I read this sentiment years ago. It means that there’s a cost, a weight, a responsibility that comes along with life: maintenance tasks that have to be done in order to keep up with life. These days we call it adulting.
Life accumulates these upkeep costs – calories – and if you don’t work them off, you soon get overwhelmed. Your car breaks down. Your house falls apart. Your jobs and relationships and health all falter. But stay on top of things, do the adulting upkeep, and life stays ship-shape.
To expect life to be trouble-free, to imagine skipping tra-la-la from day to day, all play and no taking care of business, is to overlook the calories, and unhealthy bloat is inevitable.
So, over the years, when circumstances have seemed to conspire into accumulating some especially burdensome set of life-tasks, I’ve gained solace with my “life has calories” mantra, and soldiered on.
A House on Wheels Is Still a House
Which means things break. The only difference is, in the remote places we’ve been, when your house breaks you usually can’t solve problems with money like you can in a city. There’s seldom a specialist for when something goes awry, forcing us (that means Rachel, the handy one on this team) to MacGyver our way through or around it.
And it can all seem unfair – some unjust karmic overload of the “Why does this always happen to me?” variety.
Like over last week when our furnace misbehaved with nighttime temps at freezing. (Turns out there’s a “sail switch” that can become fouled.)
Or a few weeks ago when the slide-out wouldn’t. (We re-routed to Lance corporate HQ for warranty repairs.)
Or early on when “Harvey the Heater Mouse” thought our heater fan was a cozy place to rest. (Cut the housing, extract Harvey – RIP, foil-tape housing.)
Or the water pump. (Re-primed.) The wonky window shade. (Rebuilt.) The leaky hot water heater. (New elbow joint.) The bowed axles. (Warranty replacement.)
It’s All Just Life
Acknowledging with aplomb that life has calories is the best one can do: choosing not to fight the calories as some cosmic unfairness but to recognize them as our due lot in the workaday business of getting to enjoy all the rest that life has to offer, once you work off those extra pounds around the middle.
It’s not a special burden. Not a crisis. Not an emergency.
It’s all just life – just the way it is and always has been, with challenges that seem, at the time, too big for our circumstances. But they’re not.
It’s all just life – and life has calories.