad to have you here Don,
Mark DeCou

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

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