Getting Your Hands Dirty

By: Lorene Belotti, IATG Contributor April 29, 2016


Ladies, we’re Millennial children, which means sometimes we can be overly connected. Let’s face it, we spend most of our time in an intangible world with our faces in front of a screen.

But aren’t you tired of it? Don’t you feel empty or drained after a day spent sitting at your desk?   I often feel a nervous tiredness after a long day at the office. I’ll leave for the day feeling angry or weary, but I’ve recently found a way to handle it.

Often times we’ll get overwhelmed thinking about the day, and it’ll disconnect us from reality and the present time. I realized that I needed to be more present in the moment, and doing something with my hands has been the most efficient way for me to feel better. Getting my hands dirty helps me to reconnect with the present, the world, the Earth, and myself.

Most of the time, after writing for hours, I cook. This manual activity is a breath of fresh air that allows me to focus my attention on one thing. It forces me to get out of my head and allows me to see how quickly and easily I can make, create, and build something. Seeing all the ingredients spread across the table, then sinking my hands in and making one dish is one of my greatest pleasures. When they say happiness is in simple things, they’re right.

If you’re lucky enough to have a garden and a vegetable plot, you surely know this feeling. Gardening is powerful, because it provides a metaphor for the meaning of life. Planting something and taking care of it shows you how life requires so little to grow.  We’re asked all day long to be more, more efficient, more beautiful, more powerful, but my garden shows me that the essentials for growth are far from these superficial considerations.  I don’t need fake embellishments. I don’t need to be in competition. My plants and vegetables don’t require a thing from me except care.

Getting your hands dirty can take time. We have to be patient, a rare quality nowadays. It teaches us the pleasure of waiting for the result. We have to lose control, but it’s worth it.

Nothing is more rewarding than to see, smell, feel, and touch the accomplishment of what you’ve worked for.   

By eating a cake you cooked or an apple you picked on the apple tree you planted 2 years ago, you harvest the fruit of your work. It brings you back to your human nature.

If you don’t want to take my word for it, I highly recommend the book, Shop class as soul craft. An inquiry into the value of work. The author, Matthew B. Crawford, a brilliant academic man, explains why he chose to quit a well-paid intellectual job in Washington to open a motorcycle garage and why manual work makes so much more sense to him.

So ladies, give yourself a break and create something with your hands. Come back to the here and now and see what happens. Joy shouldn’t be far away.


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Pull yourself away from the technology and try a new hands on activity! Plant some flowers, paint, bake, or anything else to get your hands dirty!

About Lorene

LORENE_BELOTTI_writer_bio.jpgLorene lives in the French Alps and loves to try to solve the world’s problems while having a great meal with her loved ones. She is passionate about foreign languages, self-development books, American TV shows, and people. She’s a total nerd of Academic studies (when she’ll win the lottery, she’ll go to Harvard).



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