My Altered State

Pauline Henderson

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I discovered that I like finding value in seemingly insignificant things. If I could impress upon anyone one thing, it would be that things can change to be something different. Something better. Nothing has to stay insignificant.


What does that mean, anyway?…

To some, it’s a trendy word, a catchall, or a blanket generalization,

To others, it’s the exact moment they decide to do something,

But for so many people out there, “DIY”  is personal…

Personal to the guy who decided to sell his childhood card collection to buy a tool.

Personal to the one who’s afraid of heights, but has to climb up to repair their own roof. 

And for the guy who’s always laid on sharp gravel to do an oil change, it’s a way of life.

“D.I.Y.” is not supposed to be an overused acronym.  

It’s a decision, an accomplishment, and an emotion.

To my dad, it was his every day.

It was how he kept his cars running, and how he built a house.

It was how he came to be an engineer, welder, woodworker, mechanic, electrician, and all around teacher.

A few decades ago, I stood outside next to him as he worked on a neighbor’s car.

I broke the comfortable silence to ask him,

Dad, why do you just do everything?.

With his trademark pause and half grin he said,  

“How else is it going to get done?” .

His answer that day stuck with me and became a part of my identity.

It’s become my mantra when I’m faced with something I don’t want to tackle.

He taught me by example.  He showed me every day how things get done.

One foot in front of the other.

Growing up I witnessed problems solved by my dad facing them head-on.

The car wouldn’t run, he was out there fixing it.

If he didn’t have an answer right away, he was researching it.

No one was going to come along and fix things for him, and that was okay.

He never wasted time or energy complaining or feeling sorry for himself.

He spent 39 years fixing and maintaining big military machines, but he is humble.

My dad is my definition of consistent doing.

As a child, that translated into security.

In recent years I have discovered just how much my dad has taught me.

Like flushing a water heater, building a bookcase, and understanding mechanisms in everyday appliances… the  list grows every time I speak with him.

Thanks to my dad, I know that if something’s broken, I can fix it.

And thanks to his example, I know that if I want something done…….. (well, you know the rest)

My Altered State began as an Etsy shop.

I needed a way to justify (for my sake), the daily woodworking activities and collecting of materials.

The wood pile was getting higher, and the “waste not” part of me was getting antsy.

Armed with my husband’s gifted brain and, his knack for stats, my Etsy shop was born.

Fast forward several months to the exact moment I realized My Altered State was more than an Etsy shop:

I was entering a long and detailed description on a serving tray, when… it happened.

”The Moment“

It was the exact moment I wondered if anybody cared where I got this wood to build this tray.

Did anyone on Etsy  even want to hear that this wood was from a house in my hometown?

Or, that I walked by this house in my youth, every time I needed to take a short cut to school?

My item descriptions were becoming longer and more detailed and the compulsive need to tell a story with each item became obvious.

I needed to address it.

I needed a platform.

After all, what was the purpose in seeking out this history-rich material, if the history wasn’t being passed on with it?

That was when I knew I had to write.

That is when I became a blogger.

I’m quite fond of reclaiming wood and giving it another life.

I also am aware that things can be altered, and I can’t keep it to myself any longer.

It’s like a secret that wasn’t supposed to be a secret,  but it’s not really a secret, cause there’s other people out there like me.

So I’ll humbly throw my experiences into the pool of reclaiming, rescuing, and reusing, in hopes of contributing in some small way.

It’s an ongoing challenge to make my hands to keep up with my head,  and I love a good challenge.

There’s also an immeasurable value in giving new life to something old or something forgotten, and I love a good comeback.

Click to see my  About Me Video