All in a Day’s Recovery

Taking Control

Saturday is the beginning of the weekend for most, at least in our western culture it is. It’s a two-day culmination after a week’s worth of work and it’s  the restoration period allocated for the body and mind for recovery work that requires no input from us. Just as sleep concludes the end of the day for us to release ourselves to recovery, the weekend recovers missing health by freeing  our energies normally directed at and to the work we do. Even when we thoroughly enjoy or work, love it, rest and recovery is an essential element to wellbeing. Of course technology has redefined the recovery once allocated for the recovery more macro-sized muscle and sinew to a more micro sized form via neurons. The neurons transmit impulses to receptors and the synapses facilitate the transition to create the possibility of many things. In not dissimilar fashion, sleep provides the withdrawal period from challenges to allow all things body to release into a period where realignment engages in our subconscious. By the time the hours of night have had their time, an entire body is miraculously rebuilt ready to perform the tasks of life. Of course I am a layman, not a scientist or a neurologist. I only know from my limited perspective what’s taking place in the day to day of my own life. I know that periodically I have become so tired I could not think. when I slept, perhaps even thinking I could not get up in a few hours time, I woke thinking perfectly logically and clearly and had wonderful days.

Ordering your future recovery process

Yesterday, Saturday morning, I cleaned and cleared all the areas I work in. This area of my working is indeed like my sleep time. I first put all things finished with back in their allocated place. Beyond that I have two catchall places allocated for the non-allocated things. One is large, almost bench sized, and the other is small, a six inch by six inch space on a shelf. I leave things on these two spots because the relieve me from wasting time allocating when I am not yet ready to allocate or indeed put back. because my work has changed so much to include the necessity of drawings and photography, filming too, I usually keep what I might have stowed or discarded straightaway before this era in my life. Some things are a reminder of what I have yet to do, write on, photograph or draw. My camera and phone have become my memory aids for many things too; alongside my journals and drawings, whether on bits of wood or paper.

What is the meaning of recovery?

Recovery comes from the Anglo-French word rekeverer meaning to regain consciousness. The Old French recovrer means to come back, return; regain health; to procure or to get again. It’s not at all to distant from our word recuperate, which again is to recover. This regaining of health or strength has a sense of getting something (anything) back. Something lost or being lost. recovering my tools, restoring wood to its place, is all part of the recovery and the wellbeing it brings to our lives. By noon on a Saturday the recovery programme is well under way. I am never lazy or late about clean up. I found many years ago that without it i could not rest, could not recover, could not settle.

The antithesis to the consequences of industrialism

Take time out to recover the open spaces and the lost places by putting things away. Tools lost become found. Floor and bench sweeping is recovery of clear thought as is bagging the shavings and choosing tools for the next phase of working. The weekend recovery and restoration begins the recuperation. It is the antidote to a now more vintage phase of the ever-unfolding Industrial Revolution and now also its ever-present Techno-Industrial version of the continuum from which often there seems no escape for many.

17 Comments

  1. Michael Barnes on 16 July 2018 at 12:49 pm

    For me, like many others, the weekend means escape from a world of work we don’t enjoy, two days of sweet relief from the daily grind, five days spent in unfulfilling servitude. We wish our lives away all week just waiting for those two days, only for those two days to go bye in the blink of an eye, before you know it Monday morning is upon you and the drudgery begins again. If only we all had careers where we woke up on a Monday morning eager to get to work, instead of wishing time would speed bye between breaks, until the end of our day, or between working weeks until our holidays arrive. Unfortunately life for most of us isn’t that way however much we may wish it was and for many of us it’s simply not possible to just walk away and start afresh. Life with a satisfying job, something that doesn’t feel like work because it’s so enjoyable must be wonderful. I haven’t given up, I still dream..I just haven’t found a way to make it reality yet. Until then I must go back to wishing my life away in a job that’s unfulfilling, working for an uncaring company with a continual feeling that I’m just not making a difference.
    A life of work that’s fulfilling, and enjoyable is a blessed one. Hopefully we may all be blessed in this way someday.



    • Paul Sellers on 16 July 2018 at 1:30 pm

      This did prompt me to wonder how many people feel like you; what percentage of the audience struggles to find any kind of fulfilment from their work. Hmmm! I may look at this, more, Barry. Thanks.



