Once in a while, you want to quit.
This Experience In Reclaiming hasn’t been what you thought it would be.
This project, isn’t working.
That board has too much cupping, another one is warped–
You should have addressed this sooner.
And, who thought this was a good idea anyway?….
What’s wrong with using brand-new wood?
Your shoulders feel heavy… you stand there.
This idea was over your head, & out of your league.
Sadly, Something’s different now.
Your so-called “project” has morphed into a pile of junk wood.
Right before your eyes, It’s become something different.
Not what you pictured.
It has become an epic fail.
Now you just want to close your eyes and drop what’s in your hand.
You want to turn and walk away, down your driveway, and to the street.
You can’t let your neighbors see the look in your eyes, the frustration.
You can’t fake a smile, when you feel like you’ve wasted a week, or even two weeks, of your life.
Time that could’ve been spent with your kids, fulfilling promises you made to them.
You could be listening to them read, instead of having them read to each other.
You could have had conversations with your 5-year-old, about why he likes the twisty slide, but not the swings, at recess.
You could have been inside, doing normal indoor things.
Not messing around with your noisy tools in the garage and getting frustrated.
All for a project that is not turning out to match the image in your head.
This project that has caused headaches, backaches, and cold cereal dinners….
This project had momentum when you started…
I bet you wonder where it went.
You even wonder why it feels as if you’re running on fumes now, almost out of gas….
Maybe if you walk away, it will just be gone.
Maybe it will disappear, as if there was a Project Fail Fairy.
A magical being who swoops in on a cloud of sawdust and plucks project failures from your life.
You could start fresh.
This “once in a while” – [when you want to quit] – can beat you down.
It can cause you to doubt yourself and question your own abilities.
It can even make you blame the things around you.
The worst part, is the second guessing that comes.
The second guessing about the time you’ve spent.
You can’t get that back.
That leads to emotions that begin to swell, rise, and threaten your ability to breathe.
Stay still. D o n ’ t m o v e .
Keep ahold of what’s in your hand… and breathe.
Recognize the panic that might be lingering in the corner, waiting to join the party.
Give it respect, even nod in it’s direction.
Panic is threatening you because you’ve wasted energy. You’ve wasted time.
After all, nobody likes to waste energy.
Nobody likes to waste time.
Check your anger. Keep an eye on that panic.
Try to remember how you came to be here – standing over this mess.
Think back to that energy that was born the day you reclaimed this wood.
Your effort to rescue this material for a new purpose cannot be for nothing.
You can either walk away in a cloud of anger and frustration…
Or you can collect yourself.
You can let your vacant stare settle on your dad’s old level.
There it is, hanging on the wall.
As your chest rises and falls with your breathing, maybe you’ll think about your dad.
Maybe he is proud of you.
There’s a chance he’s been where you are.
He’s been frustrated. Angry.
He knows how heavy a hammer can feel.
Slowly, your anger starts to dissolve.
It fades away, fuzzy, into the background of your thoughts.
The next few moments are in slow-motion.
You realize you’re still holding something in your hand.
You’re still standing there, over your project fail.
You blink away your glassy-eyed stare.
You’re not done yet.
You’ve got this.
Next thing you know, you’re working again.
The noisy tools start back up… the kids continue playing inside.
They find comfort in the sound of your tools in the garage.
They know where you are. They know where to find you.
The redeeming quality of erasing a fail… is more important than any length of time this might take.
There’s validation in claiming a new life for old material.
That fact alone can outweigh the mess and the sawdust.
And your kids?
You didn’t let them down.
They were watching you.
While you worked, you showed them how work is done.
When you were almost broken with frustration, they saw passion.
As you teetered on the brink of defeat and quitting, you instilled courage.
But most of all, you taught them how to turn it all around.
Because of your struggle, they know what it looks like when someone wins an internal battle.
To some, there is nothing more crippling than the fear of failure.
You walked right into it, stood there in the moment, and passed through that fear.
Your Experience In Reclaiming has been a success.
And when you shut off the lights and go inside for the night, think about it…
You have reclaimed a lot more than some old wood.
Check out my first article on reclaiming experience
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