We've all experienced it as spoon carvers: you're carving some really lovely bit of wood with flashy grain and then, as you are close to the shape you want, the grain does something amazing.
Maybe it's a heart. Maybe it's an owl. Or maybe it's the miraculous image of Jesus Christ himself, manifest in the grain. Usually it's just pretty.
When this happens, we often make a mistake, and stop carving.
The reason this is a mistake is that grain is temporary. That amazing pattern? It will be faded in a year. But the shape we were chasing, the shape whose ultimate expression we sacrificed to the dazzle of the grain, that is what will remain. In fact, as patina builds and darkens the wood, bringing the bone structure of the facets to the fore, the shape matters more and more.
This is, in no small way, true of life, too. We can be dazzled by the grain of things, in the moment. We can lose sight of what we want to become in the flashy success on the surface of things. But as we age, it is our shape that matters. It is the bone structure of our character that will shine clearer, even as the grain of our accomplishments fades.
So it is crucial that as we are shaping who we want to become that we don't let surface success dictate the form we are chasing. Because that surface is ephemeral. Sometimes it coincides with the right shape of things, but often, very often, there is more work to do.
If you took away the grain on the surface of your identity, the job, the popularity, checking off all the boxes we are taught matter (partner, kids, house, career), what would be the shape of you? Do you like the shape of you? Are you making the choices that matter? That is different for each of us, what makes for a good life. And it also changes over time. But it is always worth asking, if we are being true to what truly matters to us. If we are doing what we are doing because it is what we want, or if it's just what looks good.
I worry about this all the time. Am I living a life that is meaningful to ME? Am I being the husband, father and son that I want to be? Am I contributing to the world? Am I providing for an uncertain future? Am I going to be happy with my form when I'm about to die?
Or have I been chasing flash over form?
Jarrod Dahl made a good point in one of his recent blog posts the other day, about how much administrative work goes into being a craftsman. Instagram, the main vehicle for many of us, is good at capturing the glamorous part of what we do as makers, but it is more difficult to give appropriate weight to all of the other parts of the process that go into making a living from something like carving spoons. So I thought I'd document a sale from beginning to end, with the goal of providing an accurate picture, not so much to impress anyone with what goes into it, but to help any of you who are looking to scale your hobby up to a real part of your income.
Sales for me usually come in the form of a message request on Instagram or email, someone reaching out asking if they can order some work. Often this comes in reaction to a recent post showing the glamorous side of things (finished work or a pile of blanks), and often it is someone who has followed along for awhile before ever being in touch. About a third of my orders come from repeat customers, and you can read my thoughts about that in an earlier blog post.
So there is usually a message or two to iron out what I can do for them, at which point I enter the name, address and order into my daily planner. I used to just use scraps of paper when I was able to turn work around in a day or two, but as demand increased so did my waiting list. For awhile I used a big sheet of paper tacked to a wall, but this year I have found it crucial, with a now five week waiting list and growing, to use a daily planner. This allows me to loosely schedule work (while leaving me wiggle room to accommodate the vagueries of life and people adding onto orders last minute) while giving customers a sense of when their work will be done.
In general, I aim to create between $45 and $90 of work, which usually takes 3-5 hours. I have other work I need to accomplish (writing and editing) so I don't do this all day, and quite frankly it has taken months to build my muscles up to the point where I can sustain these hours day after day. I do anticipate the number of hours to increase over the course of the next year by a little bit, and each year at the end of October my prices will increase slightly, to match my sense of inflation, cost of living, increasing or decreasing demand and my own gut sense of what my work is worth, but that is where we stand for now.
Each day I have work scheduled out, which is loosely scheduled in the day planner but then more firmly planned on a sheet of computer paper, where I often combine days of making blanks and try to schedule that for sunny weather, when the greenhouse where I do the axe work will be warm. Similarly, I try to schedule my day to do extended axe work from late morning to mid afternoon, when the sun will be actually hitting the greenhouse. During warmer months this is less important, as my chopping block is then in the shade of the woodshed.
So my weekly to-do list gives me the shape of things, and I probably re-write this list three times a week, to refresh my goals as the week progresses. Monday is usually post office day and bank deposit day, which I will describe later, but it is an important efficiency to batch these tasks together, since that way they takes less time in my week than if I attended to them multiple times.
