I Am Not Lazy Either

I have always wanted to live up to my name.

Deborah, that is. Makarios I’ve had for less than seven years; and the name I had before that means swamp – not high on my list of life goals.

The name Deborah means bee, and, by implication, busy as a bee. Hardworking. Industrious. As I say, it’s something I have always wanted to live up to, but for a long time I thought I didn’t.

In fact, if you asked me, I would tell you that I was basically lazy, but just did things out of fear of letting people down, getting in trouble, or the sundry other negative consequences life provides for those who Don’t Do Things. I have the ambition of a potato and the dread fate of couch-potatoitis always seemed to lurk close behind.

When FlyLady said “I know for a fact that I have never been lazy and I will wager the same about you,” I wanted to believe her – but of course, I didn’t. She was writing in a book, after all – she doesn’t know me from a bar of soap.

I even wrote a blog post about how my husband isn’t lazy (still isn’t) but failed to turn the same focus on myself. Indirectly, his tiredness helped me to my realization.

Having worn himself to a shadder with all the work he was doing helping me prepare Restoration Day for publication, he needed some time off. So one day, we arranged that he would stay in bed all day, and I would do any of his household work that needed to be done that day. And bring him meals, of course, because lack of food is not good for lack of energy.

Kramskoi Nekrasov in bed
And it was as I was reaching into the cupboard for a small bowl to mould the couscous into an appealing shape on the plate that I realized I wasn’t lazy. Because a lazy person wouldn’t volunteer to take care of someone else for a day (or for a week, as I subsequently did). And a lazy person definitely wouldn’t go to the extra effort of making the meal appealing on the plate – particularly when they were already tired themselves.

Mind you, the moulding didn’t work. The couscous stuck to the bowl and it came out all anyhow. I could have oiled the bowl, I suppose, but if you’re going to pour boiling water into a bowl, there’s not much use in oiling it.

But that isn’t the point. The point is that I could have easily weaselled out of that extra work – no one was asking it of me, no one would notice if I avoided it – and I didn’t. And therefore, since laziness is essentially a disinclination to exert oneself, I am not lazy.

John Singer Sargent - Nonchaloir (1911)
Sometimes unproductive, often disorganized and not infrequently tired, but not lazy.

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