|Day 1 Before|
|Day 1 After|
My thoughts wander when I work. So I had some deep thoughts as I unearthed our oak tree and the lovely volunteer schefflera from the deadfall, weeds, and Brazilian peppers.
Credit for my first train of thought goes to a friend who reminded me how much more satisfied we feel when we do work that tangibly improves our lives. I love camping for this very reason--you physically set up your shelter, cook your food, clean up a bit, and then? Then comes the magical time when your family's needs are all met and you can watch the sky roll by overhead. That's satisfaction.
Compare that to modern life. Way back when I first had this thought, we used paper, but you can substitute electrons for paper now. Most of us sit a desk and manage paper/electronic documents for at least part of our day, so we can receive a paper check/direct deposit that we put in the bank, which gives us more paper (money) to take to stores--or we can use the even less tangible credit on our cards.
Granted, there's some satisfaction to be had from bringing home the groceries, stocking the shelves, making a meal. I won't dispute that. But I did once, when S. first started looking around at the world, wonder what grocery shopping looked like through her eyes.
We leave our home box and get in a car box and go to a store box. Then she gets in a cart, which is sort of like a box, and we take boxes--and, yes, frequently recognizable food--off the shelves to put into the cart. Then we take the food boxes out of the cart box to put on the conveyor belt, where someone puts the food boxes in bags and then back into the cart box. Then we transfer everything back out of the store box, out of the cart box and into the car box, then into the house box, where it comes out of bags and goes onto shelves.
After a few days of replacing my electron-pushing with manual labor in the yard, for anywhere from two to six hours, I'm feeling completely different. I'm sleeping better and even dreaming again. The knots in my neck and shoulders have relaxed. I had the biggest surprise today, though, when I drove down to the kids' school to drop something off. I had a fairly tight time window to get it there. As I drove, I kept nervously checking in with myself. What am I forgetting?
Finally I identified the missing item: panic. I didn't feel panicked. I kept breathing normally, driving happily, singing along to my music. No panic required.
That's satisfying, too.
|Day 2--Cleared from the palmetto on the right toward the left and took out some nasty Caesar weed. (They have "hitchhikers" or burrs.)|
|Bonus--taking the volunteer ferns back from the pool cage netted some to transfer behind the oak tree.|
|Satisfaction is a tidy pile of firewood--all nice, dry oak deadfall.|
|Another way to measure success--sheer volume of invasive species removed.|