Unfinished projects – boon and bane
Walk into my shop (or almost anyone’s shop) and you’re going to see some projects that are unfinished. Not just “waiting for paint”, I mean incomplete. I used to think that was a bad thing, especially when customers called requesting status reports. But now that I’m my own best customer, the pressure’s off. I have the luxury of allowing myself to be diverted from time to time. The biggest problem that this line- up of “works in progress” causes is the consumption of precious space. That’s the bane part.
The boon is, I’ve always got something to do. When I’m working on only one project I often find that I have an insufficient block of time to complete a particular task at hand. So I tend to “doodle” in the notebook or stare at the computer instead of “making chips”. With multiple projects waiting my attention, I can always find something to do even if I only have twenty or thirty minutes available. And, without being “under the gun” of delivery dates, if I choose to explore a different technique or design, I have the freedom to do so.
So I’ve stopped beating myself up. I never have been very concerned about keeping an immaculate shop. (I hear my Grandfather saying, “cleanliness is next to Godliness, but a clean shop means you’re not making much money.”) And now, I’m not very concerned about project completion. I love the actual process of woodworking, much more than the product. But, most of all, I love being retired.