As I do the day's work, I am constantly attuned to any moments I might want to capture, both for myself, but also to share because they say something valuable about the process or are funny or give an accurate picture of the moment. I've written extensively about my use of Instagram so you can read more about that in previous posts. Suffice to say, I stop to take pictures, but I mostly get immersed in the work and music or a podcast.
Sunday night or Monday morning I box up all the orders from that week. I try to keep packaging simple, with quality cardboard boxes and plain brown paper, and I use the names and addresses in the day planner to check that orders are complete and that all the information is correct. Names and addresses then get entered into a rolodex so that I can find them easily in the future. I used to just enter addresses into a book, but as the number of customers grew I recently decided to shift to an expandable, alphabetized system. It is analog to help reduce the time I spend on a screen, and I also like that it is safe from hacking or loss.
Packaging takes an hour or less, and the post office run takes about half an hour, since I live a quarter mile away so the travel time is negligible. From the bank receipt I know the shipping for each package, and then I round up and add a dollar to account for packaging costs and my handling time. With this and the order history, I know grand totals, which I then message or email to people, letting them know their order is in the mail, and giving them my address where they can send a check. I much prefer to trust that people will pay me than to ask for money upfront. I have never been stiffed, and that way people can add to orders at the last minute without further complicating payment. I also really appreciate the trust it builds into the relationship with each customer, the importance of which probably can't be overestimated.
Monday mornings or sometimes a different day, I take all the checks that have come in the mail that week and enter them into our bookkeeping software. I separate out the money from out of state sales from those that were in state (for which I collected sales tax). The law, so far as I understand it, is that at least right now, if you have less than a million dollars in revenue, out of state sales are not subject to tax collection. For in state sales, I simply calculate it and add it to the grand total I give the customer. These in state sales get entered separately, and once a month I go online and pay the sales tax owed the state. Once a month I also enter any international sales that came in through the app I use for that, retroactively dating them as appropriate. After accepting the deposit in the bookkeeping software, I prepare the total deposit using an adding calculator and bring it to the bank, also just a quarter mile away.
So I estimate that in any given week, I do probably about 20 hours of actual craft work (including the one lesson a week I teach on average), maybe seven hours of social media and this blog, and 4 hours of administrative work. From this I average (right now) about $1500 a month, which accounts for maybe a quarter of my yearly income.
I hope this helps give a realistic perspective of what the total process looks like. Please understand that this is a constantly shifting thing, and that much of what I do is positioning for the future rather than immediate return and that this does not represent the totality of my workday.
So the other morning I was teaching my girls about the Beatles, and we put some of their early albums on, and I was totally surprised at how non-Beatle-ish many of the songs seemed. I grew up listening to the Beatles, but I hadn't even heard some of the songs on their first two albums, and it was interesting to me how when they stormed the Americas, their first album had three or four songs that we still remember, and maybe 8 that we don't remember at all.
This stuck with me, the idea that even a band so iconic as the Beatles could produce work that was ultimately forgettable, that they went through a progression not only of changing their sound, but also of GETTING BETTER at their craft. I've been thinking about this a lot recently as I'm at the two year anniversary of getting a smart phone and starting to carve as a profession. And while I am not the Beatles, I think what we can see in them is a universal truth, that the early stages of anyone, even after the initial learning process (and I know, I know, they went through the crucible playing incredibly long sets at that German club), the early stages are inconsistent. That if you stick with something you improve.
This is not the common narrative, however. Our culture idolizes the overnight sensation, the person discovered after years of honing their talent in obscurity, and then they make it big. Often, they make it big and then have a hard time following up that first success with real growth.
I can safely say that is not me. I'm definitely an incremental improvement kind of person. And so it gives me hope, actually, to hear the forgettable Beatles song and to think that what they had going is possible for me, the ability to grow into this thing I do. Carving spoons. Writing. That my best work is yet ahead of me.
It's funny to be inspired by the lackluster start of things, but I think this is a realistic perspective for anyone just starting out, since if you only look at the amazing work that comes after years of dedication, you can feel discouraged from even starting. I know this happens with me. It will be a long, long time before I'm ever the fiddle player I dream of being. Even if it became my main thing it would be six years. At the rate I'm going it will be more like 20. Still, it's good to remember how far I've come so that I don't lose sight of my own journey in the beautiful noise made by others.
And I actually find it encouraging to think that no matter how much I like the spoon I carved yesterday, I definitely haven't carved my White Album yet. I'm still in the night club, plotting my invasion.
