Blue Collar

Over the past week, I’ve been working on my house as we’ve hit two weeks until we move into our gutted and renovated house. My role has been 75% janitor, 25% troubleshooter as I’ve tried to keep things moving in this final push.

It’s been really gratifying to finally do something on our house with my own hands. The tradespeople we’ve hired over the past six months have done a far better job than I ever would have, but there’s something so rewarding about working on your own house.

For keyboard warriors like myself, the world of the trades can seem very romantic. There’s something profoundly honest and dignified about working with your hands and having your work produce artefacts that will last decades. A good website lasts five years before the cult of the new demands either a redesign or obsolescence.

And yet I’ve really felt grateful that this isn’t something I do every day. I’ve arrived home exhausted after 9 hour days, barely able to function. Sure, I’d adapt, but it’s obvious that I’m not well suited to this kind of work. I enjoy it now because it’s novel and because it’s my own home, but I can already see that that novelty would soon wear thin.

So, a hearty salute to all of the hardworking men and women in the trades who hone their expertise day in and day out. I feel like they have more to offer me than I them, and I’m glad that they’re out there and not me.


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