Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Strenuous Fun

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I worked almost exclusively on covering the exposed edge of another 35 yards of asphalt yesterday. It is some hard labor but it is a labor of great satisfaction. While I was toiling away, it occurred to me that this job is getting a level of attention to detail that is totally unmatched had we paid to have it done by the paving crew.

Not that I wouldn’t have preferred to have someone else do all the finishing work but it wasn’t in our budget. That’s not an isolated incident around our place. You may recall we hired a couple of professional tree trimmers to trim and fell a day’s worth of trees but had them leave everything lay where it landed for us to deal with later.

The miser in me is inclined to dodge an expense for services if I can do the work myself. I rarely get things done promptly, but I tend to focus on the money I didn’t spend, not the time it takes me to complete the work.

Speaking of the time I spend on things, I had an insight yesterday that the satisfaction I was getting out of the gravel work could be compared to my slow shaping of an artistic piece of wood sculpture. I’m crafting an outcome that I want to look good and fulfill its function even better.

Framing it like that might be a way to justify my tedious pace of progress, but it works for me because I’m getting a similar joy from the results. There are endorphins to be had by accomplishing the progress of each additional length.

I felt like I was doing twice the work yesterday because I needed to dig up and move gravel from places where there was surplus to areas that didn’t have enough. Digging up the gravel is strenuous work but it is oh so fun to pour it out on the spots that didn’t have enough.

We had some wonderful downpours of rain last night that will help settle the most recently tended lengths and will also soften the gravel to be raked up over the asphalt edge where we will be working next. Cyndie is coming home today, so I’m looking forward to having her contributions again.

Just not today. My arms need a day off. The calluses and blisters on my hands could use a break. My legs are longing to be propped up in the recliner. A guy can take only so many consecutive days of strenuous fun.

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Written by johnwhays

August 19, 2022 at 6:00 am

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