Woodworking is now my 5th career since graduating college. From 2004 - 2020 I worked in marketing, was an executive assistant, sales and a personal trainer / coach. Well, maybe even a 6th career. I added the title of Mom in 2019. So how woodworking?
When my daughter was 4 months old, I was trying to figure out how to go back to work. Well, that all got decided for me, when we got locked down in San Francisco for COVID. For months later when we are all still staying home, we bought a house 30 minutes south and left the city. We had no insight when fitness studios would re-open, we wanted more space and although my husband was working from home 5 days a week, we knew eventually they would be back to in-person and we decided our move would shorten his eventual commute.
The house was great, but needed some work. I did a few things on my own and then finally we did a huge kitchen remodel starting April 2021. Our guest bathroom was my kitchen for 4 months. Other areas of the house were worked on too: living room, laundry room, 3rd bathroom and created a mudroom. We were fortunate to live on one side of the house while the other side was a construction zone. Oh, and on the 2nd day of the demo, my daughter learned how to open doors. It was going to be a long 4 months.
During construction, I was searching for the perfect cutting board. We were going to have this big kitchen and we got a Trager grill. I was so excited to entertain and host Thanksgiving dinners again. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The tiny juice groove in our cutting board was not going to cut it any longer.
The old kitchen.
Let me say this. Life was great! At the same time, I was really struggling. Not being able to complete simple things made me angry. I got a therapist. Finally. One theme we discussed was my need for an identity outside of Mom. Stay at home mom is not the life for me. It’s so f*n hard and I needed to do something for myself. She knew I’m handy because of the house demo work I did, so she said, “Why don’t you make the cutting board?”
Me? Make a cutting board? Ok, sure why not?
I drove by Woodcraft thousands of times already and I knew they had a sign up in front saying they offered woodworking classes. So I called them! The following week, I met my instructor and because of covid, all classes were 1:1, so after the shop safety class, we started making my cutting board. I loved it so much!
I became obsessed with woodworking. I wanted to learn about all the tools and methods. When my daughter was napping, I was on YouTube and once a week, I was in my woodworking class. After the cutting board, we made a XL charcuterie board. Then a step stool and a pencil box.
New kitchen from the same angle. (No, I did not clean up to take this photo. This is real life.)
When construction was over, I was still obsessed and my husband said I could order a few tools so I could spend more nap time in the garage.
Next week, I’ll talk about how I built my shop and my first order.