siren-sound's Diaryland Diary




My dad was being a dad, and he definitely has a way of making a 44-year-old feel like a 4-year-old.

"Now, you got to be careful with these. Wear protective glasses and really watch your hands. The wood can kick back and it can really hurt you."

"It's cool dad, I don't need my hands."
He gave me a very unamused look and continued to show me how to use the table saw. The safety features, and all of the bells and whistles that it could do. I had never used anything like this before, and it was super intimidating, but exciting to think that I can just make something. Did I know how to make anything? No. Was I going to go look on the internet and figure it out? No. Was I going to just figure it out? Yes. Yes, I was, as soon I as imagined what I wanted to build.

We needed a table for our backyard. I had the wood and many screws and took out a trusty pencil to draw cut marks on the wood. (By the way, don't do it this way. Get a plan and stuff.) And started cutting and screwing stuff together. I fashioned a pretty ok looking top, which was exciting, but I knew that was the easy part. My first hiccup was the legs. I had no idea if the legs were supposed to be straight and how there were going to keep the table up without any kind of braces. I put the project aside, and went back to my life and kept thinking about the legs.
After a day or two, I saw a pick nick table and it had an X for legs, and that seemed like the best plan. I went back to the shed and made 2 X shapes out of leftover lumber. I was so excited, started to think about ditching my career in running and go be a carpenter. I got the X legs on the top of the table, and they didn't match, nor did they lay flush so that the top would stay there. I frowned and went back to my life.
A few days later, I got that problem solved, found another problem. Stopped, and thought went back and got it figured out. The last stumble was the tools. My band saw (I don't think that's what it called) finally gave out, and I was like 3 planks from being done. Ugh. I wasn't going to let me get the best of me. I stopped. thought. and was like, 'oh, a manual saw would work.' Found one hidden ironically under all the power tools and ta freaking da, it was done. I used 4 different kinds of screws, 2 kinds of seasoned woods, and it might not be the certified height for a dining table, but it was good enough to put my beer on when I was in the back yard on a clear summer day in Seattle.

So, the point is that I had no attachment to being an amazing carpenter. None. I knew I was bad at it, cause I had never done it before. I didn't feel bad that I didn't know how to put a table together, I knew I just needed to walk away for a bit, think and come back to it. I was totally in love with that process.

So, now with this new process, I have been applying it to some pretty big "tables" like my podcast, parenting, growing my business, and being a good human. Going from here to there, and not falling into the self-sabotage traps that made me quit before. It's a good way to go.

10:51 a.m. - 2019-02-15


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