Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sharpen Your Saw

There once were two woodcutters, working side by side in the forest.  One was busily cutting trees, stacking them, cutting trees and stacking them working as fast and as furious as he could so that he could get the job done quickly.  The faster he worked, the more frustrated he became.  Every time he looked over at his companion across the meadow, he was sitting under the tree in the shade.

"How does he expect to get his work done when all he is doing is sitting under the shade tree!"  The woodcutter would shake his head in anger and get back to the work at hand.  At the end of the day, the woodcutter had put in a hard day's work.  He had chopped down twenty huge trees.  He had nearly accomplished the goals he set out to do, but he was utterly and totally exhausted.  

He turned to his companion who had just joined him and angrily spat, "Well, you don't look like you are tired at all.  Every time I looked at you, you were lazily sitting under the shade tree.  How many trees did you manage to chop down?" 

His companion answered, "I chopped down thirty huge trees.  I surpassed my goal of twenty-five."

The woodcutter was flabbergasted.  "How did you manage to do that!?"  He exclaimed.

His companion replied, "Those times you saw me lazily resting in the shade, I was sharpening my saw."

So...what does it mean to sharpen your saw?  I'll give you a personal example.  For the last several weeks, we at the prepared household have been preparing to be sustainable, at least to some degree.  We have been gardening, preparing animal houses, cleaning, cooking, etc., etc., etc.  But I haven't taken much time to rest and take care of myself, except to sneak in an extra nap on Sunday afternoons after church. 

My allergies started to act up about two weeks ago, so I began taking something to suppress the symptoms.  I awoke this morning feeling terrible, but as you know, when you are an adult you press forward and do what you have to do.  Right?  Wrong!  I began to have difficulty breathing with any type of exercise.  Even walking.  If I would sit down, I was ok.  However, stubborn me, I kept on.  Eventually, I was having a hard time breathing, even while sitting, to the point of almost passing out.  Ok, it was time to head to the ER, because my doctor's office didn't even want to see me.  

After a battery of tests (and the doctor mentioning a possible blood clot to the lung) it was determined that I had a simple case of bronchitis gone rogue.  In other words, I had treated my symptoms, which I had thought were allergies, but the bronchitis was getting worse in my lungs.  So, now I am on complete bed rest because walking around causes breathing issues.  I am on antibiotics and lots of fluids.  I had pushed myself this morning instead of resting, or even sitting here blogging, and I needed to stay out of the rain yesterday.

It is very important to sharpen your saw.  Take time out to rest your body and do something fun.  Also, sharpen the tools you use, whether it is your brain, a hoe, a saw, or whatever.  The simple act of renewal for your body is as important as for the tools you use.  You will get more done and have less downtime. 

So, you may be hearing more from me this week.  My prepared family, please, sharpen your saws.  Enjoy the sunshine this week.

Oh, and by the way, please leave any comments in English and I would be happy to share them.

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