Satisfaction Clips

Building a home is demanding work. Moving in with 16 random people in a new town for 5 months can be incipiently uncomfortable. Learning to read a tape measure down to the 16th can be v. daunting. Waking up at 6:00 AM to go do real construction for 8 hours? Some may say it sounds ridiculous. The funny thing is, all those back breaking and somewhat unattractive requirements are what draw the very unique individuals to do it. When talking to recruiter, Claire Spalding, about how she selects who gets in, she noted that the volunteers kind of find the internship on their own, actually. Thus, the people I’ve come together with are a group of individuals that have a similar mindset to me, and I am able to relax and take a moment to realize it’s not all so bad. So far, I’ve had a great time, and have found the following “satisfaction clips,” to be some of the best soul soothing moments so far.

Waking up to a view of the red rocks everyday outside my window

Raking gravel to a level surface

Sinking a nail into a 2×4 in less than 10 strikes of the hammer

Cooking a decent tasting meal for 16 people, with leftovers, for $40

Learning how to read a tape measure correctly, with no hints

Making a cut to exactly how long it needs to be on the first try

Hiking in Sand Flats for the beauty and the sirene, almost piercing, silence

Realizing you live only 8 minutes from Arches and it’s free after 5PM

Telling my mom on the phone I’m going to the Mayor’s house for tacos

Riding a bike to work and getting a built in warm up for the day

Pulling tape off a freshly plastered wall to reveal clean lines

Cutting strips of reed matting with tin snips through to the end without any pauses

Smoothing out concrete with a magnesium trowel

Seeing snow on the la sal mountains

Hanging anything up with a Brad nailer

Yelling “Hoddy!” for a plaster refill

Eating anything from Milt’s

Breakthrough moments when learning to work with various types of personalities

Double high fives with teammates for accomplishments

A breeze in the 105 degree weather

Hanging drywall with an impact driver and referring to yourself as a “scrangel,” aka a screw angel, as well as basically ANY puns that hit

Stepping back from the pallet wall you assembled and seeing that it actually fits in the wall

Removing boots and bra at the end of the day

Telling pretty much everyone who you meet about the internship

Massage trains with housemates

Seeing each person’s unique beauty and talent daily

Being in a space to be the best version of myself

Drinking my weight in water out of necessity

When someone makes coffee on site and there’s enough for me too

Dunking my hands into earthen plaster

Watching my roommate jump into a hole filled with water and clay- with her shoes on (only happened once, but was very satisfying!)

The warm sun on my back as I oil wood slats

Making up funny songs about construction like “I’m rasping away, set an open sail, for the rasping seas…”

The comforting feeling that you can ask an instructor an unlimited amount of questions and they won’t think you’re dumb

Laughing a lot, snorting, and laughing some more

Being so worn out from plastering a wall that I fall asleep at lunch with the next bite still on my fork

The positivity and support that radiates from my housemates when I need a shoulder to lean on

Knowing deep down that I am contributing to a great cause

Finding ways to live a little more simply and creatively

Those are just some satisfying moments that have worked their way into my memories that I will keep forever as clips that reshape and reform my perspective on hard work, communal living, and giving back.

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