The Importance of Physical Labor

Like most writers, I spend a lot of time in my head. As a result, I am very much a sedentary person. I like to sit around and think and write and watch. It’s probably my most natural state.

I did not get to do much sitting around today, however, or at least not as much as I am used to. We were changing rooms, moving furniture and all that. Most of it wasn’t too bad, but there was one wardrobe my younger brother and I really had to work to move due to its sheer weight.

It was exhausting, strenuous, and annoying. It was also exactly what I needed to do.

You see, physical labor — which can be as simple as planting a flower to as grueling as running a marathon — keeps me active. It reminds me that my body is at least as important as my mind and that I shouldn’t neglect taking care of my body in favor of some grand idea I want to pursue.

Not only that, but there’s a certain sense of accomplishment I get when I achieve a certain task. Moving that wardrobe, for example, has left me in a much better mood than I was before. Whenever I am feeling down, that’s usually a cue from my body that I need to get out and do something, even if that “something” is taking a walk down the road or into town.

I don’t think the life of a laborer is the life for me. I am not a very strong person, physically; in fact, I am quite weak. Maybe I could change that if I did more exercise or physical labor, but I’ve never been a particularly athletic person, so I don’t know how much stronger I could get if I tried.

But I do appreciate the lessons physical labor teaches me. Sometimes physical labor is boring, hard, frustrating, and even dangerous, but it’s usually worth taking the time and effort to do that chore, especially if it’s one you have been meaning to do for a while.

-Tim

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