Adventures In Backyard Digging

Last weekend I decided to tackle the 'honey-do' list and it turned into my worst nightmare.

I undertook the task of removing a bird of paradise tree from the back of our house.

The tree was initially planted under the eaves and had become a relentless menace, encroaching upon the house itself. For the past three years, I have been engaged in a monthly battle of trimming to keep it at bay.

Thinking I could tackle the task with ease, I started digging. But oh, how wrong I was!

Unbeknownst to me, the tree had been planted right over the drain system and I soon discovered the roots had become entangled in a love affair with our plumbing.

As I delved deeper, I unearthed more than just roots - there were pipes aplenty, including a whole sprinkler system underneath the drainpipes!

With my back aching and my hopes sinking, I enlisted the help of my dynamic duo: my 9 and 13-year-old sons. With their youthful vigor, they became my saving grace.

But just when I thought we were making progress, disaster struck - we hit a gas line. Panic ensued, but thanks to the swift action of my ever-reliable neighbors, we eventually got the gas shut off, the damaged pipe repaired, and the tree removed all before sundown.

Reflecting on this experience, it struck me how often we make decisions without fully considering their implications for the future. Just as the original placement of the tree had unforeseen consequences, our health decisions today can similarly affect our well-being for tomorrow.

Consider, for instance, the importance of understanding our own health predispositions based on family history, personal health records, and recurring issues. By identifying potential problem areas, we can take proactive measures to avoid future problems.

For example, if your family tree is filled with knees that creak louder than old floorboards and your back problems are as prevalent as dandelions in springtime, maybe it's time to rethink your daily routine.

Rather than treating your joints to a jog that feels like a marathon on gravel, why not pamper them with gentler activities? And as for sitting, think of your spine as a restless adventurer eager for movement, not a statue collecting dust. Take those 20-minute breaks, give yourself a stretch, and watch your spine reward you with a standing ovation. Trust me, it will be the encore you have been waiting for.

So, as I give my shovel a well-deserved rest and nurse my aching back to health, I urge you to make wise choices today to steer clear of avoidable troubles for tomorrow.

Wishing you a peaceful and pitfall-free weekend!
- Dr. Derek "the Shovel Whisperer" Taylor