Roy Underhill has been working with wood since I was a tiny little kid. In 1979 he started the “The Woodright’s Shop” which has turned into PBS’s longest running how-to show. For 38 years, Roy has been inspiring generations with his passion for woodworking and keeping the old methods of hand planes and good old fashion skill alive. In fact, in episode 37 episode 6, Big Ash Mallet!, Roy pokes fun at the inability to find a quality mallet for sale. He goes to say modern manufacturers truly want woodwright’s to make their own mallets because the glued mallets for sale are worthless. Go Roy!
As we exit 2017, we all need to heed the lesson of the Big Ash Mallet and look toward 2018 with a bit more passion, self-sufficiency, and simplicity. Without a doubt, 2017 was a rough year with a horrible president-elect being inaugurated, countless legislative terror attacks on the American people by the Republicans, and a number of personal challenges I personally had to overcome. As I reflect back on 2017, I say goodbye and good-riddance. The roughness is inspiration for us in 2018.
The best moments of 2017 are worth celebrating. They provide a foundation of fun for 2018.
The best moment was riding on Grumpy, a NAA B-25D bomber operated by the Historic Flight Foundation. We flew from Paine Field in Everett, Grumpy’s base, south down the coast to downtown Seattle. We made a flyby of Boeing Field and the Museum of Flight before returning to Paine Field. I say “we” because a NAA T-6 Texan was flying off our wing at all times, remarkable!
The second best moment was my August road trip to Colorado from Seattle. After a tumultuous start to the year, a job change and the decision to move away from Seattle, I gave myself a vacation after a number of years. Driving through Montana and visiting Missoula, Bozeman and Billings made me appreciate the wonderful beauty of our country, the value of fresh air, and even reminded me how confining the Seattle region really is. The short visit to Little Bighorn Battlefield was nothing short of breathe-taking. On this trip, I found the curious soul who had been hiding while living in Seattle. The decision was made on this trip to relocate to Colorado.
Other moments include sleeping with the cat in the car at a rest area outside of Boise, Idaho on our last trip to Colorado. I also enjoyed my visit to the Old Idaho Pen. Moments from Seattle include spectacular sunsets from my deck, rainbows in Snoqualmie Pass, and having lunch in Mukilteo, watching the ferries come and go.
Over the past few weeks, I have been suffering from the flu, pneumonia, and bitter cold. It is a parting gift from 2017 which was unnecessary, miserable, and unproductive. As soon as this cough subsides and I begin breathing normal again, I will donate to scientific research with the hopes of exacting revenge an we eradicate the flu bug altogether. lol
I decided to use the “CoST2” concept to consider what I should be continuing, stopping, or starting as actions as we move into 2018. CoSt2 is an exercise where you evaluate what you will continue doing, stop doing, and start doing in the new year. I heard about it on a podcast on my road-trip and decided to give it a try.
- Being Curious
- Regular Walks
- Promoting and working to remove Trump (his admin & family) and the Republicans from office
- Planning your Day
- Laying the foundation for financial diversification (Patreon, Spiral Analytics & Saalun)
- Binge watching TV
- Eating Junk Food – Getting Food at Starbucks
- Using social media and technology so much
- Letting anxiety rule my day
- Exercising daily
- Eating good, quality food
- Planning meals & workouts
- Exploring Colorado history and Crazy Horse
- Going out more to workshops, coffee houses, and local events
Overall, the idea for 2018 is to stop being so dependent on technology and start moving a bit more, leading to a healthier lifestyle. All the while, staying curious and trying to save America.
My Three Words for 2018
Every year I pick three words which guide my values, principles and actions for the year. They almost create a theme or lens to see the year around.
In 2017 I chose, connect, learn, build. It worked well, I spent a lot of time connecting with myself and my community. I spent a lot of time learning about local history, python, and data visualization. I also spent time building a foundation for 2018 which included setting blogs, building strategy, messaging and laying the groundwork for a focused 2018.
With 2018 right around the corner, I’ve been thinking about a new set of three words. Some words which came to mind: explore, plan, visit, authentic, responsible, fun, simplicity, simple, bricks, legos, and active. The three which I settled upon include:
- Active – not only being more active physically, but also more active in my business and local community
- Plan – do your research and create a plan so I am prepared.
- Explore – I now live in the beautiful state of Colorado and have a lot of exploring to do. I also need to explore more options for the future. There is also a certain amount of exploration to do within my own social community.
So, active, plan, and explore are the words to live by in 2018. These are also consistent with my CoSt2 exercise for 2018.
So what does Roy Underhill have to do with this? He is a reminder of what we need to recognize in 2018. We cannot let the wonderful methods, skills, and people who built this once great country with their hands and ingenuity be overlooked.
With the technological revolution in the past ten or so years, we are starting to forget the feel of wood in our hands. We are starting to forget the smell and wood shavings and the joy we get from making something with our hands. Technology does play a vital role in our globalized world and offers many conveniences. But we cannot let it steal our past and dictate a boring future of sheer convenience. After-all, when the power goes out for good, who’s going to be able to make a chair, let alone a 2×4?
See you soon in 2018!