Dying Man’s Daily Journal – LIFE TAKES EFFORT

Yesterday was a big day for me. I planted 30 hills of potatoes. Now, I know many will read this and just say, huh, so that was about maybe 3o minutes out of your day, so what!!!

Well possibly that may have been about 30 minutes out of the day for many. For me it was an almost all afternoon job. Let’s just say there were “several” breaks for me to huff and puff. OK, there was a lot more time spent sitting in the lawn chair than there was planting time. But, who cares? My point is, I got it done!!!! For me it has been hard, accepting my physical limitations. I find looking back I have too often had a bit of a poor me attitude. I didn’t actually think, “poor me” but I was acting the role. My thoughts were more like: “a few years ago I could have done that and not even given it a second thought. Now is different, with all my medical issues it would just take too much time and effort, it just isn’t worth it.”

I can now see that once I started with that thought process, it became like a slippery slope. It became easier and easier to rationalize away doing more and more in life. How many times have I written the importance of living life and not just enduring it. Now I can’t really say I feel like I have been enduring life, my life is good, I know I am a lucky man. What I realize is I am allowing more and more of living  life to slip away on me because it would take to much effort.

Irregardless, of health or anything else, LIVING LIFE TAKES EFFORT. enduring life takes much less. I suppose it is one of those things that the more you put into it the more you will get back.

Obviously, there is a balance here and common sense has to prevail. I concede it is not to likely you will be seeing me running in any marathons at any time, but so what!! Living is doing what you can with what you have!!!

Yesterday, I decided I could plant potatoes in the garden and I did. Fine it took me a lot longer thatn it may have for others, but so what. I did it. Not only did I get them planted but with all the time sitting resting in the sun, I soaked up some rays. Any that have looked at my picture will see I have a lot more forehead to burn than do many and burn it did.

Hey, who knows, maybe I will be mountain climbing next. LOL

12 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – LIFE TAKES EFFORT

  1. Juanita says:

    Congradulation Bill on getting your potatoes planted!!!! I know how hard it was for you and also how satisfying it was after you got it done. It dosen’t matter how long it took, what matter is you did it. Love Juanita

    Thank you Juanita. I realize in life I seemed to only get any real satisfaction out of what I saw as being big accomplishments. Now I ask myself why? I mean a job done is a job done. Only feeling satisfaction for a big accomplishment can lead to a pretty unfulfilled life seemingly lacking in any accomplishments. I am still learning.

  2. Sarah Jordan says:

    My daughter has a dog house in her back yard that is mostly just decorative. I made little plaques for the different seasons (not that we really have seasons in San Diego) to hang above the door…a Christmas cat, a snowscape, a collection of gourds, a bouquet of flowers, a beachscape. Anyway, she needed the floral plaque replaced…the rain got through the clear shellac…so I’ve been “trying” to design and paint the new plaque for more than 2 weeks with absolutely no progress.
    Today I decided I could lay here and never do it, or force myself to get up and do it. Typically, I’d opt to just lay here, but the plaque was for my daughter, wrote about above. It normally would take an hour or two to paint the plaque, but it’s been 4 hours now, and there’s about half of it still to go. But it’ll be done today. You’re right, Bill, LIVING LIFE TAKES EFFORT…especially as it draws to a close.
    Being from California, I have no idea what it means to plant 30 hills of potatos, but I understand that, by planting them, you forced life for yourself out of the effort. Thank you, Bill. I finally get it.

    Hi Sarah, good for you, opting to live life by doing something. Believe me, I know how it is when you say often it is easier to just lay there and do nothing. I have had many of those days myself. I have come to realize that for myself, yes there are days when that is what I have to do. But I have also come to realize again for myself that there are also many days when I just seem to use it as an excuse (to myself) for not exerting the effort it takes to live life.
    You go girl, you work on that plaque and you will get it done. Just remember there is no big rush. Do what you can as you can but don’t over do it. I am proud of you my friend.
    I read your comment about not knowing what a hill of potatoes is. It occurred to me, maybe I am using just “Bill” terminology, I am not sure. Planting an hill of potatoes could sound like a lot more than it is. A “hill” is simply one seed potato planted into the ground. Additional soil is dragged on top of it to form a hill. So a hill is actually just one seed potato planted.

  3. Jennie says:

    Way to go Bill! That must have felt very satisfying.

    Keep us posted when you cook and eat your taters.

    Hi Jennie, thank you.

  4. Jo Hart says:

    Hot Potato, Hot Potato – Doesn’t matter how long it took, it’s the achievement of doing it that matters. Not to mention, there is nothing more revitalising than a bit of afternoon sun rays soaking into the body. Makes you feel really good and refreshed.
    Hey by the way, do you realise your nearly at 200k hits on the blog. What another fantastic achievement.

    Hi Jo, you are right the time it took is really not important. I have to just quit comparing past time lines with today. Just do the best I can with what I can

  5. Mel says:


    (don’t think I’m not keeping tabs!!! There’s lasagne or cake recipe from Vi or something nifty keeno laying in wait for that 200,000th post, I just know it!!! LOL)

    And I’m really, really, REALLY proud of ya, Bill–you little potato planter you! Seriously…if I ain’t participating in what’s going on around me, then I ain’t ‘living’, yaknow? I know it’s a bunch of energy spent….and apparently you got some colour in the process–wooohooooo!!! But it’s a good thing to be up, outside and doing.
    NOT over-doing, mind you….but DOING.

    There’s something about standing back to see the finished product that does my heart good. Plain and simple.

    So–I’m taking things in ‘chunks’. Used to be I had the energy to go non-stop on the gardening. I just don’t any more.
    So I do a little, watch birdies a little, do a little more, watch birdies a little more…LOL It gets done–just not in the same timeline as it used to. I can’t even say why the timeline existed before–but THEN isn’t a measurement to NOW.

