And I still like it.
Shoveling snow is one of those things–like driving the car or showering–that allows me to focus my mind and compose words in my head. It also satisfies some Tetras-like need that I have to line things up and order the universe (preferably with an endless-loop techno-pop score playing through my head). (Of course, one look at the clothes piled on the chair beside my bed or my office desk and you’d be doubled over with laughter at my “order the universe” comment, but humor me here.) There is nothing quite like shoving and sweating for half an hour and then looking back to see a nice neat driveway with a rising pile of snow on either side. Granted it’s a little like building a giant sandcastle on the beach or an inmate pounding large rocks into smaller rocks…or washing the dinner dishes…there’s a built in Sisyphianness to it, but it’s still satisfying to see a cleared driveway and feel I’ve done my job. And frankly? In these hectic, sandwich-generation days of mine, I’ll celebrate that sense of A Job Well Done wherever I can find it.
It’s also, conveniently, a fine cardio / pectoral workout. And–since I’m competitive by nature–when I heard my neighbor fire up his snowblower, I made like John Henry, Snow Piling Man, and attempted to prove the superiority of Man over Machine. Unlike Mr. Henry, I didn’t collapse dead at the end, but I didn’t really win either. (My neighbor loves his snowblower and so he did his driveway, the sidewalk up and down his side of the street, his other neighbor’s driveway…you get the idea.) But I “won” in the small world of my own driveway and that’s what matters most. (And, really, it’s all about perspective, anyway, right? I mean, to an ant, my driveway is the universe…but that’s a story for another time.)