      • Michael Barnes on 16 July 2018 at 6:05 pm

        Thank you for your response.
        Unfortunately I think you may find it’s quite common to feel unfulfilled and unhappy in one’s work nowadays. Too often it’s seen as a way of making money to survive rather than a way of life…something to pay the ever increasing bills on a wage packet that in real terms is decreasing year on year, rather than something you enjoy doing day in, day out that just so happens to make you money.
        Comments such as “do something about it” whilst meant to be helpful, are in fact, not helpful at all, it’s not like we haven’t considered doing something about it, it’s just not that simple, one cannot just stop work to find something new. Some times work is so demanding that there simply isn’t time to retrain for a new career or for that matter the money to retrain.
        I’d like to think I still have plenty of time to change, I’m not that old…at least I think 36 isn’t old…I started subscribing to wood working masterclasses and bought many woodworking books to learn wood working skills that I hope will earn me money in the future, but as a career? I think that’s a long way off, if it could happen at all.
        I also study guitar making and have employed techniques shown on the masterclass videos to produce two electric guitars which I’m very pleased with.
        I am trying to expand my skill base so it’s not like I don’t make any effort to make changes. It’s just not possible right now to change my job. I cannot afford to walk away from a steady monthly pay cheque and risk everything…maybe I’m just scared? I think there are plenty of people in the same boat….the Ark of the unfulfilled, too afraid to jump ship because the water looks so deep, looks too cold, or maybe there are sharks…staying aboard is safe..but oh my is it boring…the ship goes nowhere, the view never changes…just an empty horizon.
        I’m not going to give up though, I believe there is something out there for everyone. Hopefully we can find the promised land.



        • Thomas Angle on 16 July 2018 at 7:56 pm

          “maybe I’m just scared?”

          I think this is the case with most people. Everyone has fear, but fear can cripple a person in it’s extremes.

          Not sure what you situation is, but I do feel for you. I too dislike my job. It pays good, but I get no fulfillment out of it. Almost 20 years the of same thing. I am ready for a change. My plan is get completely out of debt, then I will be free to do something new.

          The Bible says owe no man anything. I wish I would have come that realization years ago. Debt is slavery.

          I am like you in a the fear thing. I have a few things I want to do. There is that fear of failure. But like I told a my wife a while back, soon I am going to step off that cliff.

          Deep down inside, I wish it was possible to claim 40 acres and live the life of a freeman. But those days are over. So, living debt free and finding something I like to do is close enough.



          • Michael Barnes on 16 July 2018 at 8:16 pm

            Thankfully I am free of debt, as with many people of my age group in the UK I am unable to afford my own house..house prices rise at rates far greater than wages making owning one’s own home very difficult indeed. I have no mortgage yet I do have to pay rent etc, which Ironically, is more expensive than a mortgage would be…but that’s a matter for the banks. This means that whilst I have no debt, I also have no disposable income to speak of…no financial cushion with with I could buy myself time to start something new. I wish you all the best and hope you can clear your debts and find happiness in your work.



          • Thomas Angle on 16 July 2018 at 10:22 pm

            Just some inspiration. Barn the Spoon started with nothing and now has a shop in London making spoons.



        • Christopher D on 17 July 2018 at 9:41 pm

          Michael – I walked out of a well paid job that I hated in late 2016 and went back to college to study carpentry and joinery aged 46.
          As I write this less than two years later I have my level 2 qualification, a gently growing business and am currently subcontracting as a site carpenter (on hand cut roofing at the moment) earning more pro-rata than I did prior to the change, doing something that I love.
          It is a risk, I had financial commitments and made massive sacrifice but I am now happy in my work and could never have imagined how much my life would change in less than two years.

          It has worked for me but if I did it again I would plan a better exit strategy from my previous employment but often if you take too much time making the decision you may talk yourself out of it.



  2. Larry Lumley on 16 July 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Hi Paul .when I was working week ends where special and now I am retired they are more special. I enjoy working at a slower pace and not having to worry about Monday morning pressure and stress . Sunday was meant for man and women to have some rest. Some how it’s been hyjacked.
    I feel sorry for the youngsters.
    Regards Larry.



  3. Roger Phebey on 16 July 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Hi Paul
    I guess I am one of the lucky ones in that I have enjoyed my working life and now retired would go back to it today if I could. So I guess I’m at the opposite end of the scale to Michael but the question he has to ask himself is very simple, “what I can I do to change things so I can enjoy work”.

    I served in the Royal Air Force, came out on a medical discharge, nothing life threatening I hasten to add, and used the skills I had gained from that time served. I worked at a bench in electronics, became a shop foreman and became involved in purchasing and saw an opportunity in sales. I took that opportunity and six years later went into business on my own.

    I was lucky to be around when the micro-processor first came out and benefited from the opportunities it presented. Working for yourself has both highs and lows and ones family has to be behind you. There is a problem in the UK however, if you fail in business then here you are considered a failure and people never forget, in the USA it is looked at differently and accepted that you failed but well go try again.

    If you are not happy in your work then do something about it, make your own luck because nobody will hand it to you. Luck usually involves a big dollop of graft from you and often your family life will suffer. By the way you can over do working for yourself and not know how to relax or even retire.



  4. Ray on 16 July 2018 at 5:59 pm

    I am in eleventh year of retirement. I had numerous amount of different kinds of working jobs and I can honestly say I never enjoyed one single one of them. I never shied away from work I went to work for the necessity to pay my way in life. I now enjoy myself very much working all day in my workshop.



    • Michael Barnes on 16 July 2018 at 6:12 pm

      With the utmost respect sir, you are exactly what I don’t want to become.. and by that I mean I don’t want to reach retirement age having never enjoyed work. I’m not shy of working, I believe in earning my way…I’d just like to enjoy doing it that’s all. I actually look forward to retirement, when I should be enjoying the time I have between now and then…I’m wishing my life away 9hrs a day…that can’t be right, can it? It shouldn’t be.



