I hate moving. But I love helping other people move. Even if an acquaintance is moving, I often volunteer to help even before they’ve picked a date. This weekend I had the opportunity to help some friends move. People are always surprised when I tell them I enjoy helping other people move and so I was contemplating why I enjoy moving. There are really three reasons that I decided I enjoy it.
First, my day-to-day job does not allow me to use my body in any form of productive work. Lifting up the conference room table during a demo hasn’t ever closed a sale (though I have to admit I haven’t tried). I exercise my mind daily at work, but only exercise my body as a hobby. On the plus side, I can effectively work from anywhere: the shower, the beach, the office, or while I’m trying to fall asleep. The latter being less of a good thing. The down side is that my body is not involved. I’m reasonably strong and in good shape and so I enjoy using my body to do something productive. It is a good feeling to spend a whole day working hard on a job (and nice that afterward I get to go home and rest in a home already unpacked).
Which brings me to the second reason, I’ve moved a lot. I know how overwhelming it is, and for that reason, I’m happy to help others move. Many people have come to my aid as we have made this arduous journey and as a result I really want to help others because I know it is significant. I enjoy doing the dishes at any other home except my own, probably fo the same reason. Instead of being a chore, it’s a gift for someone else. The same is true of moving. Being able to help someone out and have it mean something to them is a pleasure.
Finally, our modern world fails to provide many opportunities for community work. Gathering together with a group of strangers and friends united around a common and difficult task energizes me. Everyone works hard together. I imagine this is the appeal of the barn-raising parties of old – getting together and doing an activity that none of you could have done alone inspires. Working as a team gives me joy.
So I wouldn’t want to make moving my profession or do it on a daily basis, but when the opportunity arises, I look forward to pushing my body to exhaustion toward the pursuit of something bigger than myself.