Aches and Pains Week

Mabon                                                                        Moon of the First Snow

This has been an aches and pains week. Pain, chronic pain, with which Kate is too familiar, can sap drive, make life difficult. This week we’ve both been hit by pains and accompanying disruption in our sleep. The combination of sleep deprivation and pain makes it very difficult for me to focus on anything that requires attention, thought.

Chainsaws vibrate. A lot. And, they’re noisy and dangerous. In addition the fast movement of the chain has a gyroscopic effect that makes the saw want to move in its own way, so part of using one is occasionally working against that force. Trees weigh a lot and the larger the branches, the more they weigh, too. Using the chainsaw results in heavy labor immediately afterward. All of which I like, for some reason.

There’s plenty more work ahead, moving as I will today into the southwest portion of our front woods. My goal is to get the front done and have someone come move all that slash.

Last week I punctuated my chainsaw work with a two hour up and down hike with Ruth. It was a wonderful time for the two of us, not so wonderful for my back. These are the constant third phase trade-offs. This I can do, but it will make my arm sing hot music. This I can do, but my back will claim its prize at the end. This I can do, but I’ll have to sacrifice sleep as a result.

The paradox, the contradictory part of all this is that if I don’t do something, I’ll soon be able to do nothing. So rest or desisting from exercise, manual labor is not really an option, not for long. The physical therapy aims to get me back to a spot where these trade-offs are not as acute, not as persistent and frequent. But, it too, has its price. Time.

This is not complaint, just observation. It’s all as much a part of the third phase as all-nighters were of the second, both with tests and later with babies. This reality defines a certain part of what it means to be older, at least for most of us; but, it does not define all of aging, nor does it define the most important parts.

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