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Wood Shavings Make the World Go Round

It has been a rough few weeks for my family. The week before Thanksgiving I was laid off from my Internet Marketing job and my wife and dog had less than ideal check ups at their respective doctors. (No they don’t go to the same doctor, smart guys) Neither one of them has anything serious wrong, but in today’s health care costs, even the most minor thing can be very costly. Multiply that factor by 10 when talking about veterinary bills.

This is starting to sound like a country song!

I am the primary bread winner in the family so my lack of a job was particularly disconcerting. I had some prospects, but nothing was firm and with a major holiday looming I was not hopeful of getting any kind of interview process lined up quickly. Add to this the fact that we were to be hosting Thanksgiving for the family and had lots to buy and lots to prepare in just a few short days. It was very stressful. I am not one to get really stressed out by things, but I can admit to not sleeping very well for a few days. I put my recruiter hat back on (I spent over 12 years in IT recruiting) and starting hitting the phones for the few days before the holiday and was able to line up an interview as well as some strong prospects. This made me feel better, but I was still on edge.

With so much going on, heading to the shop wasn’t a priority but I had a deadline approaching to release another lesson in The Hand Tool School so I meandered out there not really feeling much in the mood. I was working on a lesson about rabbets and grooves and I was using my plow plane. 2 or 3 shavings later and I had the biggest smile on my face and my muscles began to unwind a bit.
Plow Plane ShavingsThe plow plane always produces such fun shavings and the cherry I was working gave up those shaving so freely that it lifted my spirits and removed some of the worry of real life from my mind.

I think the meditative state that comes over me when I work wood is one of the things I enjoy most about this craft.  That ability to lose yourself and become so in tune with your work is absolutely priceless.  Neurologists call this “flow” and it is that state of mind where hours become minutes.

So of course as of today, the story has a very happy ending.  I went through a second interview and was offered a job as the new Director of Ecommerce for a local lumber supplier, J. Gibson McIlvain.  You will be hearing a lot about them in the future and the beginnings of yet another blog as I redesign their sites and try to start up a new marketing campaign.

I’m not going to credit these pretty little shavings, but I would like to think that they led to this next step in my career: a chance to combine my passions into one initiative.  So don’t let the holidays and stress of life get you down, go make some shavings instead.

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