From The Storyteller
January 29, 2018, Work
At age eleven Wednesday became "trash day". Take the trash out, earn a quarter, and discover the meaning of paid labor. At the time I was perfectly willing to let my dad keep the quarter, but the trash was going out either way. In my world, paid labor also included things like mowing the lawn, raking leaves and shoveling snow. The result was a teenage boy who eventually came to view physical labor as “something to be avoided if possible.” Mentally it continued that way for another 50 years
In 1996 Elaine and I bought a 34’ sailboat named Safari. Warning! You need lots of money if you plan to pay others to work on your boat. Being without lots of money, we did most of the work ourselves. If you like sweating, upside down, in a cramped space, while scraping your knuckles, for hours at a time – you will love boat ownership. Chances are you will also find yourself doing the most physically demanding work you’ve ever done. I suspect you will also encounter colorful language, sore muscles, and a sense of accomplishment.
During the 3rd year of boat ownership, Elaine suggested we sell Safari. She thought that since boat ownership required so much “avoided if possible” work, maybe we should do something different. At that moment my self-imposed “avoided if possible” rule exploded in my face. Yes, working on Safari was really demanding, but the enjoyment I got out of it was huge.
It dawned on me that by creating my “to be avoided” zone, I had effectively eliminated huge parts of what life had to offer. Since then, with “avoided if possible” gone, I probably could qualify for my own show on HGTV – they haven’t called yet.
Moral: A great life really does include everything.