I’m finding it hard to find enough hours and energy in the days to focus on my day job and devote enough time to real woodworking. I try to write and draw as well, in my sketch book.
I was wondering if you could give me some guidance as to how you go about splitting your time between family, work and others that need time. How do you find balance in this increasingly unbalanced world.Any insight would be so appreciated.
All the hard work you as your team do, I am truly great full.
Truth is I am not so sure you should. It takes a paradigm shift in the way we think, the way we engage with others and then engage in the so-called post-modern world at large too. I am not really a historian at all although I find history surrounding craft skills and artisanry fascinating. The heart of industrialism was always to reduce skilled workmanship to the lowest common denominator so that instead of training individual crafting artisans to know the full breadth of a craft the work of whole artisanry was parcelled out and led to the production line assemblies we know today.
The upshot from centuries of hardwiring is we break life up into similar constituent parts where family life is distinctly separated from worklife, land life, where we work, when we work, how we work, how we rest and much, much more. Add to that the pace of our internet world, the way we interact, do business and so on, we can at least understand that there are complexities we may not understand altogether. There was a point in my life when I decided I wanted my children (4 boys) to understand and learn craft and artisanry. Not only my craft but other crafts too. To do this meant that I must see my craft as part of my life as a whole. I always had a home workshop. That meant that my children could come into the workshop with me when school was done. From that point I never really saw my work as most did where I must leave home at 7am and come home after say 6pm if the traffic lights were all green. I really haven’t travelled to and from work by car since 1980. Not until this move that is. Now I have had pockets of time when I have done so, but that totals about 1 year out of the 36.
Had I to work away from home, as most people do, I would most certainly have a small and dedicated creative workspace somewhere. All too often I hear a similar cry with regards to parcelling up the day. Mostly that doesn’t work too well. My drawings and writing take place throughout the day as the need comes. when my children were at home; they are all grown now, I spent time time by having them in the shop with me. I couldn’t keep them out half the time. Mostly, because lives are indeed mostly fractured or indeed all the more fractured, people accept this as the status quo and yet most people could make changes if they wanted to. Some people say it was easy for me, but that’s far from true. No, I made the choice to work from home and have a shop to work from It was a no brainer for me,yes, but it was never easy.
For about two decades I could work with my chickens and weed the vegetables by slipping from the workshop for half an hour when i wanted too. My wife came into the workshop and we sat and drank tea, chatted about things unimportant and important and so on. Never really knowing long commutes and traffic holdups I did start work at 7am and finished when I wanted, but mostly after 6pm.
Much more productive than driving, and somehow safer too. Now I know I am fortunate. Very fortunate, but it was me that made lifestyle woodworking a choice way of life for me. I do hear constantly that you can’t make a living from woodworking, but that’s not really true. You just have to know you have trained for it, mastered sufficient skills for it, worked for it and then that that is indeed your calling. As I said, it takes a paradigm shift in the way we think and then it takes guts, and careful consideration for all those we care for because that care comes ultimately from your hands. We had one wage earner in the house but we both worked to make the business work.