My husband loves yard work. Me, I tend to stick to the inside chores. I have all my life. Growing up and not having a yard to take care of, I didn’t learn or appreciate what it takes to maintain one, but my husband grew up doing his assigned outside duties.

One beautiful, blue-skyed day, the kind where you feel like you can’t get away with being inside, I offered to help my husband with one of his outside projects. Ignoring the fact that it was also one of the most hot and humid days of the year, I was excited to enjoy some of nature’s beauty while being productive.

The day’s project was to fill a hole where we had a tree removed. My husband set it all up and explained my responsibilities to me; I was to rake the mulch and tree bark from the hole to expose the dirt underneath and then use a pitchfork to remove the pile I collected and put it into the back of the tractor. When the tractor was full, he’d bring it to the woods, dump it, and bring it back to be filled again.

I raked and pitchforked with him for about 90 minutes, breaking only for sips of water to replenish the sweat that was pouring down every crevice of my body. It was hard labor for me, and I would argue for anyone, especially in the early afternoon heat. After the 90 minutes, the hole wasn’t yet filled, but I was done. I excused myself telling my husband that I was going to take a break and then tend to all the inside chores that were waiting for me.

I went inside and made myself a large glass of iced tea and took it out to sit on the deck. I put my feet up and took a sip. Every bone underneath my flesh was thanking me as my entire body melted into the outdoor couch. I’ve sat on that couch with a cold beverage in my hand so many times, but never before did it feel so rewarding. I think that kind of pure satisfaction could only be experienced after working like I did that day.

I suppose this is subjective, but the reward for working hard is relaxing. In the same way that:

  • The reward for being hungry, is a meal.
  • The reward for being tired, is sleep.
  • The reward for getting dirty, is a shower.
  • The reward for discipline, is results.
  • The reward for kindness, is optimism.
  • The reward for working out, is building strength.
  • The reward for eating well, is energy.
  • The reward for planning, is future ease.
  • The reward for practice, is improvement.
  • And the reward for a life well lived, is legacy.

Tell me this: What do you find rewarding?

3 thoughts on “Rewards

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