As I drove to class, my fear grew. I felt a feeling of tightness and heaviness around my mouth, in my neck, in my shoulders.
“What am I doing?” I was thinking. ” I can not do that. Why did I register?
My sense of dread increased when I remembered how pissed off I had been using the saws in the one-hour woodworking shop certification course the week before. How could I survive eight hours on saws?
My dream of learning woodworking – and building things – started when I was a kid playing and experimenting in my backyard.
When I was 7 or 8 years old, I remember finding some pieces of wood and wanting to make a table out of them. I remember wondering, “How do I tie the legs to the table top?” “
None of my parents are handymen – plus the cultural expectations of the time that said woodworking was only for boys – so no wonder they didn’t step in to help me figure out how to build my first piece of furniture .
The feeling of frustration from that point on has transformed into an adult desire to make the table, the bench, the planter, or whatever I want or need.
A few years ago, my urge to work with wood was rekindled by reading home improvement blogs run by women. Bloggers used all kinds of power tools to build anything they could imagine.
I reached out to a local blogger to see if I could help out with her projects and learn, but we never connected in person. I found classes at a local carpentry shop, but didn’t register. Taking this step seemed intimidating to me, but I was the only one holding back.
On a recent Saturday morning, my 30-plus-year dream started to come true as I headed for a one-day dovetail box class at the Manitou Art Center.
And yet I was terrified.
The question “Am I capable of doing this?” Kept me on track until I turned to my grandmothers – especially my mom’s mom who was a ‘Rosie the Riveter’ in the 1940s and worked in a mattress factory.
This grandmother cultivated an incredible vegetable garden, preserves and baked homemade bread, rolls and kolaches.
I wondered how she would react to this situation, how she would act.
Immediately I knew that if my grandmother had the opportunity to take a carpentry course, she would enthusiastically do it. She would walk into class with confidence and keep working on it until she figured it out. She practiced until she mastered the craft as she had done with gardening, canning and baking.
So halfway to Manitou Springs, I channeled my grandmother’s âI can doâ energy, and my own energy changed.
I can do it. I would embrace the capable and resilient energy of my grandmother, and my dream would come true. And, he did.
Joanna Zaremba is a writer, movement and mindset coach. It gives people the practical tools they need to deal with stress, so they feel good, access their own responses, and take action on what matters most. She has lived in the Cheyenne CaÃ±on district since 2012. She can be contacted at [email protected]