Okay, so. I've noticed this thing happening on Instagram the last year or so, ever since they started having the stories feature, where everyone has started putting their personal funny stuff there, where it disappears in a day forever, and then keeps their main account just for the glamorous, serious stuff. I was lamenting to Fiona Glover, a lovely spooncarver in Australia, that it seems like people have started using Instagram differently.
And it got me thinking: what is Instagram for? Not what does it do physically, or how it works, but what purpose does it serve for us, its users? What purpose COULD it serve? I was thinking about this because I recently dove all the way back to the beginning of my feed to do what I often do, a purge of photos I no longer like. I do this on a regular basis for more recent posts, but occasionally I'll go all the way back and remove pictures that don't reflect the current caliber of my work.
What I find when I do this is that while the spoons I thought were so important at the time have completely faded in importance, the value of the personal moments, the small intimate details, has grown immensely. These are the very things that we are now being encouraged to use the stories for, and so instead of creating a record of our life, we are reacting in the moment without capturing anything for the future.
This shouldn't be surprising, because Instagram didn't add this feature because it was better for us, it added this feature to grab users from Snapchat, to dominate that capability.
Similarly, being able to see the likes and number of followers we get or other accounts have is not for our benefit. It's to make using the app more addictive. I sometimes confuse my sense of self worth with the movement of these metrics, which is the stupidest thing in the world and I know it but it still happens!
There is no denying that one of the best things about Instagram for me is interacting with people. Surprisingly, while I started off using the app for inspiration, the relationships I've developed with customers are fast becoming more meaningful and fulfilling than seeing the work of someone I've never had a conversation with.
Instagram is how I run my business, it's how I give back by sharing what I know, it's how I notice and document the beautiful small things in life in a way that otherwise wouldn't happen, and its a source of meaningful relationships.
That said, it is addictive, can be disruptive to my family life, can be hard on my self-esteem, and if used thoughtlessly could leave me with little to show for it.
Sometimes its good to articulate things. And now I need to go make dinner.
I was having a great conversation over Skype the other day with Reuben Goadby (and if you are into wooden spoons and don't know who he is, you need to look him up right now), and I found myself saying that I really appreciate having a backlog of pre-ordered spoons because it pushes me to carve more than I otherwise would.
This statement surprised me, not because it wasn't true (it is) but because I hadn't articulated it to myself in just those terms before. I have certainly appreciated having the work lined up for the money's sake (it is, after all, how I support my family, at least in part), and I have also for a long time stated that my goal is to give myself an economic incentive to carve as much as possible by keeping my work affordable and thus generating more demand.
But this was the first time that I had meant simply that the NEED to carve was central to pushing me to do the thing that I love so much, that centers me and grounds me, that is my meditation and my entertainment. I am pretty good at knowing what is good for me. That exercise makes me feel good. That eating well makes me feel good. That putting away the screens and getting the right amount of sleep and spending time with my family when I am really truly present makes me feel good.
But that does not mean that I always do them.
Like most of us, I sabotage my own well being in ways that are both subconscious and totally known by me. I eat what I shouldn't. I stay up late. I sit in my chair and look at my phone.
So it feels like a big win that I have been able to harness the commitment I make to people that I WILL CARVE THEM A SPOON WITHIN A CERTAIN TIME FRAME to force myself to do more of this thing that is so good for me.
It feels like winning the jackpot. It feels like I'm getting away with something.
It makes me wonder how I can harness other commitments to force myself to develop other habits. Because without the commitment I am keenly aware of how easily life takes that time away from me. A day goes by without carving, then another. I have had this happen to me with numerous things that I love. Playing the fiddle. Spending time in the woods. Calisthenics. Making the bed, for crying out loud. We shape our lives around the things we must to make it all balance out, and when you have a family and life is full, there is always something else asking for the time.
So if you are just starting out carving, here is my advice to you. Sell cheap. Sell ridiculously cheap, for a host of reasons, but the only one I will explain here is that you need to sell your work so fast that you are goaded into continuing. And when you get that first commission, use it to get the next and then the next after that. Use the economics of the short-term gain to get you toward the long-term plan. Use the demand to push you to carve more than you would have otherwise, to pay you (perhaps not as well as some other way of using your time, but still, hold on to that long-term plan) so that you keep going.
