Friday, January 11, 2013

Hard Workin'

image via

I spent an hour and a half yesterday on my hands and knees, mopping my mom's tile flooring.

My mom has arthritis.
Clean floors are important to her.
It was her birthday.

It felt so good to crank some tunes (the Children's Folk Station on Pandora is about as funky as I get now), get dirty and sweaty and GET A JOB DONE!

My Dad is a firm believer in work.  He lives what he believes.  He owns his own mechanic shop and farm.  He raises horses and cattle.
When my husband's addiction reached a point where I HAD to let my parents in on what was going on, he confessed that he had his own addiction... to work.  I pretended to be shocked. 
Or not.

There was ALWAYS something for me to do growing up, and if I wasn't always doing something productive, Dad wasn't happy.
We butchered beef together, pulled weeds together, milked cows together, branded calves together, rounded up herds together, planted gardens together... work was what we DID as a family.

We were always early-to-bedders.
We were always caked in mud or grease.

The prospect of work was awful... getting up out of bed before the sun was never fun, especially when it was freezing cold outside.
But once we got out there -once our hands were in the dirt and we were side-by-side putting our shoulder to the wheel, it wasn't nearly as bad.  We had each other.
We quoted movies and sang, "Daddy won't sell the farm" at the top of our lungs. 
And honestly -hard work feels amazing. 

Pregnancy is hard work, but it isn't the kind that you can really get your hands on -the kind that makes you sweat and stink for a few good hours... the kind that can be showered off in one cleansing, glorious experience.
But pregnancy does make THAT kind of hard work pretty much impossible.  I've really missed it.
And on my hands and knees with my track pants rolled up over my knees, I found it again.  I sang "Yakkety Yak" and scrubbed and scrubbed.  My son was by my side, making me laugh.
I was sweating and I was stinking.

Mostly, I was surprised and how GOOD it felt to be back in the game.  I drove back home when I was done with a small, euphoric feeling. 

I wish addiction was something we could man-muscle our way through.  I wish we could get down on our hands and knees, scrub it away with our sweat, and then take a hot shower to wash the remnants down the drain forever.  But it isn't.  It's so much more than that.

But the little euphoria that comes with our victories -no matter how small -is the same. 
I had a small workforce in my siblings (six of us all together), and I have a small workforce in all of you.
Getting out of bed to DO it isn't easy.  The prospect of leaving the warm, familiar comfort of our beds is awful.
But once we're out there, side-by-side, up to our elbows in the recovery fields... it feels amazing.

I'm grateful for all of you.
I'm grateful for my Dad and the opportunities he gave me -despite the fact that I was the butt-end of "old fashioned" jokes at school (seriously?  who milks a cow? you know they SELL milk, right? *guffaw*)
I'm grateful for fields of all kinds.
I'm grateful for you.
And in my own way, I'm grateful for addiction.


  1. Grateful for you Alicia:)

    I like that picture and saying, "Idol hands work for Hitler." My therapist just told me at our last session, "Idol hands are the devil's playground." Very true!!

    1. It is so true! And it's so easy to be idle in this day and age, dang it.

  2. I milked cows and helped brand, too! The perils of modern life unfortunately reach the farms and ranches as well as the cities. But I DO love a hard worker. It shows tons of character, especially when you are doing it on behalf of another! Maybe I'll mop the floor when I get home.

  3. ALICIA! I'm so glad I discovered you today. I LOVE everything about this post. Your imagery, your amazing outlook and positivity, the way you write, the pictures you paint of your family--but especially the metaphor itself.

    I'm with you. I wish we could shower off all the stink of addiction and the porn mess in one glorious shower. Wouldn't that be wonderful? I'm happy to be on the same team with you, girl. You rock!

    1. I'm glad you found me too! The more we have in our circle, the merrier we'll be right? :)

  4. So, you inspired me to sweep and mop. Job done! Ha, ha.

    1. Sah-weet! That's awesome! Maybe I'll re-read my own post and hope it inspires me to mop my own kitchen floor... because it NEEDS it!