The Joy In Just Enjoying…
I love reading stories like this one - http://www.surfermag.com/features/terry-martin-passes-away/ - about Terry Martin, an iconic surfboard shaper who passed away today. I mean, no one likes reading about someone passing away...ever. But it's his attitude towards life in general, and towards his work in particular, that really gets me.
Terry was 74 years old and still shaping surfboards everyday, for the same boss, in the same place. And he did because he just loved to do it. Simple enough. That's all. “If you have something you enjoy, and you cultivate it, like I have for so many years, you’re going to get good at it - really good at it. And you will be happy all your life.”
Was just thinking as I was driving home - only to get a call to go out to a site where doors are being delivered at 7:30 pm on a Saturday night - that no one knows all the work that must go into things when you see someone doing something that they do well enough to make look easy. From Terry Martin, at 74 years of age: “Even recently, I’ll wake up before 4 o’clock in the morning and I’ll be thinking about an idea for a shape, a design. And I can’t go back to sleep. I get up and go to the shop, at 4:30 in the morning, and start shaping. And you know what, it never gets old. I’m as stoked today as I was then.”
Lots of nights get spent sleepless going over steps and deliveries and methods and budgets and schedules and subcontractors and which particular router bit to use to get just that exact curve that you're looking for in that piece of cherry (and do we have it, and if not how can we get it, and if so how much does it cost, and even then can we afford it, and then...oh, it's back-ordered for three weeks. nevermind.). Lots of mornings get spent at the drawing table before sunrise with a computer screen lighting the room and a spreadsheet (blehhhh) opened up right next to a sketchbook of an idea that should happen...if you can make it happen. Lots of days I don't leave jobsites until well after 8:00 at night after having been there since 7:00 in the morning.
But it's still fun. Even with all the stuff that goes on that no one ever knows about, the behind the scenes stuff that actually makes it possible for the physical structures to be built, the endless hours of figuring, wondering, planning, scheduling, drawing, dreaming, worrying, etc, etc... It's fun. And i think people who love their work, who make their work their life...I think those people are the best kind to be around. Those are the people you want doing your work. It's not that they "treat it like it's their own" or anything like that. They just love it, so you know it's going to be great. And stoked is just the right word for it. I don't think there's a better feeling than creating something, making it come to life, having it rise up right in front of you, and then standing back and admiring it...or even better, having others admire it and love it. What's better than that?? It's just the best feeling. And we get to do that almost every day. It's so cool...
Now off to take delivery of doors...on a Saturday night. This is what we do.