THE JOY OF SLACKING
I did it again. Or, perhaps I should say I didn’t do it again.
I had grand ideas for a grand blog post that I started writing, and then I simply couldn’t finish in time for my weekly post. I was busy with other, more important things. Things that were more important to me, anyway.
That post will get done in time, just not in time for this week.
I made it through six years of college by getting things done at the last minute, which is how I get most things done even now. This is a defining hallmark of the classic procrastinator, which, I am. I own that title; I’ve learned to embrace it over the years. I have come to understand that someone like me who has crazy ideas, ideas like writing a weekly blog about sisterhood, also likely embodies the true-blue characteristics of a procrastinator.
It’s not all bad, though. It’s the tradeoff for those crazy ideas that, with a little focused effort, can be brought to fruition in the form of positive outcomes.
Which brings me back to this week’s topic.
I had good intentions of getting that post finished. Per my usual pattern, I started it with a few loose lines midweek, and then started thinking a little more seriously about it Saturday, because I typically post on Sunday evenings. Then, on Saturday, more important things bumped it down the priority line. Things like a family gathering on Saturday,
Followed by an impromptu shopping and dinner date with a friend.
“I will do it in the morning,” I thought. But I didn’t do it in the morning.
I woke up exhausted from a poor night’s sleep, a night of intense, seemingly never-ending thunderstorms that were apparently most strongly concentrated in our back yard. Thunderclaps that rattled the house on top of brilliant lightning, a storm that knocked the power out. I lay awake without moving air or any other sound in the still after the storm, and woke up with zero motivation to do much of anything.
So, I didn’t. I decided to take a nap and generally be lazy. Which meant the blog post would not get written.
I did slog through a slow, short run, a habit I rarely miss. It gets my body and my mind moving most days, my mind more so than my body today. I get ideas while I run, and today did not disappoint.
As I ran, I let go of the idea that I would write the “good” post I intended to, and pondered the importance of simply letting go of some things. Things that I hang on to for no good reason, even if there was a good reason at one point in time. Things I sign up for that only serve to drag me down, instead of bringing me joy like I had hoped they would.
I have had plenty of these things in my life, and I have learned to change the way I think about them. That change in thinking brings changes in actions, which is where the real change lies.
I started writing The Sister Lode blog over two years ago, with over 90 posts under my belt. I started because I love to write; it brings me joy. It is purely a hobby; I am obligated to no one but myself to post weekly. So, when the thought of not posting today felt better than the thought of posting, I decided I would let it go.
Until I started thinking about how important it is to let go and simply be a little lazy when we have the opportunity. Mom used to say, “If it feels good and it doesn’t break the Ten Commandments, do it!” Or, in this case, don’t do it. Then, I thought, it would be fun to extol the virtues of simply slacking in my weekly blog post.
I liked how this idea felt.
I called Gail after my morning nap; we often talk on Sundays. I felt much better after the nap, it made up for the storm sleeplessness. I told her my thoughts about not writing the intended post and writing about slacking instead, and she liked it, too. Now, keep in mind this is Gail. Gail, who seems to be a never-ending font of energy, Gail, who routinely spins five or six plates in the air simultaneously. Gail, who signs up for multiple obligations and gets them done, because they do bring her joy. She agreed. She realizes the importance of slowing down and letting go of obligations that don’t bring us joy. While it appears she rarely does slow down, I know she has become better able to do so when she feels like it.
Then there’s Suzanne. Suzanne of few words. Suzanne, whose one-word motto is simply “whatever,” offered this: “I like to be lazy, and I don’t care what other people think of me.”
We all agreed that past our obligations to our children and families, and our responsibility to pay bills and support ourselves and our spending habits through our work, there is really nothing else we have to do.
I can honestly say that Gail, Suzanne and I meet those obligations. Which means we can slack whenever we want.
Tomorrow will bring a new work week, and I will once again rise to the occasion. Gail and Suzanne will, too. Today, however, I have been a slacker. I let my husband cook lunch for our family. He enjoys grilling, so it’s not a chore for him. I did do the laundry like I do every day, but remember that is a joy for me, so I was motivated to do it. Call me crazy, I know, but washing laundry and hanging it out to dry on my redneck clothesline on the back porch in the summer heat gives me an unparalleled thrill. My family never complains about that.
I couldn’t tear myself away from this today,
A slacking pastime I enjoy immensely, as does Suzanne, but not Gail.
I took another nap after lunch today. A two-nap day is bound to turn out well. Mom used to say “There was a nap laying on the bed, so I took it.” I highly recommend naps when and wherever you can get them. In one of Mom’s favorite books, the author wrote: The more naps you take, the more awakenings you have.
N.A.P. Not A Problem.
Go take a nap if you need to. If not, then take the time to enjoy something you like to do, even if you feel like a slacker when you are doing it. Especially if it makes you feel like a slacker.
It can be a really good feeling, if you let it. Gail, Suzanne and I can’t all be wrong.