14 April 2012

The Pleasures of Hard Work



"In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty." - Proverbs 14:23 ESV

I wish I had thought to take a "before" photo of our sparse, weed-addled garden and the mounds of dry, dead leaves in every nook and cranny in and around the porch. The underbrush was over grown and there was no harmony. I was embarrassed by our front yard, but I was "too tired" and "too busy" to do anything about it. Normally I hire out some relatively low-cost "spring clean-up" help around Nate's birthday as a gift to him, but since spring was here... all winter!... I figured I'd save some cash and do it myself.

Somehow I had a steely resolve to get out there and prove to myself that a big project could be tackled, leaf by leaf, and shovelful after shovelful. Earlier in the day I read Megan's article at A Blossoming Homestead about planting a large garden with her husband, and how much fun it could be after they got rolling. I'm sure that was part of my motivation! So just shy of four hours later, I have a clean front yard with tidy lavender bushes, relatively tidy shrubs, and a front garden that has promise, potential, and no weeds!  I also love that you can see my "boys" in the door. They diligently watched over their "mama" as she worked outside, running from the front door to the back as I made trips to the garage.

What I realized afterward was the sincere satisfaction in completing several straight hours of manual labor. My body moved the entire time. Sometimes I grunted, breathed hard, and wiped my brow. Sometimes I got slivers from our aging rake. A few times I stopped to exchange pleasantries with our neighbor Gary (whose beloved "project" cars you can see off to the right). But it felt really good when I was done to just be thinking about the project at hand and to flesh out some thoughts I had been trying to process in my head for a while. 

Work with your hands makes your mind clearer. I don't know why, as a massage therapist who works with her hands daily as a source of income, I didn't realize the connection. Maybe because in my mind massaging peoples' sore and dysfunctional muscles was a "higher calling" than digging in a garden. Maybe my priorities were askew. Probably so.  But regardless, as I took a nice, hot shower after my work, I thoroughly enjoyed the pleasurable feelings that came from moving, working and doing. May I not forget.

"Paying your gratidues" is all about publicizing what you're grateful for. If more people did that instead of complaining about what they hate... life would be happier."

Gratidues #321 - 346

321. A clean, tidy, presentable front yard
322. Krispy Kreme decaf with Nate... and a donut!
323. Bruce and Winston cleaning each other's ears
324. Running out of business cards because I networked well!
325. New gift certificate orders
326. Very honest veterinarians (Berkley Animal Clinic)
327. Dave Ramsey - Budgeting all these years later!
328. Grace periods
329. Grace, period.
330. Silly songs about How To Load a Dishwasher
331. A women's group understanding when life gets crazy
332. Friends on a medical mission trip to eSikhawini, South Africa - Africa Christian Ministries
333. The body's signs that it is out of balance... and heeding those signs
334. Tulips plucked from my garden
335. Blazing white and pink budded trees... proof that God loves beauty and art
336. Remembering our Painting With a Twist night each time I see my painting
337. A very quiet home in the morning
338. Flowing thoughts
340. Substitute teaching new classes
341. Putting faces with names
342. Saying "yes" and "no" at all the right times
343. Friends who will massage you for free <3
344. The old, crusty lawnmower our neighbor Gary fixed up and gave to us five years ago
345. Gary, whether crotchety or jubilant
346. Gary's sister for helping him