My mother in law gets a subscription to This Old House and when she's done reading them she passes them along to me along with other various magazine subscriptions. This one is my favorite though, and when I got home from vacation yesterday I saw I had two on my counter. I read one last night and the other this morning. I read that entire magazine cover to cover. I love seeing transformations from old houses to something unique and exactly that someone had in mind to create.
There was an article about getting young adults involved in skilled trades, that there is a shortage of workers for all skilled trades. They profiled 5 or so people who grew into their respective trade and the love they all shared in working with their hands ,and seeing something being created from their own efforts.
I was a little miffed about why that story stuck with me so much until I started doing some other things and reflected a bit more. I started thinking about where I came from and where I grew up. My dad has experience in several trades, the one I remember the most is his backhoe service, and his love of almost anything that he could fix or create. He's retired now, but if you have an afternoon he'll give you a tour of the at least dozen tractors he's currently working on updating, welding, adjusting, or making into something else. My mom is a maker too. I learned how to sew from my mom, she has many talents and I would say most of my creativity was inspired from watching her create, either sewing, or baking or other various projects. She's retired now too and spends her days immersing herself in various, sewing and crafty projects along with a big garden in the summer.
My siblings caught the maker bug too. Both my brothers are employed in the trades, being full time electricians and part time tinkerers and shade tree mechanics. My sister is a maker too. Aside from putting her creative mark on the various remodel projects in her house ,she is a part time gardener. Giving a go at dipping her green thumb at landscaping and growing plants.
This mental meandering this morning, got me thinking that really in a larger picture I believe we are all here to be makers. And the less active we are in making the less happy we are. Or another way to look at it would be the further away from your creation you are, the less happy you will be also.
I don't think it has to be a skilled trade or even an artistic endeavor. Some people can be gratified in creating a business, remodeling a house, learning a skill, making a meal, finishing a project. Anything that you put your own time or energy into with the intent to go deeper, be curious, watch it grow and realize how you contributed to it's success.
I was on vacation last week, and even just a week away from making got me a bit anxious. So one afternoon I took a try at Rock Stacking, it wasn't quite as meditative as most people make it look, but it sure was entertaining for a few hours.
Where are the areas of your life where you are a maker? What was your last accomplishment you were proud of? Are you making time on a regular basis to make and flex that creative muscle?