      • Ray on 16 July 2018 at 6:53 pm

        I don’t blame you Micheal, it wasn’t fun, that’s why I had so many different jobs one looked better than the one I had till I got there.
        Good luck to you in your work.
        Ray



  5. Joe on 16 July 2018 at 6:18 pm

    Thanks Paul. I enjoy my day job but look forward to the weekends to rest and do something different (woodwork). I enjoy my Sunday evening ritual which is to clean the workshop at home after two days of work. Having to clean up shavings and put tools away makes me smile as that means there has been activity.

    As for work, I had one job that allowed you to take a paid eight week sabbatical every six years. It was a fantastic thing. While you were gone, folks were assigned to cover for you. As such, you really didn’t need to worry about work. The duration of rejuvenation (most did something meaningful with the time; I built my workshop) really was amazing. You would come back to work as a new person with a vim and vigor and new perspective on work and life. Of all the jobs I’ve had, that was by far the best benefit any company offered. Too bad more companies don’t do that. No doubt my creativity and productivity greatly increased afterwards.



    • John2v on 16 July 2018 at 9:46 pm

      8 weeks?? That’s a life time, I was self employed for 30 years never had a day paid holiday and always considered myself unemployed until I found work, in the main I really enjoyed work, especially towards retirement.
      As for starting, I had nothing, little experience, tools or money.
      Worked from a Morris minor traveller. Just had honesty a hard work ethic and stood my ground with a smile, brought up two kids never went hungry but with the thought “if I don’t spend it I don’t have to earn it”. If I can do it a lot of others can.
      Now retired and oh so happy



  6. Dan Heinrich on 17 July 2018 at 2:27 am

    Very good lessons Paul, cleaning up (recovery) is as important as the work one does in the shop. This is one area I have to improve upon.

    If I could, I would like to add my $.02.

    I feel sad for the people who are not satisfied with their jobs, especially if one was never satisfied working during their career . I’ve had many different roles and jobs in manufacturing over the years (injection mold maker, mold designer, and now project manager).

    There are three things that that stand out in my journey; first is never be afraid to reinvent yourself in your career and take these opportunities when they come about. Second, if a job or leadership (boss) at work is not tolerable for you, do yourself and possibly the company a favor and find another job. Third, take a long, hard look at the leadership in the company you will be working for; their behavior and attitude toward people speaks volumes. I am willing to work in almost any role (major or minor) for a great leader. Great leaders are great mentors. Unfortunately, great leaders are hard to find.

    I wish everyone here the best.



  7. Ian Jefferson on 17 July 2018 at 10:44 pm

    Interesting comments especially Michael Barnes. I find my self in the middle somewhere. I never found a vocation and personally I doubt there is one for me more on that later… In any event I’m “retired” fairly young and busier than ever.
    In my case I had a variety of roles in my career and really only the last couple of years were “bad”. Over the years, working when I could from the age of 14 I had good days and bad days and good or better weeks, months and years but everything I did I found satisfaction in. There is a sense for me of just contributing to society and most or many of us do that through work but there are other ways also.
    We were often criticized for our miserly lifestyle but we realized early on that saving money by focusing on priorities was our way. So we often didn’t live in the best accommodations, never owned a new car and yet we lived and worked all over the world and brought up two successful kids who have a sense of who is lucky and who is not. We also looked after our health, ate a wide variety of foods and stayed active.
    Now in retirement I have generous shop and I work on the priorities of the day whether it is an electronic project, forge work, wood work, machining or puttering with old tractors and a sawmill. My wide variety of interests from electronics and computers to hand wood working and my software development career made it impossible for me to consider a career that was a vocation. I inevitably would get a little bored with any one thing but rather focused on the contribution I was making with my colleagues to the state of the world which was usually positive, and if not – being more or less independent I just did something else.
    Like Michael I looked forward to weekends but I also looked forward to major work milestones and accomplishments. I never found work particularly fun or relaxing but in general it was rewarding.
    We have shut down our jobs and investments now but my wife and I still have a bit of a hobby business that is somewhat like work. It brings in a bit of cash and is integrated into our life but by far my favourite days are still the days I have on my own in the shop or possible talking shop with a few other old boys.
    I’ve met few that love to work but they are out there and good for them. Most I have met seem motivated along my lines and a few really detest work and it shows in their treatment (or mistreatment) of their colleagues. I wonder how much of this is a state of mind meaning our spoiled western society and how much is reality and choice.



  8. Michael Ballinger on 23 July 2018 at 11:37 pm

    I was stuck in a job that wasn’t fulfilling. Instead of jumping ship I opted for the same job but for a lesser business. Lesser in that it’s smaller and they wouldn’t have all the ‘exciting projects’. I managed to get 4 days a week with them so I get a day woodworking but can still pay the bills.

    Here’s the thing, now I’m in the new job I’m actually really enjoying it. Because they’re small I get more variety, the people are lovely to work with and I’m 5 minutes from home now so no commute. I’m a jammy bastard. But it wasn’t without risk, I left my job without a new one and it took months which was pretty stressful.