There were two things that I hoped would happen when I retired – that I would be able to spend more time outdoors and that I would have the opportunity to do more physical activities and not spend my day sitting at a desk answering emails.
Now, in my dreams, the outside part always happened when it was 80 degrees outside and the physical part was doing some weeding or tromping around the sixteen acre farmstead. Reality has been somewhat different as this past weekend found me on the west side of the state of Michigan, just in time for the first big snowstorm of the season.
On Sunday I shoveled the walk a few times, trying to stay ahead of the storm that was dumping inch after inch of fluffy white snow. The last time I went out was around eleven pm and it was so beautiful – I had forgotten what it’s like when everything is covered with snow: trees, houses, roads, and the reflection from all that white makes it seem like it’s almost daylight. I know it’s always looked like this, it’s just that for several years, I haven’t taken the time to notice it.
The reason I was up so late shoveling snow was because I had been assisting my son and his wife with a demolition project. Once all the grandkids were in bed and asleep, we ripped out drop ceiling tiles and framing and two subfloors that were covering beautiful wood floors.
There’s something so enjoyable and satisfying about the demolition process, but my favorite memory is of my daughter-in-law. This woman is so creative – she paints, crochets, sews, and is always coming up with something new and beautiful for her home or her family. Which is why it was so awesome watching her attack the framing for the drop ceiling with a sledgehammer. She got it done!
Between all the demo work (once the ceiling tiles were out, my job was mainly to remove the debris from the house to their storage shed until it’s time to put everything in a dumpster come spring), the shoveling, and watching the grandkids for several hours so the kids could get out to a couple of Christmas parties, I’ve done more physical labor in the past four days than I’ve done since the great dumpster fill of July 2016.
The work was hard and I’m tired and hurting pretty good right now, but seeing my dreams become reality is a beautiful thing. Being able to help my kids, my parents, and others and spending more time with my grandkids brings me a satisfaction that I haven’t felt in a while. It’s helping me to be present in the moment and fully experience what’s happening instead of just cramming more stuff into an already full schedule, trying to multitask but in reality doing everything haphazardly and poorly.
There’s more I’d like to say on the subject, but it’s all I can do to keep my eyes open long enough to get this post sent out into the world. This kind of tired is the best kind of tired.