As the week progresses and Friday draws ever nearer I usually start to ponder what I am going to be doing with myself over the weekend. If I have errands to run, chores to do, projects to work on (or movies to watch) I’m good. I schedule my time to make sure I get done what I need to get done and then the rest of my time is my own. Unfortunately, it is the ‘rest of the time is my own’ bit where I come unstuck. I am always full of great ideas of things I would like to do in my ‘spare’ time but somehow I never seem to get around to doing any them . . .
Why? Well, I wish I could tell you I had very good reason for my slothful inactivity—but, in all honesty, I can’t. I just happen to be extremely lazy. It appears to be my default setting. If killing time were a profession I’d be a millionaire. Seriously.
I don’t like to think of myself as a lazy person though, and I’ve tried looking for another word to make myself feel better about it. Lazy’ sounds so . . . idle. Bernard Williams is right—’indolence’ does sound a little better—but that’s all it does. The dictionary defines indolence as avoidance of activity or exertion; laziness, idleness, shiftlessness, inaction.’ That about says it all. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck . . .
Now I know I am not lazy all the time. I couldn’t be even if I wanted to. There are things I have to do which will not allow it. I have to go to work every day (and actually achieve something while I am there). I have to keep the house clean and the lawns mowed and the laundry done and the car serviced and a whole lot of other stuff . . . just well . . . because I do. And that’s okay. I can be quite productive when I have to be. It’s when I don’t ‘have’ to be doing anything that my laziness really kicks in.
‘So what?’ I can hear you cry, ‘You’re allowed to to do nothing and be lazy if you want to.’ Thank you. I appreciate your support. And I know you’re right. Sometimes we all need time to recharge our batteries, veg out, and do absolutely nothing. I get that. But lately it doesn’t seem to be just a ‘sometimes’ thing (if staring blankly into space were an olympic sport I’d be a gold medalist) and it’s beginning to bother me.
(I can’t even pretend it’s procrastination. I always try and do things I don’t really want to do as soon as I can and get them out of the way. That way I don’t regularly wake up at 2.00am fretting about them and (the logic is) that will also free up my time (and brain) to move on to things I do want to do (. . . which I then don’t end up doing because . . . you guessed it . . . Sigh.)
Anyway, I have whined about it enough. Time to take action (as opposed to just thinking about taking action.) A quick on-line search to see how other people deal with this kind of inertia (please God don’t let me be the only one) immediately brought up an article (seek and ye shall find) proposing that my problem might not actually be laziness at all (woo hoo!) but . . . wait for it . . . ‘lack of motivation’.
Mmmmm. Well, okay. That sounds much nicer. I’m not bone-idle—I just lack motivation. I’m pretty sure I can work with that.
To seal the deal, the article also contained a half page of dot-point recommendations (yay!—a list, and we all know how much I love lists) on how best to combat this appalling affliction (instead of just one say ‘get off your arse Sally and do something’ . . . )
So that’s it. I’m ready to go. Watch out ‘free’ time. We’re about to have a little talk . . .