Making stuff

In a world where everything is labeled, I have found one label that fits. I have discovered that I am a "builder".  Of course, it makes sense that an architect would think he is a builder. That is true. However I did not really discover this about myself until I had been an architect for years. It was through other endeavors that I found  this secret embedded code inside. I found that planning, planting and nurturing a garden gave me a deep sense of accomplishment and a fulfilling desire of expression.  And yet, I didn't recognize the connection to architecture. And when I began looking at other activities that gave me that same sense of joy, like canning vegetables, and making cheese, and brewing beer, and leading a church youth group, and coaching baseball and finally starting my own business, I began to see these were all connected. It came to me, all of these activities are building projects. Its seems easy to recognize now. The surprise about this is that I was unaware for years, but found myself returning to building things for rejuvenation. Once awakened, I learned how I can use these diverse building experiences to inform the others. I found community building and coaching has enhanced my office environment and informed our master planning work. My vegetable gardening and canning have taught me patience and adherence to process. Cheese making and beer brewing has taught me to slow down and wait for a result, don't force it. And so many more opportunities  for building experience have come to me because I listened to that tiny voice of joy for the passions of daily life. The lesson for me is to learn from making stuff, whatever I make. Pay attention to the materials, and the creative process and the fruit of that effort, whether its a home renovation project or a raised bed garden. Cheese is like fine art, and fine art is like vegetable gardens, and vegetable gardens are like a purpose-filled life. For me, knowing more about who I am gives me the possibility of becoming a better person, which in turn makes me a better architect, artist, cheese maker, beer brewer, gardener, volunteer, father and husband. My advice, listen to your tiny voice of joy and discover a deeper you.