Not strong enough...

Not strong enough…

It was a mistake. I should have known better. But the day was going to be a busy one, and I’d already forgotten to unload the sack of grain from the car the day before.

But it was early in the morning. I hadn’t had breakfast yet and was feeling hungry and not terribly strong. My body hadn’t yet warmed up.

So when I hefted the 40 kg sack of goat feed into the shed, I lifted it poorly, relying too much on my back and too little on my arms and legs.

I will be sore for days…possibly weeks. The result of pushing too hard.

Two weeks ago I was determined to get my pea trellises up. Instead of asking for help, I tried to do it myself. The trellises aren’t heavy, but they are tall. To move them, I have to stretch as high as I can and walk on tiptoe. Of course, I dropped one, cracking one of the supports in half.

I get frustrated with the limitations of my own body—how short and weak I am, how quickly I tire. I know I shouldn’t. Compared with many women my age, I have the strength and stamina of a workhorse. And, of course, there is nothing I can do about my height. Still, my plans are always bigger than myself, and I am regularly frustrated by my weaknesses.

But frustration isn’t all bad. Having big dreams and pushing ourselves to achieve them is what helps us grow. I am stronger and more efficient in my work than I was ten years ago. In spite of age and a lot of grey hair, I can accomplish more in a day now than I could in the past.

But ten years ago, if I lifted a sack of grain poorly, I wouldn’t have paid so dearly for it—a minor twinge in the back, perhaps—not days of pain and stiffness. The body isn’t so resilient as it once was. Perhaps this is where wisdom is born.

When our bodies can no longer live up to our dreams, we learn to expect less, ask for help, work smarter.

I sure hope so…my back would appreciate a little more wisdom.

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