It’s like why are men so cavalier when it comes to personal safety measures especially when doing stuff like home repairs? Does it have to bring out the macho, indestructible (in our own minds) genetic make-up we are ingrained with? My wife and I began tearing up our carpeting and redoing the hardwood floors this summer. There are still some things that need finishing up however. So today she took the job of staining the plywood around the heat vents, and I took the job of spray painting the vents. I pulled them out, took them down the basement, wire brushed them and spray painted them black. I read the paint can and was warned to have adequate ventilation. I thought of doing the painting in the garage, but it’s too cold out there. I got a built-in ventilation fan in the basement going that I haven’t used in the four years we lived here. But as I was wire brushing the vents to remove the rust and old loose paint I wondered if I should get a dust mask from the garage. I figured the vent was below my face and things fall rather than rise. As I was spray painting, I again wondered about a mask and quickly dismissed it again. After all, I was only doing three grates.

As I was cleaning up, I thought I’d better blow my nose and I was surprised how much black came out. As I sat down at the computer and started returning to my normal consciousness, I thought I’d better take a tissue and see if I could clean out my nose a little better and was again surprised at how much black there was.

I don’t do much handy man work and physical labor although I’ve done my share at different times in my life. I usually think, meditate, write, read and talk to people about those things. I consider myself to be rather enlightened and self realized, pretty much of a spiritual master. Yet I notice that when I engage in physical work, I get into a mode or a zone that is quite different. I’m still very present and conscious, aware of my actions, yet there’s kind of an auto-pilot where I’m just kind of plowing through what has to be done. My wife can notice a difference in me and so can I. It seems there are deep gender role conditionings that remain on a genetic level no matter what level of enlightenment one may attain. So when my wife asks why I act like I do sometimes, I say, “What can I do? I’m just a guy.” I guess all us guys can relate to Tim Taylor or Red Green on some level. I guess you women know what I mean when I say, “I’m just a guy.”



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