Friday, January 20, 2012

Sometimes, it's okay to be lazy.

I often hear people--especially in this corner of the interwebs--go on about making time.  Being productive.  Setting goals, even microgoals.  You can be far more productive than you are if you only try harder.  Multi-task.  Get up earlier.  Work smarter (oh, I have a special hatred for that phrase, mainly because an old boss would say it when the real meaning was: I know you're doing the work of five people but we can't be bothered to hire anyone else, and if you don't do these five jobs perfectly you're fired).  Plan ahead.
And for a long time I made every effort to do these things.  And I kept failing.  And I felt awful, like I was somehow unworthy, because couldn't I just be more productive and together if I tried harder?  If I planned better?  Why couldn't I do it? Why can't I do this? I'd think.  I must be lazy. 

You know why I failed?

I got tired.

I think we all get tired.

A lot of us have long commutes, and for many good and valid reasons, moving closer to where we work isn't always an option.  A lot of us cannot work from home and cannot afford to work a reduced workweek.  And it's not as if we get home to nothing but leisure.  I don't have little elves who do my laundry and clean my home and pay my bills and feed my cat.  Most parents I know don't have elves who watch the kids and cook dinner and do the dishes and cart everyone around.  There aren't elves that do the grocery shopping for us, get the oil changed, do the yardwork (if you have a yard) or iron your clothes.  We're busy doing the every day stuff to maintain our lives.

So, I have a proposal for everyone, it being a Friday and all: we promise ourselves to not be productive all the time.  That we not only refuse to feel guilty for not setting and meeting goals (what??) but that we strive to spend a few hours a week in comfy clothes, procrastinate doing something that needs to be done (or that we think needs to be done but maybe doesn't).  That we spend that time reading a book, or watching a show we enjoy, or petting the dog or cat or even just napping.  That we just take some time to breathe.  Not do anything deep or meaningful, not try to attain spiritual enlightenment, not to improve ourselves.

But just to breathe.  Just to take a few hours to glory in doing nothing, to know that in the grand scheme of things, it's okay to not live your life like it's plotted out on a spreadsheet.


  1. Totally agree. Music is not just the notes, but the spaces *between* the notes.

  2. My favourite way to just "be" is to sit on a cliff overlooking the sea. :) Love it! Bit chilly at this time of year though!

  3. Sometimes you have to take time to just be.. Thanks for the reminder

  4. I'm not happy when I try to just relax. I'd prefer to be more productive. And I think that's ok.

  5. If that works for you, then it's totally okay!

  6. Pamela you are great person.I never had any goals in my life,so far I am OK.

  7. Thank you! It's horrible to feel inadequate because I don't have some mythical person's energy level.