I cannot tell what woodworking does for most people. For some it is a simple hobby. It is a pastime where you get to work with some tools and build something nice or useful. For others it’s a job, how you make your money and provide for your family.
Still for other woodworkers I think it is an important escape from the world. The shop becomes a spot where you can finally be in control for a change. You alone are responsible for the failures and successes at the bench. You get the credit for both. You also get to finish a job. It’s not taken from you or given to someone else to wrap up. It’s yours from start to end.
Many makers love the variety of tasks and problems that have to be addressed and solved. Lots of hats to wear as the builder of a piece from design to lumber selection and milling, joinery and assembly, and then don’t screw up that finish. A cornucopia of tasks.
For me it is what centers me and holds me steady. It is my work, my hobby, my career, my drug of choice. When building something I really like, a design that makes me happy, time goes away. I go away. And then I get to build things. I get to work with tools and wood at my bench, in my little world that I have created, and as an added bonus, I get to build things. Lucky me, being in the shop.