It’s seems like a strange title but it does have a relevance to this post and to life in general.
A few weeks ago we were having a discussion, at work, about owning a home and raising children. Apparently there are categories of work and they are green, blue and pink. So it’s obvious, to some, what falls into the blue and pink category.
If you didn’t take shop at school then the table saw and chop saw are very intimidating power tools, potentially lethal ones actually. So lots of women leave the wood work type activities to men. The sewing machine, also a power tool, is taught in school alongside cooking. So some use lack of knowledge again to hire out hemming pants or create a simple Halloween costume.
Interestingly enough that cooking is green work as is grocery shopping. Now that does seem to ring true here in the Cruikshank household although I probably do the larger bulk of shopping. My dislike of it though often leads him to do the “big” runs. It would be fair to say that he usually does the majority of the cooking although we are equally competent in the kitchen.
There is no school that teaches housework as this should be taught at home. So for people of my generation our mothers would’ve taught us. For my colleagues and my children their parents would be the role models. My husband is just as likely as I am to clean the hardwood or wash the stove. It does seem to me though that he is less likely to clean the bathroom but when he does it’s a stellar job.
All of this pre-ramble sets the stage for what he did last weekend when I was at work. Which then leads to what I’ve done this weekend while he is away at a work conference.
He borrowed the bobcat and spent the weekend doing prep work for the second retaining wall. He did the excavation, which included lots of rocks and a dogwood bush. He then levelled the ground, put down base and compacted it. More layers of base and then he put up the forms. A side trip picked up the rebar and a little bit of road repair work with the bobcat and that was a full weekend. As always he wanted to get more done that he did because he wants to get the concrete poured before the snow flies.
So it would stand to reason that this weekend I lay out the rebar. Instead I have washed 34 windows and 4 doors and watered most of the trees, shrubs and flowers. Now you could argue that doing rebar is blue work and so I shouldn’t be doing it. But really it’s just a matter of enough hand and arm strength to cut the pieces which isn’t easy I will grant you that. Tieing up the rebar is hard on the back muscles but not complex. So why then did I do green jobs you might ask and the conclusion is because they are also weather sensitive ones. The trees always take a priority tag as we have worked hard to give them a good start. The windows need a warm day after a killing frost to be done. One could argue why do them as they’re going to get dirty again but I think from a mental health point of view clean windows are important. Seriously once those screens are out and the glass cleaned the whole house is brighter.
For young women under 30 I want you to challenge yourselves to do the tasks that are generally blue jobs. it will make you stronger and give you a keener appreciation for physically demanding jobs. For young men under 30 don’t shy away from the sewing machine in the iron because you might need to iron a shirt sometime or see up a seam. Split the green jobs and don’t always let one person to the scut work. In a good partnership there should be enough give and take that all jobs can be done by both. As we age it is just as important that we keep our mental and physical acuity at its peak performance so perhaps learning how to mitre wood or mitre a corner on a quilted wall hanging is just as important, maybe even more so as it can help stop mental decline to learn new skills.
Here is another example of, this one of blue work, by a young friend of mine. You can read all about her stellar job of creating an amazing gift for her husband here on her blog at Melanie’s Post about The Chevy Gift. It’s pretty cool what she created while we was away.
So do a blue job or learn a pink skill because we shouldn’t all be square pegs in a square hole. Take the green jobs and power through them as they are often those invisible items that seem endless. Let’s all be so much more than green or blue or pink.