You will be the better carver for it. And we will all be better for having watched you do it.
Okay, so this last week I finally updated my website, and in so doing I shifted from showing individual spoons that I had carved (the old, last year way of doing things) to showing categories of spoons (the new, this year way of doing things). Largely this is because, after years of carving, I have settled on favorite forms that carve easily, work great, and look good while doing it.
This is an important shift towards seeing my work as a form of service, of serving the needs and desires of people who buy my work.
Carving a one of a kind spoon, someone buys it because of that spoon, and because they love it and what it represents and its connections to you and your story. This is not a bad thing.
Carving a spoon to a type becomes much more about determining what function and form would bring value to the buyer, whether because it does something particularly well or because it allows them to build a kitchen or a home or give a gift full of meaning and joy.
My forms will continue to change and evolve, but it does mean that my work has become even more recognizably my own, as I home in on particular design choices that I return to again and again.
Which brings me to an important announcement.
I HEREBY DECLARE ALL OF MY WORK TO BE OPEN SOURCE, TO BE USED AND COPIED AND EMULATED AND IMPROVED UPON AND EXPERIMENTED WITH AND SOLD BY ANYONE WHO WANTS TO, WITHOUT ANY NEED FOR PERMISSION OR ACKNOWLEDGMENT OR NOTIFICATION.
I get asked fairly regularly if its okay if somebody sells a piece they carved that ended up looking a bit like mine. Usually these queries are apologetic, as though they feel like they messed up somehow. I always feel flattered that anyone liked what I did enough to try it out. And I also am proud enough to think that my work is good in part because of the forms I choose. Like I said, they carve easily, work great and look good while doing it. So this is me setting the record straight.
If you see some shape that I carve, it is as much yours as mine. I arrived at it by standing on the shoulders of giants (to paraphrase Sir Isaac Newton), and you get to stand on my shoulders, too. That's how it works.
This kind of radical openness is what made the internet possible, when Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, decided, unlike all the other proprietary internet platforms at the time that charged a small fee, to make his web free and open source.
I believe that freely sharing all the knowledge and encouragement and love and ideas we have about spoons is what will ultimately bring our work back into the mainstream dialogue of our culture. This happens one person at a time. And every last one of them needs to feel some sense of ownership over their decision to buy and embrace what we do.
We need as many spooncarvers as possible. And as many people carving normal, everyday spoons as possible.
So if you see something of mine that you like and you want to try carving it, this is my green light to the world. I am honored to be along for the ride.
This is the time of year when I make plans. It's when I decide if I will leave a job, start a business. It's a time for figuring out what I can do that will make next year more successful than this one has been.
This is not a hope. I am not sitting here hoping that next year will be better. I'm figuring out what steps I need to take to ensure that it is. And then I do them.
This approach to success takes time. It does not happen quickly and it does not happen by chance. I have also always placed a premium on diverse sources of income, meaning my time is somewhat divided. I am emphatically NOT all in. And what I feel passionate about is hardly a high return, scaleable, hot trending buzzworthy meme.
So we (my wife and I) have been poor my entire adult life. When you are 20 and poor you barely notice it. When you are 24 and poor and are newly married it is a life choice. When you are 28 and poor and have two kids, it is frustrating and humiliating at times. When you are 34 and poor but can see a path to a place of not being poor, it sits a lot easier.
A big part of why we have been poor are our own choices. We chose to be farmers. We chose to live where we wanted to live (near family) rather than follow careers. We chose to cobble together work so we had the flexibility to pursue our own businesses. We chose to have kids young and line up the extraordinary demands of caring for small children with the early, uncertain part of our careers.
So this time of year I very consciously map out what steps I need to take to move my businesses to a stronger financial position in the next year. I make a plan. I implement the plan. And year by year, our income creeps up.
Leaving my seasonal job a couple of years ago felt like a real step back, but now, two years on, I have built my spooncarving and teaching business to the point where I earn 150% what I was earning from that job. And that was this year: next year should be even more, possibly 200%.
If this all sounds very calculating to you, you are right. I am providing for my family. It is a calculated affair. I am passionate about my work and love what I do and love sharing it, but it is also, at the core, about earning money.
This is the money that pays our mortgage. It's the money that buys our propane and groceries and electricity. It's the money that will allow us to buy a new (used) car in a couple of years when the current one becomes to untrustworthy. It's the money we put into our Roth IRA, because no one is going to invest in our old age for us.
