December 22, 2014

In Defense of Being Lazy.

cat house lazy

Every morning, it’s the same routine.

We lie in bed together, sometimes for over an hour, just spooning and intertwining our limbs, as if we can’t get enough of each other’s touch. Oftentimes, I feel guilty about this simple act of pleasure; as if somehow I would be a better person if I weren’t so damn lazy.

But pleasurable moments like these are what makes life beautiful, aren’t they?

We spend so much time in our culture running around being busy, and for what, exactly? To put another $200 in our checking accounts, to buy that perfect little something for ourselves or for someone else, to make sure that we or our homes or our lives look good to anyone who might be looking?

We skim along the surface of life, just like a speed boat on a lake. If you watch such a boat, you’ll notice that while it’s moving, it barely touches the water. But when it stops, the hull automatically settles.

And when we skim through life, we, too, can only see what is on the surface. We don’t take the time necessary to look at anything with any depth.

“Nobody ever sees a flower, really. It is so small it takes time. We haven’t the time, and to see takes time.” 
~ Georgia O’Keeffe

I didn’t used to be so lazy. I used to be like most folks: scurrying around making a living, filling my time with all the things we are told we must accomplish to be human, to be civilized, to be accomplished. And then I developed fibromyalgia.

At first, I struggled with not being able to keep my home as clean as I used to, with having to decline invitations from friends, with letting go of ever being able to keep up with colleagues in pursuit of raises and promotions, with getting rid of my automatic “yes button.”

And then something beautiful happened.

I discovered the joy of doing nothing, the pleasure of slowing down and allowing whatever is to simply be. I was able to see people and situations much more clearly, to discover who and what were important to me and to simply let go of all the rest. I was able to settle into the waters of life, and even plumb its depths, which can only occur when the vessel we are riding in is still.

My sense of time shifted; I no longer wore a watch. My ability to truly be with someone, to listen to him, to appreciate the soul within the body, was becoming more developed. I found I could take the time to look into someone’s eyes and to give a sincere smile. To hear and respond to his joy or his pain. To truly see.

To slow down. To take the time to explore a situation fully before making a decision or rendering a judgement. To take some care with whatever I may be doing. To only say yes to those things that I feel will enhance my life.

To learn to actually enjoy those moments that might typically create inner tension, such as waiting in the line at the bank or grocery store, being caught in slow-moving traffic, or sitting in the reception room at the doctor or dentist office.

So, be lazy and give yourself the gift of diving deep into life.

And take time to savor simple moments of pleasure: the joy in a child’s hug or kiss, the pleasure of reading a book, the awe of an incredible sunset or a thunderstorm, or the amazing sensation of skin-on-skin contact with the person you love.

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Author: Robin McKinney Tapp

Editor: Catherine Monkman and Emma Ruffin

Photo: Peter Morris/Flickr

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