Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Carrying a heavy load

On Saturday I moved, carried or stacked nearly two tons of bricks (that's about 4000 lbs, using the "short ton" measurement). Each brick was approximately 6 lbs which would mean I moved, carried or stacked over 600 bricks. 666, to be exact, but who wants to brag about that number? I'm counting, of course, those that I moved twice and, in some cases, three times.

Anyway, I can still feel it today.

Saturday I joined several other teachers at our former principal Craig's house to build a wheelchair ramp for his home. His ALS is advancing faster than we all imagined, and he's going to begin using a wheelchair so that he can conserve his energy for other tasks like eating, breathing, and holding his head up.

There's something to be said for physical labor. For getting dirty and sweaty and out of breath, pushing muscles to the exhaustion point and then just a bit further. And it helps. I told Mary, Craig's wife, as we were unloading the truck, that many teachers have been feeling helpless since Craig's diagnosis, and it feels so great to be able to actually DO something. Something that will help ease at least some of the stress on their family.

It makes another situation that happened recently seem like such small potatoes. Life is too short to be surrounded by anyone except people who love you and want your happiness. Being with people who don't want the very best for you costs you time that you may not have. This whole journey we take is short enough as it is...wasting time arguing, yelling, being dramatic and hateful is just that: a waste of precious time.


jamais vu said...

That last paragraph is also my philosophy on life and beautifully stated. If I had children I'd want them to have teachers like you.

Kelly said...

Wow, thanks Jamais vu.

It's taken me a long time to get to that philosophy. I used to measure my value in quantity--of friends, of social activities, etc. The older I get, the more I realize that it's all about the quality!