The drudgery of yard work on Saturday sent me into a tail spin. I could barely move on Sunday. In fact, I did not move except to walk from the front porch to the television room, from there to the kitchen, and occasionally to the back door to let the dog in or out. She stared at me each time, perhaps wondering why I looked so gloomy.
I used to wallow in resentment at the limitations of my body. After six decades of trying to force my muscles to properly work, I’ve gotten adequately philosophical that 90% of the time I take it in stride. That other ten percent whips my butt, I’m here to tell you.
The weed-pulling in which I engaged on Saturday took three times as long as it would have taken an able-bodied person, involved a couple of skinned elbows and a sore tailbone, and put me out of commission for about thirty hours.
And I didn’t even finish the job.
The problem with overwhelming fatigue and strain lies not so much with the loss of a day which I might otherwise have enjoyed or used for more productive activity. Worse: The brutality of battering my body tears open the thick scab formed over the emotional wounds. I fall into a self-pitying muck, remembering everything that challenges me, focusing on what I lack rather than the gifts which surround me, inviting resentment to ooze from my pores.
Luckily I managed to avoid most direct human interaction during my regressive state. I sent out a host of emails, only two of which contained any personal lament. In most, I managed to address business or delightful subjects such as the upcoming fundraiser that my colleagues and I host in September. I forced myself to drink plenty of water, perform my funny adaptive stretches, and even spend eight minutes on the stepper. I tried not to dwell on the absence of another human being at hand. I strove to see the quiet as a safe haven rather than a dungeon.
I almost lost a few months of progress in the no-complaining department. Close call!!! But I made it through the day only a little worse for wear. Tally-ho!
It’s the eighth day of the thirty-second month of My [Never-Ending] Year Without Complaining. Life continues.