WT398 – What Makes Us So Happy

On today’s weekend show we talking about the secret to happiness.

Tommaso wrote in to ask about our happiness and said:

I’ve been listening and following the lot of you for many years now and i’ve noticed how happy and fulfilled you all seem….well not Shannon, he sounds miserable, like a broadway play (think Cats if it took place in a Chinese Restaurant). So i wonder, whats your secret to that satisfied life? Have you abandoned all hope? emotionally dead inside? Allergic reaction to bubinga?

teach me your ways of happiness….

6 replies on “WT398 – What Makes Us So Happy”

For years one of my go to lines has been, “I have the greatest thing any woodworker can ever have:A wife with a great job.”

Love the show. Keep it up with less inside baseball comments.


Mike Willis

ps. Idea for a show. Axioms of woodworking.

I used to say the same thing. Which has now morphed into, “I have the greatest thing any woodworker can ever have: A wife with a great pension.” Allowed us to retire at 62.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed my job for 34 years, maintaining hospital DNA and microbiology hardware. The secret was, to be there for more than just the paycheck. I worked hard, learned a lot, and eventually became the wise old guy who trained the new kids, most of whom were not even born when I started, and who everyone relied upon when a repair situation went south. But it involved endless travel, a new town / hotel / laboratory / problem most every day. So was glad to have the option to bail out early. As Indiana Jones said, “It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.”

So yes, I’d have more money and a far cooler shop if I’d held off retiring til 65, about $1000 each month, but I’d have missed most of the last 3 years with our grandson, and that was not an acceptable option.

You guys are so right. I stayed at one place for 43 years, changed the job I was doing about every 6 years. All the jobs were on the technical side of the business. I could have changed the type of work I was doing and/or changed companies and ended up in the long run making more money, but I liked the people I worked with and for the most part I liked the work I was doing. The last few years I was there I was friendly with a younger engineer and he would ask what was my secret. The job was getting to him and he was just so angry. My answer was that the top three things on your list should be: 1. your health (physical and mental), 2. your family, and 3. your job. If your job is wrecking your health then you can’t take care of your family and you can’t properly do your job and you will probably hate your job. For me, my family took priority over my job and if my boss didn’t like it he certainly had the right to fire me. My job was never at the top of my priority list. That’s my two cents worth.

Without getting too personal, I’d be really curious to hear the ways in which the three of you have planned for your eventual retirement. Being self employed has really taught me that I REALLY have to be that much more on top of my finances planning for the future in terms of what I’m going to do when the day comes that I either can’t continue, or get priced out completely by the likes of IKEA switching over to making fine furniture.

“The retirement gamble” on PBS Frontline is a good watch for those planning their own retirement. If you are young enough. Spags McDuck, The Alibino gorilla, and The Hairy giggler fit that category’ s&p 500 Index fund with the lowest commission charges you can find.

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