    I’m weary and I tire easily. But I’m still capable! Just capable in ‘chunks’, yaknow? Yeah, ya do..LOL

    *hugs to the potato man!*
    Ya done GOOD.

    Hi Mel, I really like your thoughts on the chunks of time. I do have chunks of time that I can use to do many things. I am in no big rush, I can do things bit by bit. Keep poking away at it and eventually it will get done. It does feel good just to know I am doing what I can.
    Wow, I am in awe or maybe shocked when I see that number. Many, Many times greater than I ever imagined possible when I started. Have to do something special to mark 200,000 any ideas.

  6. Sarah Jordan says:

    It doesn’t matter that you planted 30 seed potatoes or that I painted one plaque for my daughter’s little doghouse. Champions did those things, champions who anihilated death for a day with life…with focus and determination and intent and the easily remembered rituals of life. We threw small, shattered clots of life at death, the watched it turn away in defeat. We will not hold death off forever with our struggling, but it has been held off for one day by two champions, a bag of seed potatoes and a wooden plaque meant for a beloved child’s doghouse. What more could we ask for?

    Sarah, you are right, what more can we ask for? We have deprived death for another day, maybe even more importantly we did not deprive ourselves of really living another day. You are a champion

  7. Henri says:

    “Living life takes effort – enduring life takes less.”
    No truer words… (I don’t think). How many times have we (oops, I mean Me,I)looked at a duty, a job, a predicament and said “poor me” before even starting or getting out of bed.
    However, once involved, that attitude changed, I, you, we begin to appreciate the effort, planting potatoes as a metaphore for lifes journey. In just an afternoon, How many times did that take your breath away? 😉
    The net result is what I read in you item. You seem happier, healthier(your tanned forehead lol) and (dare I say) wiser..

    Hi Henri, it may sound strange to say it, but just getting those potatoes done has affected my thinking somewhat. Now, wiser, that I am never so sure about. lol
    My head is still about the color of the outside of a radish.

  8. Irene says:

    Dear Bill,
    Howdy!!! I’m a first time gardener. Yesterday I decided that it was just too nice to stay inside, so I decided to get at least some lettuce in. Well, that turned into a gardening marathon with carrots, onions, potatoes, swiss chard, spinach, chives, beans. Next week (after the expected rain) I’ll try to get in some peppers, cantalope, cucumbers and zucchini and maybe some flowers!! Can’t seem to stop now that I’ve started!!!! It all seemed like such a daunting job before starting, but you’re right…Life is not a spectator sport. This is not a “practise run”. Best of luck with the potatoes. Thanks for reminding me to JUST DO IT!!!
    Thinking about you often and praying for you always, Wiseman.

    Hi Irene, good luck with the garden. Wow, for a beginner you are hitting it hard. A lot of work now, but you will reap the benefits in the fall.
    You are a wise woman, you so often have these little gems of wisdom in your comments. I really like the:Life is not a spectator sport. This is not a “practice run”. Right on.

  9. planetcity1 says:

    That “do what you can when you can” philosophy has always worked for me — as
    long as I remember to listen to my body and take the necessary breaks. Am I fast?
    Nope. But still I manage to get stuff done. Good on ya, Sarah & Bill, for putting forth that extra effort. 🙂

    Hi PC, the do what you can when you can philosophy is a great one. I still struggle with the comparing it with the way I “used” to be able to do it. I am putting all of those thoughts out of my head. Today is today and I will do what I can, when I can and who cares about anything else.

  10. Sarah Jordan says:

    Thanks planet. I’ve always known that life takes effort…I have no idea why I forgot that when I got sick…self-pity, no doubt. I’m going to try to remember today and my daughter’s plaque and Bill’s 30 hills of potatos…they are fulll of triumph.

    Hi Sarah, you got it. I have come to realize that every moment we have “lived”, life is a triumph. You have chosen to “live”, life and not just endure it, I am so proud of and happy for you.

  11. Sarah Jordan says:

    I would not have seen it without you and your LIVING LIFE TAKES EFFORT blog. I don’t know if I can maintain the choice to live…the cancer is giving its all to make me give up on the determination to live. Pain tells me to stay in bed, the opiates call out for weakness, the weakness tells me it doesn’t matter if I get up and paint a stupid wooden plaque for a doghouse. The only thing with which I answer is pride and dignity and the desire to make my children proud of me. Soon those things will not be enough to overcome the suffering of dying…but maybe just for a while I can remember the seed potatoes and the plaque and that feeling I had that we were champions.
    Love ya, Bill,

  12. planetcity1 says:

    To my mind, anyone who moves forward in the face of adversity is a
    champion, whether they be planting seed potatoes, painting doghouse
    plaques, or steadily pushing their way up a towering mountain.

    Once, our art guild in town had a program where we visited nursing home residents and helped them set up for an hour of art. Sometimes this was a simple something done in crayon; sometimes it was pushing and dabbing
    a bit of paint.

    Works from these sessions were included in the annual Strawberry Festival exhibit — the festival draws thousands upon thousands of visitors over an eleven day period — and those who had created this nursing home art got
    to view their pieces along with the rest of the exhibit– the nursing home brought them over in a parade of wheelchairs.

    One year, one little boy approached me as I was doing festival duty and
    asked if he could have one of the artworks after the festival was over
    for that year. The reason? His Grandpa was one of the nursing home
    “artists” and he had passed — the boy and his mother were eager to
    cherish one of the last things on earth his grandfather had touched.

    Never underestimate the smallness of things; some of the world’s
    greatest treasures are carried forward in our hearts and minds.

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