Two days ago was a really stressful day for me. I was in the middle of tough contract negotiations regarding work that involved international travel that would start less than one week later. So yesterday I called up a friend of mine down the street who does landscaping and asked if he had any work I could tag along on. I just needed to get out of the house.

We jumped in the truck and drove over to Oakland for the day and I hauled rocks in a bucket for 6 hours.  In addition to getting a farmers tan (noticed this morning in the shower), the work was very therapeutic.  Hard work is not appreciated these days and it’s been a long time since I’ve done physical labor like this.  Although it was hard work, it felt good.  I enjoyed being outside with nothing on my mind (it was like when I was a bike messenger — hard work and low pay.)

Physical labor makes everything seem better and puts life in perspective.  The pizza I ate for lunch that day tasted like gourmet food.  The beer, the shower, and the sleep I had at the end of the day felt better because I had earned them.

It’s been a long time since I’ve worked construction or cycled for money, but it felt good to be there for a moment.  Although my shoulder is a little sore from yesterday I’m going back today to get some more therapy and a better tan.