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It is exciting to quit your job and say, “Hey, I want to be a boatmaker.” And even if boat making is not on your agenda (and may I be somewhat selfish and hope that it isn’t), I think most of us have had the “I want to quit my job and be a _____” at some point in our working lives.   It also helps if you have a shirt. Well, not just any old shirt, which I assume that most of us do have, but a shirt which your amazing wife had made for you that says, in bold letters, underlined, “I am a boat maker.”  Only get one with your dream of choice, but be prepared that it can start conversations with random people and even the occasional TSA agent.**

The tricky part I have found over these last two and half months since I said goodbye to my illustrious career in Warehouse Management is maintaining that excitement while spending an enormous amount of time and money building the shop before I can even start making boats. Even though I anticipated this to a certain degree, I was ill prepared for the reality which is that everything takes twice as long and costs double what you think it will.  I’m not even sure why I was surprised at this because experience has taught me, over the last four decades, to expect exactly that. My wife, of course, was fully prepared for that eventuality. She always has my back, time and again, and there is simply no way I could do this without her by my side especially when my confidence gets a little shaken on life’s speed bumps.

My biggest mental hang up was not being able to embrace the shop construction as an integral part of the process. It had its moments, to be sure, but by and large, it’s been a seemingly never-ending and inconvenient hardship. I know I should be embracing it, and finally, after many times of telling myself to enjoy the process of literally building this thing from the ground up I can honestly say…..nope, it was awful. 😛 BUT, as I nailed on the last pieces of siding and officially declared the outside finished (and this just one day before we left for a trip to India) I met with the relief, solace, and peace of mind that only comes out of significant accomplishment. It isn’t a big fancy revelation that sometimes you have tough out the not-so-fun stuff to reach your goals. I am a firm believer that, “Suck it up, buttercup” is an acceptable motivational mantra. However, I am not in a hurry to build another workshop any time soon!  So when we get back, I am going to start making the first Marion River guide boat and find my enthusiasm budding anew. We are actually doing this thing!


photo & video credit  Matthew J. Minisi

** One of my closest and dearest friends wants a shirt that says, “My friend is a warehouse manager” so people DON’T try engage him in casual conversation when he travels, yes, my former life was that awesome.