Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Monday, April 29, 2013

Physical labour on a day off.

Tension builds...
Today is Monday my traditional "day off". Last week I missed out on it so today I was determined to have it. I took my wife into the dentist at 9 a.m. and went to the church. While there I tried to do some temporary repairs to a toilet cistern. I then went to my office and answered a couple of emails. My phone rang. It was a leader at one of my chaplaincies concerned about a team member, could I make contact with that person. ... I felt pressure building. Straight after this call my wife texted to say she was finished at the dentist. We had coffee, did some shopping and went home. A phone message demanded attention. Again some emails raised work issues to deal with. Over lunch I dealt with them or arranged to deal with them later in the week. I made contact with the troubled team member, chatted on the phone and made a time to meet him during the week. In the early afternoon I had one further phone call to deal with.  It is funny how you can begin the day quite relaxed and looking forward to time to do your own thing, but one small phone call or email can bring a real sense of stress and frustration. You want to forget work "do your own thing" but these things distract you and bring your mind back to work. It is really frustrating. Because you want to have a day off you can't really get stuck into the work issues. But because these issues intrude you cannot feel relaxed and ready to rip into doing your own thing! The result is that you do not enjoy the work, nor the time off!
The afternoon saved the day. 
After lunch I went out to the workshop and taking the chain sharpening file I had purchased I sharpened up my little electric chain saw. I then got out my fire wood cutting apparatus and chopped up, then stacked some logs I had drying down the back. I grabbed my old saw horse that I use for cutting up logs from under the bushes. I looked at it and remembered that I probably built this thing something like 24 years ago from scrap timber we had lying around. It had served me well over the years. I dragged logs down and cut them up. I then split them up with an ax. Finally I wheelbarrowed them to the wood shed and stacked them in there. Good solid physical work, lifting, cutting and swinging the ax. When I had done enough I went on a fast five kilometre walk, finishing on dusk. 
I now have pleasantly sore legs, back and arms. It was nice work. I slowly shed clothing as I worked up a sweat, but I did not think about work issues. They were on hold, it was really an afternoon off. 
On Monday nights I often look up next Sunday's readings and begin the process of creating a service. It always feels better after genuine time off.

No comments: