Friday, May 8, 2015

repeated handling, no wheels

Yesterday I pulled the big tarp off the pile of construction debris left by the carpenters who worked on the porch,
and began picking away at it.
It's a task, alright.

Many years ago, I worked for a while in a stockroom.
Heavy boxes. Lots of them. Receiving, distributing.
At the time, I relished heavy physical labor.

Two tips I learned from the stockroom manager,
which have served me well over the years:

1) Move it once.
2) Put it on wheels.

Unfortunately, neither of these tips is applicable
to the debris pile situation.
It's a matter of picking up each piece,
brushing off dirt and sawdust,
determining potential usefulness,
removing all nails and hardware,
and adding it to one of several smaller piles.

After one hour, the original pile looked like this:

And there are now five smaller piles/stacks
that look more like this:

It looks like progress!

It also looks like the same mess
spread out over a larger area.

If When I get to the bottom of the big pile,
each smaller pile of salvaged material will need to be
sorted, organized, and carried, piece by piece,
to one of the sheds for storage.
Likely much of it will reappear in a future project.
(Stay tuned!)

I have to pace myself on a task like this.
Well, on any task, if I'm honest.
I can spend an hour or so working,
then must stop and rest my bones.
And repeat.

The work periods get shorter,
and the rest periods get longer.
As the physical toll becomes cumulative and 
the resting becomes less effective,
it becomes more and more difficult 
to pry myself out of a "zero-gravity" position
and force my body back into action
for even fifteen minutes.

I'm a long, long way from those stockroom days.


I often remind myself: it is not important
how long it takes me to do something
or how difficult/exhausting/painful the simplest task.
What is important is that I can do it at all.
And that I do.

I believe this, but must remind myself. Daily.
Because in my mind I hear, "lazy." Also, "whiner."
Sometimes even, "Lazy whiner!"

It's certainly true I postpone/avoid some chores.

Many of my routine tasks come with an obvious reward.
Carrying water buckets to the goats, for example.
Brushing Piper. Emptying the dishwasher.
Disproportional fatigue and aching joints, but:
healthy goats, happy Piper, a harvest of sparkling dishes!

Tackling a chore like the pile of construction debris
is less satisfying. It's much more like housework, which is also an awful grind and rarely gives me a feeling of satisfaction.
Possibly because I am so bad at it.
Or maybe that's a chicken-and-egg situation.

Here's what I'm thinking:
I need to adjust my attitude;
learn to find the satisfaction - the inherent reward -
in all these tasks.

Any advice?