Cheers For the New Year

Rob-Portrait351Recently it occurred to me that life is a lot like driving in a Minnesota ice storm: the road is indeed treacherous, but some folks will get through just fine. Others will slide off — but with a bit of help they’ll get back on track, moving forward with more determination and increased caution. And of course some will spin-out and take others with them, while a few will simply not make it.

One thing we Minnesotans know for sure … no one gets home unscathed.

A long time ago, one of my good friends pointed out that we have the choice to view our lives either as a tragedy or a comedy … its up to us to fall on the right side of the thin line that separates those points of view. I think his observation has a large measure of truth in it. My icy road metaphor holds up under that filter: sliding into the ditch can have equal amounts of hilarity or annoyance, providing that nothing more serious than the car or an ego is injured.

Of course, life can present calamities that can only be viewed as tragic, and 2007 has certainly had a few of those for me. My decision is not to focus overly long on those bad times, and to put an emphasis on the good. As Anne of Green Gables once said, “Tomorrow is brand new, with no mistakes or problems.”  And while that may be so saccharinely optimistic as to even put Pollyanna into insulin shock, it could not be truer.

So here’s to 2008: unblemished by measuring errors, missed glue spots, gloppy finishes and other shop tragedies or comedies (your call). As you plan out the projects you’ll be tackling and the tools you’ll be scheming for in the coming year, please accept sincere thanks and appreciation from all of us here at Woodworker’s Journal — your partners in woodworking. Without you, we wouldn’t have a job. And even I would have some trouble seeing the humor in that.

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

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