The Friday night and Saturday before last, Padre went and cut down a couple of dead water-logged trees in the yard. They had died since they were hanging out on the canal bank and had spent their days sucking up all of the canal water and over-watering themselves. Kind of like pedal edema in a person, except with trees and leech-infested canal water. At one point, he called me out to pick up the entire trunk of the tree from off the ground, so he could get at it better with his chainsaw… as a joke obviously because the thing had to have weighed a couple thousand pounds… I’m barely up to the 8-pound dumbbells… forget 2000. I tried to pick it up anyway… determined that I was going to get the thing to budge. It didn’t… the only thing that budged were 5 disks in my back… lift with your knees for crying outloud, Arnold!
The next Saturday morning after he’d chopped the trunk up into more manageable pieces, it was time to clean up the lawn. I, of course, got left with the task of He-Man proportions. Heft the water-logged logs into a wheelbarrow and wheel the dagblasted thing clear across the lawn to the wood pile at the back of the shed. Such a breeze… for She-Ra… unfortunately, Whit-Ney is better at picking up things like lace and doilies… and yarn.
We estimated each of the log’s weight to be at LEAST 60 pounds, so I was hefting those suckers up into the one-wheeled wheelbarrow, 4 or 5 deep… making my full load at least 300 pounds. But, I was determined to do it by myself… so help me Schwarzenegger!
The thing about a wheelbarrow is that if you don’t have the weight in your wheelbarrow evenly balanced, all hades breaks loose and you will lose your entire load… as I experienced SEVERAL times on my many jaunts across the yard. One log leaning too close to the right and the whole wheelbarrow tips over. And then I had to start all over again. As the time went on through experience and trial and error, I was getting better at proportioning my weight inside the wheelbarrow… finding that balance I never could get the first several times… making life a WHOLE lot more pleasant as I’d only have to load the logs once or twice per trip instead of 3 and 4 times per trip. By the time I was done, I was proud of myself… scraped up from here to timbucktwo, hot and sweaty and tired, but proud. That’s something I wouldn’t have even attempted to do 2 years ago.
The wheelbarrow experience got me thinking… life, much like the wheelbarrow, needs balance to be successful. One thing off kilter can take the whole person down with it. I’ve learned to find that balance a bit better than I used to. My life in the past included 90% sitting on my butt in front of the TV stuffing my face in the midst of a neverending pity party… the other 10% was just getting by. There was no balance. Someone who works too much will usually end up depressed and bittered and hopeless. Someone who plays too much doesn’t learn the valuable lesson of a good day’s hard work. Someone who is so obsessed with their weight that they can’t enjoy any aspect of their life, does nothing worthwhile. Balance is a necessity. While I’m not perfect at it yet, I’m proud at the balance I’ve been able to attain over the last few years. I will always be a work in progress, but it’s nice to feel a sense of being in a zen-like state. Wheelbarrows be durned!!
Question of the Day: Do you feel you have attained a good balance in life? What aspect do you need to work on?