Sunday, 25 February 2007

The surprising virtue of laziness

Ask anyone who knows me to describe me, and the term energetic will probably come up. Or maybe hyper, or unable to sit still, or always running somewhere...the meaning will be the same. I have a very hard time sitting still. And being indoors and sitting still is the worst. I twitch, I wiggle, I wander, I pace. Since I moved back to the sunshine, I spend every free moment outdoors at concerts, art shows, festivals, the beach, or just out for a walk. If I go to a restaurant that offers indoor and outdoor seating, I will inevitably choose the outside table. I have been trying to devise a way to get my employers to move my desk and computer outside so I can work in the breeze under a palm tree.

Today was a beautiful February day. Warm, breezy, and once some morning clouds passed, sunny and clear. So where did I spend this beautiful day? Outside at a festival? In the pool? Walking on the beach? No, I spent almost the entire day indoors. Inside Barnes and Noble, and then inside my apartment, sitting on my bed reading Mohammad Yunus' book "Banker to the Poor" and drinking tea. Doing Yoga. Talking with my daughters. Talking with friends on the phone. Watching television (okay, it was PBS, but it was television!) Even grabbing a few minutes of power-napping. Indoors. All day. I didn't even touch my computer until now.

And I discovered something amazing. I feel really good. I feel as though I had a weekend, for the first time in I don't know how long. I am rested and not dreading the Monday a.m. alarm. I feel refreshed. I am amazed.

I think one of the reasons I run so incessantly is that I have a fear that if I ever stop long enough to rest, I won't be able to start going again. Life as a single mom is tough, and the stress can be overwhelming. So I keep moving. I sleep 4-5 hours a night. I come from 9 hours of work and do 4-5 hours of cooking and homework-helping and housework. On weekends, I run around getting everyone where they need to go, and try to make as many memories as possible. I never stop.

But today, I did. Oh, I still cooked three meals, but they were simple and easy. And I did some laundry, but that mostly involved throwing handfuls of things into a washer and then a dryer, then folding them while watching Wayne Dyer talking about intentional living on PBS.

I boldly went where I had never gone before as a single mom...I rested. My car rested. And although they complained about it at first, my daughters even rested.

Next weekend, I will probably return to my outdoor lifestyle. And I'll enjoy it. But it's nice to know that it is possible to spend a day doing nothing much at all. And to enjoy every minute of it.

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