I am many things; parent, husband, friend, teacher, Cub leader, atheist.
I am also, threaded through all of these, a Maker.
Since making the decision to leave work in May, I've had a small splurge of Making and publishing. There's no real theme, I've just been enjoying myself whilst occupying my hands.
This may seem like small news, but there's a difference. I'm happy.
I have no income, and my wife currently has very little income, which means my family is at risk of homelessness, yet I am genuinely happy.
I've been unemployed before, and last time the experience was a genuinely damaging experience. It strained our marriage, it cost us our home.
This time, though, I am happy.
So, what's different? I have a larger mortgage than the first time, I gave two sons to look after, so I should be under greater pressure. I should be a screaming wreck in the corner, but I'm not.
The answer is that I am now a Maker.
If you follow my work, you may have noticed that most of my projects involve very little in the way of investment. OK, if there's a laser cutter handy, I'll use it, but most of my work, even the laser cut stuff, can be reproduced with ordinary hand tools. The special thing, for me, is not the grandness of the Made thing, but the act of Making itself, including the sharing with a wider audience.
Making is an expression of my Humanity. We're the tool using, story-telling ape, and publishing an instructable is, to me, one of the things that makes me "me".
Deny me access to tools, and you deny me my identity.
All of which is a (very) long-winded run up to the current situation.
Whenever I publish an instructable, I usually enter it in whatever contests are running and appropriate, but then I forget about it. The contests don't usually mean anything to me, byt this time it's different. I actually think I have a (small) chance of winning something.
Who knows, maybe even a laser cutter, but something.
And that's exciting.
Now, if you've cared enough to read as far as this, I have favour to ask: go to my page, look at my projects, and vote for those you care to.
I'm going back to being happy now.