This last week I drove down to New York to help my 93 year old grandmother pack up her house in preparation to moving up to Massachusetts to be closer to us and my parents. As I was driving down I-91, I went through a short tunnel (probably just a wide overpass, but who's counting). As I all of a sudden found myself in the tunnel, I experienced this flash of joy from the sensation of being in the dark and driving toward the daylight. It was a totally unexpected feeling, but it lingered for a long time after I was out under the sky and it was much more powerful than any appreciation of the blue sky overhead that day.
In many ways, this is an apt metaphor for where we are with our income these days. We are almost (but not quite!) not poor. We can see it coming. We have been in the tunnel for a long time, and now it is almost here. Our gleeful anticipation of it is almost certainly more poignant than anything we will feel in ten years. Right now is the time, in this year and the next, when we can most clearly taste the joy of making it, the pleasure of being in a dark tunnel and heading toward the light.
Yesterday I finally succumbed to the head cold that's been making the rounds of my family. As my wife will tell you, I turn into a puddle of goo when my sinuses fill up. Sore throat? I'm good. Sore muscles? I'll power through. Exhausted? I still have a sense of humor. But plug up my nose and I am wrecked.
Nevertheless, there are still obligations to fulfill. Two different garden centers needed balsam to keep making wreaths, so I suited up and headed out into the snow, barehanded, to cut some bales. And I have a number of manuscripts in the inbox that need editing, so I spent the afternoon doing that, too. About every five minutes I goosed myself along with a clip of something from YouTube or a round of potato chips or ice cream.
So it was a full day. At one point my younger daughter, who is five, asked my wife (who was making dinner) why I had to work if I was sick.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the double-edged sword of being self-employed. Not having a boss is wonderful. I can be flexible in my commitments, which allows me to take part in my daughters' lives in ways they totally won't appreciate until they are grown. I can take advantage of spur of the moment things like a beautiful day, a last minute invitation. I don't look to anyone for a sense of self-worth, and I feel equal to anyone.
But there are also times when work just needs to happen. I try hard to keep my word, my promises and my commitments, so sometimes I work when I would rather not.
Miserable as I was, I had to get this manuscript edited and sent off. Snowy and inconvenient as it was, I had to cut those greens. Because I said I would.
We have interesting conversations, my daughters and I, about what it means to be self-employed. How I make money by selling things to people, by helping them learn or by doing things for them. How I am in control of how much money I make, and that earning more over time is a matter of making smart choices rather than playing some sort of game to get a raise. How important it is to diversify my income streams to mitigate the risk of any one thing not working out as planned.
This is a very different sort of conversation than many of us received as kids, I would wager. Most of us are told to find a career, preferably something we are passionate about. We are told to get formal education. To arrive early and stay late. We are told to make ourselves indispensable, to bring value and to acquire expertise. All of these things are true for being self-employed, but there is an extra twist, which is that when you work for yourself, there is only you.
No one to fill in for you to take sick days.
No one to do the work you would rather not do (although you could hire someone, and that is a whole separate topic, and generally I ascribe to the paradigm of leadership where you give your employees the fun stuff and do the tough stuff yourself).
No one to tell you what to do when the s%$& hits the fan.
There is only you. And that is both freeing and terrifying. And sometimes it means you eat a half quart of ice cream, watch the Rambo clip and finish the damn manuscript.
I am usually a pretty confident guy. Enough so that it sometimes annoys my wife, who finds me overly optimistic to the point of folly.
In many ways, selling at my tree farm is easy. Unlike a farmer's market or craft fair, where 90 percent of people walking by are not even going to strike up a conversation let alone buy anything, I know with fair certainty that most anyone driving down my little dirt road is there to get a tree. Or a wreath. Or both. Maybe a spoon too. Anything else I can help you with? The question is not IF they are there to spend money, it's how much.
I don't mean this to sound crass. It's just fair to recognize that this dynamic is LOADS easier mentally and emotionally than practicing that careful nonchalant availability that is key at markets and fairs to attract customers and not scare them away.
What is hard, though, is when you start to compare sales this day to sales the same day in years past. It's all too easy to try to see trends in two data points that ultimately tell you nothing about where you are at, where you've been and where you're going. I might be having a killer day, feeling great, and then I make the mistake of looking in my book to see how it compares to last year or the year before and to see that I'm actually not tracking with sales on THOSE days.
