April 6, 2021

Here I am, largely unmolested by obligations

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Laziness isn’t real.

It’s just a word for making myself feel guilty about self care. A way to feel superior to the aspects of myself that I judge, reinforcing my high standards and notions of supremacy.

And so, when I throw my morning plans out the window in favor of more sleep, when I ditch my ambitious social agenda in favor of much needed solitude, when I meet half of my writing quota in favor of finishing a book I can’t put down, when I clock out of work early in favor of cooking a romantic dinner for my beloved, and when I take a snow day because the powder on the big hill is just too good to pass up…

I try not to lambaste myself over what I should or shouldn’t be doing.

I trust the choice to relax, believing that this is exactly what my body and mind and spirit need, right now.

Since when did that become an indulgence? Since when did we become slackers simply because we know what we like and let ourselves have all of it?

Kreider’s piece on the laziness trap points out that most people are addicted to busyness because they dream what they might have to face in its absence. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work.

And so, overcoming laziness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness. Obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.

But what if this wasn’t laziness? What if loving yourself wasn’t an indulgence? And what if this moment wasn’t a symptom of depression or lethargic avoidance or a declining career trajectory or a lack of motivation and ambition, but simply the holy practice being kind to ourselves in small, concrete ways?

Enough. We must stop making ourselves guilty about self care. Compassion can no longer be viewed as not trying hard enough.

Are you looking for a reason to continue working even though your immediate needs have been satisfied?

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