22 Oct Pleasure of Sharing Work – Or Not
I recently had the pleasure of sharing some work with my husband, although it could have easily created conflict.
As part of building a house to see us into very old age, we had a wide-open, crude channel inside the foundation for the plumber to eventually do his work. We also had a pile of rocks and a pile of gravel outside of the foundation to eventually fill the channel.
Source of disagreement
At one point, my husband and I were having a “lively” discussion about whether to leave the channel the way the excavator had roughly shaped it with a big machine, OR tackle the pile of rocks and pile of gravel by hand to shape the channel with more finesse – and also move the piles of rock and gravel to where they would eventually be needed.
I was all for leaving it to the professional digger, but nothing else was happening for a while in the construction, and the weather was glorious. So we started moving rocks.
Finding pleasure in the work
It took us about two weeks of a few hours a day to complete the work. It must sound onerous, but we found such pleasure in working outdoors in the crisp autumn air. By the second week, we could feel our upper back, shoulder, and arm muscles getting stronger.
We also took on different aspects of the job to work in symphony. My husband tossed rocks to a place where I could load them into a wheelbarrow and move them to where needed. It was my job to then pile them up to create temporary rock walls to shape the channel for the plumber. At the face of the rock pile, my husband helped me by looking for flat-sided rocks to build up the walls.
I eventually started to aim filler rocks to land in particular spots and I must say, my aim got pretty good. I also learned to toss the rocks up in the air to land where I wanted them to. If I just carefully pitched a rock, chances were it would bounce to another place.
Moving the gravel took a lot less time, but again, we found a way to make it a pleasure. For instance, he would start shoveling gravel on one side of the pile, and I would tackle the other side. That way the work went very quickly.
Attitude determines pleasure
I was reminded that how we view situations makes all the difference to the level of pleasure we feel. When we first started the discussion, I could have said, “Fine. Do it your way. I can’t be bothered”, and left him to do it all on his own. But I don’t want my aging years filled with acrimony.
But sometimes I think it’s best to do things just to please your partner. I remember he took dancing lessons with me once – something he doesn’t enjoy, but he did it to please me. It seems to me that an attitude of supporting each other even if you don’t always whole-heartedly agree helps to grease a relationship.
And now when I look at what we accomplished together, I’m filled with pleasure.