Most of the really happy people I know get their hands dirty all the time. They garden or cook or refinish furniture. They touch basic materials that are closer to life than objects prefabbed, preprogrammed, preprocessed and predisposed to minimize tactile stimulation.
My father, a marketing consultant, was never happier than when he was in his wood shop building the redwood strip canoe people always ask if they can buy when we take it out on the lake. It took him three years to build that canoe with hand-caned seats and mahogany rails. It would have taken him three minutes to plunk down $600 for an aluminum canoe that would never need to be recaned or refinished – but that would never be rejoiced over, either.
– Jim Sollisch, Chicago Tribune Magazine