Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Hey, Piglet, What's That on your Hands?

Hey, good question!

It's dirt! I've been in my back yard, turning over sod. Sound fun? You bet!

It's funny what age will do. If you told me 20 years ago that I would spend the better part of two days making perfectly good grass into about 150 new square feet of tabula rasa dirt by hand, I would have told you that you got the wrong chick. I'm sure that would have been accompanied by something about time is money, and my time is more expensive than that, or something about how I'm ever so petite and unfit for big shovel work (including batting of eyelashes) or just a lot of whining and procrastination.

What changed? I'm not sure where the idea of manual labor, or just menial labor, lost its disgust factor for me.

Maybe it has to do with my discovery of books for my ipod, or good programming on the local NPR radio station. That might help, but it's not the whole answer, because music works just as well as a good story.

Maybe it has to do with spending hours out on the road, walking and running. Twenty years ago, I thought about fitness in terms of minutes, not hours. That sure has changed. Maybe that has helped lengthen my patience span a little.

Maybe it has to do with painting as a hobby. The main thing I have learned over the years is that if there is a short cut to finishing your painting, DON'T TAKE IT. It will only ruin what you've done so far. Painting is a game of patience. If you just want a final product, take up another hobby. Like collecting troll dolls.

Maybe it has to do with my Theory of Constructive Fitness. If something takes manual labor, it's like a second workout, which automatically qualifies me for more chocolate. What's not to like about that? I call it a Constructive Workout(tm). You not only burn calories, you have something besides smelly clothes to show for it.

What I do know is that I don't gauge the worthiness of a task by how quickly and easily it can be accomplished anymore. I'm not sure if this is something that can be taught, or just comes as a bonus gift with wrinkles.

And no, I won't come to your house and turn over your sod.

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