“Can someone take the top off this pickle jar? I can’t do it.”
“Give it to Shirley. She can do anything, especially if it needs muscle!”
This conversation occurred when I was 13. It was a time in my life when I was part of a group of kids who lived on the same block and got together to talk, play, and try to find something to do that parents wouldn’t approve.
I was traveling for the day with my parents when the block kids got together. When I returned, my friends couldn’t wait to tell me what was said. The disparaging “muscle” comment was said by a boy, a bit older than me, and he added more comments that, of course, made me rethink what I said and how I acted in front of everyone.
My DNA was built with service in mind. I love to help, love to accomplish, and love making life better for everyone in my reach. That circle includes long-time friends as well as individuals who happen to need a few cents to pay for a supermarket purchase. I don’t question why my DNA was injected with so much “help” gene; I consider it a gift.
The trigger that caused this 40+ year old memory to resurface was the recent purchase of a new grass trimmer. The old cordless trimmer’s battery stopped charging, and my research revealed that buying a new trimmer would be less expensive than buying a new battery.
I no longer subscribe to cable television, but when I watched it, I don’t recall seeing a woman representing a trimmer or similar tools. The same is true about John Deere products and Caterpillar equipment. Men are the prime representation because, as you know, men are the only gender authorized to operate landscaping equipment (sarcasm).
The care and feeding of my home’s front and back lawns are in my hands. I’ve contracted lawn care specialists in the past. However, I felt the cost was more than the value. Something wasn’t done to my specifications each time the work was completed, and the front gate was often left open, which is a no-no when you own pets.
It was easy to assemble the new corded trimmer which also isn’t woman’s work according to advertisements. I mowed the lawn and then put the trimmer to work. The grass, edges and all, is a glorious sight. Lawn care specialists have their place, and they do a fine job for others, but I won’t pay for what I can do myself and enjoy doing. As a bonus, the 90-minute task is a terrific fitness workout.
The moral of this story is that I’m glad I have muscle. Yes, I was embarrassed about the comment when I was younger, as most girls would be. Today, I am grateful for that comment and my DNA composition. Outsourcing work that you cannot do on your own is wise. However, staying active and taking charge of what you can do keeps your physical and mental muscles strong and fit.
My hope is that you have muscle, too.