Bacon is my love language
Now that I write full-time for a living, I sometimes get the urge to go and do something rugged just to prove to myself that I’m still a man despite the fact that I sit and write words all day.
My dad was an electrician in a coal mine when I was growing up, and later he worked for a farm supply company wiring up silos and grain bins. My grandfather worked on a farm when I was a kid and before that he worked at a saw mill and did a very hot stint on a road paving crew.
That’s what I do. I punch keys on a very fancy laptop and put words together into nice little sentences with my mind.
I haven’t sweat a drop at work since the day I started at Tanner Publishing two years ago. So every now and then I have this need to get out there and do some manual labor.
Which is why today I am whacking weeds with an old-fashioned, arm-powered, sickle thingy like they used on the frontier, back when real men were cutting real paths through really rugged terrain – because that’s what kind of guy I am, too! Well, at least every once in a while.
No need for gas or electrical cords here. No sir. This is sheer, masculine strength annihilating these weeds.
Tomorrow I’m going to enjoy the soreness from doing real work. And I’ll tell you what else, I’ll be glad to look down at my hands and see a callus or two. Because I don’t get many of them from my keyboard and I don’t want to forget what calluses feel like.
Oh, I know soreness. Trust me. In my line of work, if I don’t watch my posture I could come home with neck pain, or even worse, back pain from eight hours of looking at a monitor. Don’t laugh, that’s a real thing for writers. I have to get up and walk to the water cooler periodically just to straighten out my spine and get the blood flowing again.
Not today though. Today I am dirty. I am covered in sweat and leaf shrapnel from going hard core on these weeds in the hot sun. I mean shade. I’m totally in the shade. I’m not that crazy. But here in a minute I’m gonna go saw off that dead limb in that tree right there.
With a handsaw! Yeah, baby!
And I hope my boys look up from their cozy spot in the air conditioning and see me out here working hard in the sun. And if they offer me some lemonade I’m gonna tell them, “Sure. Thanks, son. I appreciate it. Because your daddy’s doing work right now like a real man. And I got several more hours to go!”
I do fear my boys may start to think their daddy’s gone soft for getting a cush job. All kidding and sarcasm aside, I do hope I’m instilling in them a solid work ethic by modeling hard work whether I’m working hard or not.
Wait, that didn’t come out right.
What I mean is I hope they realize their daddy hustles. He busts it when he’s at work, but then he lays it aside while he’s at home and spends time with his family. (The same way my ol’ man instilled that work ethic in me, now that I think about it.) Then when the boys go to bed, I work on articles again. That’s how I’m rolling these days. But I’m certainly not a workaholic. I know when to turn it off so I can be present to my family and keep that healthy balance. Especially on weekends and holidays and vacation.
Speaking of healthy balance, having a sedentary job is also the reason I run three days a week and try to stay active in other ways too. I’m staring down the barrel of 40 and I don’t want all this sitting around to start catching up with me.
Which is another reason why today I’m getting my high-intensity, interval workout (like the experts call it) through arm swings and walking back and forth up and down the bank. All the while daydreaming about bacon and building a shelf and the burgers I’m grilling later this evening and maybe taking the boys fishing if I’m still able to lift my arms enough to cast a line in an hour. Those sorts of manly things.
But I can’t help it. I’ve been writing this article in my head the whole time I’ve been swinging at these weeds.
It’s what I do.