Personally, I'm a man of few hobbies and plenty of interests. What I mean by that is I very seldom spend time just playing or tinkering. I guess that's called being goal oriented. Whatever it's called, I've tried a multitude of diversions like flying, reading, fishing, boating, farming, art, etc. and none ever seemed to fill the relaxation goal I was shooting for.
That is until I started doing carpentry. I started off just working with the basic tools like a hammer and saw. I had to build a book shelf so the family books wouldn't be cluttering the house. And it was a masterpiece to be sure if a square box with a shelf in the middle of the box can be considered a masterpiece. The thing is that I took note of how much I enjoyed this simple task and started looking for other things to build. I started asking my wife if she needed items built for the house and the "honey do" list started to compile. And with each project completed for my wife, I noticed the stress going out the window. And the cool part of it was that while I was playing with the carpentry tools, I was having a blast.
It's a scary thought guys, I know. A wife can sometimes make a to do list for you that would scare off even the bravest of souls. But that's how it began. But wives have buddies and if the word gets out, next thing you know other ladies and even buddies of your own are asking you to build things. Hey but that's OK, with the exception of my wife's projects, I tend to pick and choose what I build.
My doctor was surprised at how my blood pressure has gone down as a result and my concentration has improved ten fold. It's possible I've even added years to my life just eliminating all that stress. It's not that I've stopped working and devoted all my time to the wood shop. No, I'm still a goal type of guy. I just have something I can look forward to after stress starts to build in my life.
Years have passed now since that first book case and I have built so many different things and accumulated so many different tools that I now have my own personal play house complete with all the toys. We are talking routers, various power saws, table saw, lathe, drill press, band saw, 6 varieties of drills, radial arm saw, power miter saw, etc., etc., etc...
And just to let you know how diverse you can be with what you build, here's a list of just some of the things I've built over the years:
Lords Supper Tables
Gates and Fences
And the list goes on and on.