Is hard work good for you?
I have over the last couple of weeks been engaging in some very physical labour, actual hard work no less, my best friend recently did me a very big favour and in return I have been doing a few days’ work with him to, in some way, repay him. The work is very physical and I have come home completely knackered but have found myself grinning like a fool later in the evening, even as I have struggled to climb the stairs to lay my wrecked body to rest I can feel a smile on my lips and I need to ask myself why?
I am a 51 year old man who having played rugby all my life has suffered through major knee surgery, a broken vertebrae in my neck, a badly broken hand, both elbows cracked and on and on, when I was in my prime I was a big man, a prop forward who played hard and really enjoyed the social side of the game but as an ex player I am certainly not in any way fit. So why am I really enjoying torturing myself?
Is it simply the release of Endorphins, those lovely things that pump through your body to give you a natural high when you have worked out to cover up the agony your body is in? Maybe but with my battered body I am pain most of the time so no real change there.
Is it, as my mother says, the joy of honest labour? Hmmm not sure about that, I spent most of my life in a senior management position or as an owner and/or partner in pubs, shops, restaurants or coffee shops so I am very familiar with 14 hour days and the nature of hard graft, indeed in my last managerial position I worked for three months, every single day, no break, they kindly made me redundant at the end of that tenure.
My mother has also informed me that back in her day people who did manual labour lived longer and were happier, having done a very brief bit of research on that sweeping statement I can tell you she is not only wrong on that but she is massively wrong on that, just ask an Miner or Dock worker in the 1930s but make sure you ask a young one because there were very few old ones around.
So what is it that is causing me unseasonal outbreaks of joy? (I usually reserve my joy for the Christmas season) is it something as simple as the camaradre of being with my friend of 25 years, of bending my back with a man I love and trust, it is lovely to be able to have a humour shorthand where either of you can amuse each other with a raised eyebrow or a single word (Gusset comes to mind but that is a very long story) and perhaps that is what we are all missing, in this age of Facebook and Facetime of Instagram and instant noodles of Swiping left and being left, isn’t it nice to be close enough to physically help lift a heavy object, with one on each end secure in the knowledge that you will not be let down, that you know he can and will take at least 50% of the weight and that when said heavy weight is deposited where it should be, you can just tilt your head in a wee nod to acknowledge to each other to signify Job Well Done and just leave it at that.
After all that I am not sure what the answer is, possible it’s a combination of all of them but to tell you the truth I am just content to smile more than usual and to sleep the sleep of a very very tired man.
Thank you to anyone who has read this, if you get a chance check out the website to see if there is anything you fancy.
Bye for now