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Accomplishment

Nothing feels better at the end of a woodworking day than a sense of accomplishment.

It can be major or minor, personal or monetary, but wrapping up the day feeling good about something you’ve accomplished in the woodshop not only ends the day on a good note, it sets you up for another good day the following morning.

It can be something difficult, like an especially intricate series of joints or a problematic finishing task that comes out just right. Or maybe it’s not directly woodworking at all, like a challenging presentation to a balky potential customer that ends in a solid sale or commission. It might even be something that required no direct effort, such as an out-of-the-blue call from a previous client you haven’t done anything for in years, but now they remembered your work and want a complete dining room or other lucrative job.

Sometimes, it’s just a collection of minor tasks and to-do-list items that have piled up, and tackling them all feels great when you make that last checkmark on your list, knowing that your slate is now clear to do what you need or want to do. Or it could just be a lengthy sanding chore you’ve been procrastinating that, now complete, makes you feel great.

Or it might be something so small as to seem insignificant to others, but means the world to you. I recently came across a small plastic dinosaur my young daughter gave me three decades ago to keep my company when I’m working in my woodshop. I thought I’d lost him (yes, him) in our move to Pennsylvania in 2017, and had looked for him everywhere. A chance rummaging through a small odds-and-ends box of miscellaneous shop stuff earlier this week turned him up. He’s now back in his regular spot atop my hardware cabinet, where he has a good seat to the goings-on as I work.

If you don’t feel this sense of accomplishment from time to time, you’re either doing something wrong or you’re in the wrong line of work. Then again, maybe you’re just not appreciating the right things.

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