Skip to main content

Slothful Intentions

I sat for hours today reading an apocalyptic, sci-fi thriller. The book is my kind of beach reading, or as some of my teacher friends call such a novel, a bubble gum book. No matter, I’m halfway through and counting down the time until I can return to it.

Only a special kind of slob sits for 6+ hours to read a book. I dotted that time with making meals and doing laundry. I’m not sure if that counts as something useful as I was really stretching my legs, so I could get the blood going and thereby read more.

The day before held a similar pattern, but the day before that I actually followed a schedule. I segmented my day based on my goals, everything from house cleaning to an activity with my boys to writing. I used ideas from authors who write about not procrastinating, so you can write your next novel, blog, etc. That day was productive if I judge by what I accomplished—clothes hung, a blog posted, the start of a model gunship, etc. It would seem the experiment produced only short term fruit, as the following days were less than stellar in terms of accomplishments. For example, we ate pizza tonight. Oops.

I come from a long line of slackers or maybe we’re just procrastinators. Can you call it procrastination if you never actually do the thing you procrastinated on? I think that’s when we get into the sloth territory. My father has been a devoted provider for our family; on the other hand, during his days off he can work at not doing something better than most. I’m pretty sure he learned it from his father. And me, I have done our lineage proud. I still marvel that I have taught for 12 years, kept a semi-clean house, and managed to regularly feed two boys. I count it as God’s mercy and simple inertia. In all other aspects, I am the definition of much potential and very little to show for it.  I sit and I think and sometimes I write and I watch KDramas and I read. If reading counts as productivity, I’m an Olympian.

I hear Christians talk about Proverbs 31, and they focus on the “favor is deceitful and beauty is vain” part. Oh, isn’t that beautiful and so churchy sounding? Meanwhile, I still can’t get over the other bits: rising before dawn, buying a field, making tapestries, selling linen, providing food, and not being afraid of the snow, um, yeah, well there’s that. The true killer is she “does not eat the bread of idleness.” Uh-oh, I live off that bread. Here is a woman who makes this summer’s Wonder Woman seem like an overly dramatic girl who thinks she’s a true feminist but really she just runs around puffed up with her idealism, thinking she's accomplishing something when in fact she ends up beating up the bad guy like every other comic book hero in a movie—not that I have a negative opinion on the lovefest for this movie—I digress.

Back to my wayward dawdling. I try to justify my sloth with thoughts of Mary and Martha; after all, I surely know the one needful thing, and that do-gooder Martha didn't get it. I must be on the side of Mary and her singular focus. Really? Reading a novel on the spread of a pandemic virus is the one needful thing? Turns out idleness is seldom directed at Godly devotion.

What is one to do as a sloth masquerading as a perfectionist procrastinator? Or, is it the other way around? I have no idea which I really I am or what to do about it. At least the problem is identified. I’ll come up with a solution tomorrow.


Popular posts from this blog

To Hear One More Laugh

We buried my grandmother in July. The photo above is my last of her. I took it to show family members who needed to know she was feeling better on this particular day. These final weeks were spent in the hospital — well over a month of needles and meds and ups and downs. On this day, I happened to be up on the 3rd floor with her, and so my dad, ever her companion, took the chance to stretch his legs. On his return, he brought back coffee for each of us. Meema was so happy about it; nonetheless, I didn't put this photo in her slide show at the funeral. When someone has suffered a chronic illness like congenital heart disease, you don't want to show them at their worst. Now, after over a month, I don't know if it is her at her worst. Perhaps it is her best. The pain and the discomfort at the end made her so mad, and sometimes not like her usual self, but in this photo, her hair may be sticking out a bit, but I can see the beginnings of a smile as she laughed at me for takin…

Interrupting the Shame Tape

As I almost hit that deer earlier this fall, my oldest son screamed from the back seat. It was a baby-like squeal similar to other sounds he makes. This is done for no articulated reason. I sense he is wishing to remain a child and cute in addition to trying to be funny.
Because he has a prefrontal cortex more closely resembling a cat than an adult human, he makes poor decisions about what is appropriate for his age and what might be humorous. The cuteness has dissolved into a blend of pre-adolescent awkwardness and obnoxiousness.
He has developed the habit of growling, hissing, cooing like a baby, or my favorite—doing all three at once. To say that it annoys me is to say that I need air to breathe. I am desperate for the day he finally stops, and I fear it will never come. And, no, I won’t miss it when it’s gone just like I still don’t miss the diaper stage or the tantrum stage.
Inappropriate Behavior All of this may explain, though not justify, why on that early morning driving throug…

To All the Heartless Moms Out There

Two ideals of myself met themselves on the highway during a downpour with no one else around to see, and that was kind of the point. The two of us seldom meet: the loving, selfless mother and the 21st century Queen of Generation Me. I don’t really like for anyone else to know the latter exists, so the lack of acquaintance between these two versions of me is by design. As I drove away and the distance between us grew, a brief rising ball of tears caught in my throat, but nothing followed. It would remain that way, no hysterics, no crying. The cold, calculating version won out—again.

I left two little boys for a month away from their mother, away from me, and drove away with no sobs.

I didn’t post on Facebook about them being gone this time. I didn’t want to lie. The trouble is I enjoy the break, and saying, “Oh, I can’t stand to leave them” is so fake that . . . well, I just left it out this time. We cold-hearted mothers aren’t supposed to say this aloud. We live in the midst of the ea…