Friday, June 8, 2012

Saving myself from work

I have taken on a fairly ambitious task with the yard this spring/summer. I ripped out the 4 layers of weed barrier in the huge side yard flower bed. I've torn out 1/3 of the front yard to create a perennial flower garden and to make a stepping stone pathway to cut through, and I'm creating a new side of the house flower bed to take care of a very difficult to mow area of the yard, expanding the rock garden flower bed a bit and planting on the other side of the house where our neighbors finally took out their humongous bushes that grew up against our house.

It's a lot. I realize that. I'm doing this while also trying to get painting done in the house and while working two part time jobs. My mother in law who lives with us thinks I'm crazy. Thank goodness my husband does not.

Tonight she said something that is the philosophy of her life - "I'm just trying to save you from so much work."

 And what am I saving myself from? Beauty? Physical exercise? Absorbing Vitamin D naturally? Ok, grass is cheaper, but a nice garden is cheaper than medical bills for being too sedentary.

But I realized, that's how she lives her life. She is very clean and tidy, but it's easy to be clean and tidy if you don't do anything! She doesn't have any hobbies and never has. She doesn't sew, or craft in any way. She doesn't garden or cook or bake. Nothing. She reads, watches TV and goes to the mall every day. That's it. She keeps her bedroom and living closed and she's the only one ever entering or exiting. Well no wonder she only has to clean every couple weeks and it still looks clean. She's 'saving herself' from having to work and she's lived her entire life that way.

She hired people to bake for her, to cook for dinner parties. She lived in an apartment on the 3rd floor all her life and at most had two to three potted plants to take care of. So, she doesn't do anything that requires any physical effort.

Now, I can somewhat understand that at 76 years old. She's tired and it's more difficult, but she thinks everyone should live their lives like she does - save yourself from work. I think it's also biting her in the butt - this "saving herself from work". She doesn't sleep well. She has a super slow metabolism. She has aches and pains and doesn't feel well. And I think it's mostly because she's too sedentary. She doesn't 'do' enough.

So, what if I didn't bake and cook and do crafts and garden and such? I would be moving less. I would burn less calories. That's exactly opposite of what I need! I would have to go to the gym even more to make up for the movement I didn't do at other times. Some of the healthiest people I know are gardeners. You are constantly lifting and hauling and moving and tugging and usually not super strenuously, but for long periods of time and frequently. Doesn't it make more sense to move in that way when I can than to stand in a room and lift weights?

In essence, why would I save myself from work? I still need to work out. I still need to move. I don't know... she's probably secretly hoping that the time I don't spend on gardening I'll spend on being more tidy with the house. Hardly... I would sit on my duff. I know me.

So, I'm not going to save myself from work. We need physical work and we all probably should do more of it in our day to lives around home. I'm going to work on it more - hand scrubbing floors instead of using a mop for small areas. Weeding more often, etc. I already walk a lot of places... I'll just keep increasing all these things in my day to day life so I rely on the gym for fitness less and less. I will not "save myself from work". That's the wrong attitude.

Stats for 6/8/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 169.8

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