What does it mean? Does it mean ANYTHING?
The answer, (and it is an unsatisfying answer) is that you have no idea what it means until the end of the season when you see the totals. And even THAT doesn't tell you the whole story, because you might be down and WANT to be down (as we plan to be, since the trees need a light year to gain some ground size-wise for next year, so we haven't advertised at all this year for the first time). Total number of sales also doesn't correspond to total sales nor to actual profit, since we raised our price for the first time in ten years this year and are also getting by with about half the help of previous years. So that may offset the deliberate drop in sales, although we'll have to see at the end.
The point is, it's easy to get into a lather about this in a way that is totally counterproductive to life in general and being present in the moment in particular.
But you know what does help? Helping someone. Answering a question. Asking a question. Giving a kid a pine cone. Handing out a saw. Lifting a tree onto a car roof. A genuine conversation, I have found, is the best antidote to the doubt of whether or not I am succeeding in my chosen business. Because in the end, I am in control of the trajectory of my business. I can always work harder, make smart choices for the future. But true success? True success lies in the connections we make with one another.
When I was 22, I was working on a schooner up in Maine one spring when I had an accident. The boat was hauled out at a shipyard so we could sandblast and repaint her bottom, and I was carrying big chunks of iron to shore that had been used to weigh down balks of timber, sloshing knee deep up the concrete slipway bearhugging this fifty pound lump of metal when I slipped and fell. My chin hit the top of the iron pig, and while I shook it off and kept working, later that summer when my left arm stopped working, a chiropractor would discover that that accident had pinched a nerve in my shoulder, and that this combined with flaking anchor chain three times a day every day had exacerbated the situation to the point that I had tendonitis.
At that time, the only solution was to stop doing all the things I was doing. Stop sailing, stop using my arms in all the strong physical ways that I was used to. It took several months for the symptoms to totally clear up.
Throughout the ensuing 12 years, I have skittered again and again along the edge of tendonitis, carpal tunnel, hand and arm inflammation, numbness, whatever you want to call it. My career choices have probably not helped: farmer (milking cows, transplanting and harvesting vegetables), zip line tour guide (clipping and unclipping thousands of carabiners every day), professional scyther, editing (all the time at a keyboard), Christmas tree farmer (clipping greens and tying wreaths) and now spoon carving.
I have been cautious, and I have taken breaks when I needed to. With the spoon carving in particular, I have been careful to only carve what I can sustainable do. Over these last two years, I have slowly ramped up my production, and have been pleased with how my body has strengthened and been able to handle carving a spoon a day, then two, then three or four, day after day. This is no small victory.
There place where I struggle, year after year, is with the Christmas tree farm. There is a finite window before Thanksgiving where almost all of the wholesale orders need to be made, and financially it has been an important opportunity for us. Many days I use clippers the entire time. Every year I have suffered increasing numbness and pain in my hands and forearms, waking up at night with my hands asleep. I have tried different things over the years, hiring help to do some of the clipping with me, wearing wrist braces, taking different anti-inflammatories and intermittent icing.
The only that has worked, in the end, is to do less. The problem with all the other solutions is that I ended up using them as a crutch to continue doing the same amount. Have someone working with me? Great, we can say yes to more jobs. Not feeling any pain because of the ibuprofen? Great, I can keep going.
I was worried this year about all the spoon carving sending me into the season with already stressed out hand muscles, but that appears to have not been the case. If anything, the greater hand strength seemed to be a help. But this last week I filled a big order for roping and that is what finally set me off. Making roping (or garland) is tough on the hands. The right hand (I'm a lefty) in particular does a lot of squeezing to hold the greens in place. The height of the machine I use also exacerbates the problem, and I forgot to stand on something this year to raise myself up and thus lower my arms.
So the last few days I've been taking it easy, making all my deliveries but otherwise not trying to carve anything, tie any wreaths or do anything else that would stress my hands out (playing instruments or doing any floor exercises are the big things that fall to the wayside this time of year).
Tomorrow I will harvest more greens and tie wreaths, but hopefully these couple of days will help me claw back to a healthy place. Because, in the end, we each only get one body. And while it is easy to forget in the throes of filling an order, our body is priceless.
My blog has evolved into a series of short essays on the nature of entrepreneurship, craftsmanship, and their overlap. If either of these topics is something you think about, you will probably like this.