We have been a bit quiet on the Just One More Year blog here lately. I have also been absent from my regular comments on my friends and blogging community sites.My recent pneumonia and bacterial infection sapped my energy for weeks. Work with my employer has been busy with numerous new projects and goal setting for the year. To top things off, we are in full demo/remodel mode on our kitchen and two bathrooms. My wife and I are doing most of the demo and helping with our two skilled workers as much as possible. Because of the construction activity, my hands have taken a beating. It goes to show how sedentary and soft we can become, sitting behind a monitor and keyboard all day, instead of going out to hunt, gather, or grow our own food.
I find that when I decide to take on a goal or project, I don’t hold back on my energy or time commitment. I throw both my mind and body into the task, often scraping my hands and injuring various other body parts. It often takes a couple weeks away from my handy man activities for my body and hands to fully heal. I have also noticed that it seems to take longer to recover, as I have grown older.
Working on our rental properties for nearly two decades enabled me to learn some skills and gain some efficiency on projects. This involves planning to have all the materials ahead of time, having the right tools, and having the help around if needed. The latest project has got me thinking about how important my hands are to me.
I appreciate my hands and normally take better care of them
You would not think that I appreciate my hands based on the dings I received during our kitchen and bathroom demos. I had the sledgehammer out for short periods of time to knock down some walls, break cabinets loose that were held by paint, and finally pulverizing into pieces a 400 lb. 30-year old tub. This was a monster-sized tub that would have been impossible for us to carry down the stairs to the ground floor. Just to go on record – not once did I hit a limb or anyone else while swinging that sledgehammer.
Sitting at my computer I noticed how beat up my hands look against the black desk mat.
However, I did wear gloves for much of the remodel demolition. I was able to haul off multiple truckloads of debris to the dumpster and avoided further damage to my hands. The demolition was very therapeutic mentally, knowing we are making progress on our projects, and that we are creating a wonderful improvement to our living environment.
An interesting note: My right hand has only one gouge on my thumb. I am right handed, so does this mean I am clumsy with my left hand?
I appreciate my hands and what they enable me to accomplish
It seems that when I go out of my daily routine or comfort zone, I find myself reflecting. I certainly enjoyed doing this work over the last few weeks, however from a financial perspective, I am better off not putting a hammer or a saw-saw in my hands. This holds true from the perspective of the physical toll it takes on my body.
The job with my employer requires very few things from me on a physical level. The ability to think, hear, see, speak, and most importantly type. Those TPS reports don’t type themselves people!
To break it down to the core of my job functions, I basically talk on the phone and do a bunch of typing. I manage my email, create many documents in Word and PowerPoint, and talk with coworkers and customers. My hands play an integral role in typing and dialing the phone.
Reflecting, these tasks require the use of my hands in my daily life:
- 10 key data entry: I learned 10 key by touch years ago when much more data entry was required for the accounting systems we used in business. That was a great skill I learned which still serves me well today for spreadsheet work.
- Typing: Typing is something I learned on a manual and then electric typewriter in junior high. BTW, I was one of the only boys in the class. How things have changed!
- Blog posts: Today’s post was brought to you by my hands. Yes, I know it is typing!
- Making phone calls: My hands are a great help to dial the the VOIP and mobile phones. Once I am connected, my voice takes over.
- Surfing the internet: How could we surf if we didn’t have hands? There probably is software out there that helps solve that problem.
- Construction projects: My hands have been required to rip off drywall corners, remove cabinets, knock out two walls, carry off trash, clean up, etc.
- Eating: I particular enjoy eating and it would be difficult to do so without the use of my hands. That goes for shopping and preparation of the food as well.
- Everyday life: Activities such as bathing, dressing, driving, riding my bike, hugging, and touching others would be much more difficult without the use of my hands. Difficult, but not impossible.
So I have hands, what’s the point?
I am grateful for the use of my hands and that they have helped provide an income and standard of living that we enjoy today. The last few weeks of construction confirm this fact.
We are looking forward to getting through with our remodeling projects. If all goes well, that will be completed by the middle of May, taking 6 months of work and dust.
As previously advertised, today’s post was brought to you by my hands. I guess that my brain and eyes helped too. The fingers are a bit stiff as I type these words on the keyboard, but I know they will get better as they heal. What a wondrous creation we are as humans, that in many cases our bodies have the ability to heal themselves.
Do you find that your hands take a beating when used to do activities outside of the norm? Do you make your living more from typing or more physical use of your hands in a skilled trade?
Photo Source: Wikipedia