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Psychological help needed - Halfathumb - 11-26-2020

For the past few months I've been considering unloading my shop. With all of the other things going on in my life I hardly get to do anything I WANT to do in the shop. It's always something for someone else. Plus the things I have to do to maintain my 20+ year old house. (I know 20 years isn't very old, I grew up in eastern Pa around very old homes).

About 16 years ago I got rid of almost everything while fighting depression from PTSD and was considering suicide. That's not the situation I'm dealing with now, I just see a pretty decent wood shop going to waste. 

I'm happily married and enjoy certain aspects of my life, just not sure if ww fits into my plans anymore.

Has anybody else gone through these feelings and doubt? 

Thanks for reading and looking forward to everyone's input.


RE: Psychological help needed - jteneyck - 11-26-2020

As for woodshop time, do what you want to do and say no to stuff you don't if it's not satisfying.  Saying no often is hard, but it's easier when you know it's the right answer for you.  As for maintaining a house, there's no escape from it; either you do it or you pay someone else.  If you hate it pay someone else.  

My wife usually provides clarity when I ask for her take on things or she senses I'm struggling with something.     


RE: Psychological help needed - Hank Knight - 11-26-2020


I have been involved with woodworking most of my 76 years. I have gone through many cycles of interest/disinterest, enthusiasm/boredom and some lengthy periods of complete inactivity. I have often thought that my tools are going to waste and would probably benefit someone else more than me. I never got up the nerve to actually get rid of any of them, and I'm glad I didn't. The interest and excitement is still there, even if it is dormant for long periods. It percolates to the surface; I get involved again and the sense of accomplishment, fulfillment and excitement return. I've been working on a federal style desk for almost two years. I'm pretty happy with it, but I get tired of it and my progress has been slowed considerably by periods of inactivity that last anywhere from a couple of days to several months. But I'm always drawn back to it and it continues to progress. The closer I get to completion, the more excited I get about it. I've come to realize that the level of my interest in woodworking is not an everyday constant thing in my life, it ebbs and flows. I know when I get bored with it, it will return. I keep my tools and my workshop for those times. I'm glad to have them. They have brought me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction and they will continue to do so.
My $.02. I hope you keep your tools.

RE: Psychological help needed - MsNomer - 11-26-2020

With my campervan done and mountains calling, cobwebs became the main product from my shop. Then a few weeks ago my son and daughter in law asked for something that only I could make. Project lasted a few days and it was an absolute joy. It may be months before the next project, but that's okl

I’d vote that you leave it as long as you dont need the money or space.

RE: Psychological help needed - fredhargis - 11-26-2020

I suspect all of us have went through this at some time or other, maybe several times. For me I have about 3 hobbies that present me with that sentiment from time to time. But I haven't sold anything related to them, and find I almost always come back to enjoying whatever hobby it is at the time.

RE: Psychological help needed - Lumber Yard® - 11-26-2020

I have no problem letting my tools sit while I find motivation, time, energy, passion, etc. I can't imagine not having somewhere to escape and "dink around" when I want to escape the other crap life throws at all of us. I also know that maintenance of the house and vehicles lands squarely on my shoulders so, I need to have a "shop space" regardless if I have a fully equipped woodworking shop. Lastly, if I sold everything and later wanted to jump back in, there is no way I could afford to replace all my tools down the road with how machinery prices have skyrocketed.

RE: Psychological help needed - TDKPE - 11-26-2020

(11-26-2020, 12:45 PM)fredhargis Wrote: I suspect all of us have went through this at some time or other, maybe several times. For me I have about 3 hobbies that present me with that sentiment from time to time. But I haven't sold anything related to them, and find I almost always come back to enjoying whatever hobby it is at the time.

To a great degree, what he said.  ^^^^

My shop goes unused for long periods, sometimes a year or two other than some quick fixes, but sooner or later I get the bug again and start making things again.  Like now, coincidentally.

Same with sailing, though I downsized from a keel boat to a trailer boat so I can just leave it on the trailer if I don’t feel like paying for a slip for the season, and of course, I don’t have to pay the marina to launch/haul and store on it’s cradle (the keel boat).  

Now I’ve got a camper van, and traveling to visit my grand kids 1600 miles away is a priority.  Once things open back up in a manner of speaking.  And I’m making improvement to that, ‘cause I just can’t help myself.

RE: Psychological help needed - FS7 - 11-26-2020

The short answer is that if you aren't ADHD, keep it. I sometimes struggle with the concept of ADHD and assume it's just differences in attention span between people, but after living with my ex-wife and watching one of my good friends bounce from hobby to hobby, I realize it's definitely a thing. For some people, they get hyperfocused on a new hobby, get knee deep into it, and then forget about it and move on. If that's not you (and it doesn't sound like it) keep your tools - especially, as said, if you don't need the money or the space. There have been periods where I've done nothing in the shop, and there have been periods where I've got multiple projects going on at once. Sometimes I get to do what I want to do, and sometimes I do things for other people. But I've had this hobby for 30 years to varying degrees so I'm not about to give it up. I don't have many hobbies, so it's easy for me to avoid collecting things I never use.

In recent times, my shop has been my escape. My local lumber suppliers are basically the two places where pandemic cosplay theatre isn't really a thing, and as I can't do nearly any of the things I used to enjoy in the old world (restaurants, bars, wineries, breweries, concerts) I often retreat to the shop even if just to putz around. I like to build and create even if the things won't get used that much.

RE: Psychological help needed - cme4dk - 11-26-2020

I spend a lot of time in my shop, it is a hobby and not a business.  If it was a business I would have to worry about finances as well as finishing projects in time, as a hobby, that is usually not an issue.  I can also pick and choose the projects I want to work on and more important I can work in my shop for an hour or two, then go upstairs, be with my family, then back to my shop.  

So if your shop is set up, keep it as is and use it when you want to.


RE: Psychological help needed - zaret - 11-26-2020

i understand and appreciate your situation... and to some degree, i have had periods of time where i can relate.  cut yourself a break.  the only true pressure to use, or not use, your shop is self-imposed, and you can control that.  if you're not feeling it, ignore it.  when you start to get the itch, go back.  don't put pressure on yourself to insist on a short-term answer, just focus elsewhere for a while and work on your overall happiness.