Getting Sharp: Grateful for Woodworking

W hen I wake up in the morning, before my brain begins its daylong deluge of to-dos and worries, I try to bring to mind at least three things for which I’m grateful. The list varies from day to day and could include simple ideas such as appreciating a good night’s sleep or looking forward to a tasty breakfast. Or perhaps sentiments as straightforward as being grateful for friends and family. And sometimes, I express existential gratitude: “I’m grateful that I woke up today.” But due to its numerous attributes worthy of gratefulness, one item that often makes my morning list is woodworking.

We woodworkers have a lot to be grateful for. Inherent in our craft are traits of good character, such as patience and humility. It teaches us problem-solving and reveals an understanding of how things go together, lessons applicable to all aspects of life. At the end of a productive day in the shop, woodworking delivers pride in work. The craft also offers solitude when we need to focus and a strong sense of community when we crave connection. And we’re brought closer together still when what we make is appreciated by others. All gratitude-worthy.

Woodworking also helps us savor many other flavors of life. For instance, feel grateful for the great outdoors as you relax on the Arts & Crafts style bench (p. 40) or the camping stool (p. 22) through which you can practice traditional woodworking techniques and learn to work leather. Enjoy turning and then playing the no-batteries-required ball and cup game on page 48. Value the versatility of milk paint (p. 26) while adding to your finishing repertoire. And appreciate the appreciation you’re sure to receive when you gift the handsome round jewelry box on page 32.

It doesn’t matter so much what time of day we do it, my morning routine aside, but that we take the time to do it—to count what we have and not what we lack. One more thing to add to my blessings tally today: I’m grateful that you’re sharing your time with Woodcraft Magazine. We’re glad you’re here. Let’s build.

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