What is Laziness?

I was going to write something else today, but in mid-stream I started thinking about this, so I’m running with this thought. Just hope it’s not sharp like scissors.

What is laziness? I’m pondering that thought because I should be outside in the blazing hot sunshine doing some yard work. I’ve bitched and moaned about winter for the last six months. You ALL know that. You’d think I’d be breaking all speed records to get outside. OK, I was just out there, and bagged up a couple of refuse bags full before the wind kicked up and I ended up with a leaf in my eye. Well, not an entire leaf, just a bit. Enough to make me go inside and get a glass of water.

While I was getting my glass of water, I noticed I was breaking out in hives, so I took a Benadryl. Now I’m waiting for it to take effect before I go out and my hives get worse. All this led me to think, am I lazy?

Well, I might be… After all, I’m in here typing and not outside raking.

Then I thought: What is laziness? Is it an inherited gene? I don’t think either of my parents were lazy. Lackadaisical, maybe, lazy – no. My sisters and brothers do not appear to be lazy. I’ve got some lazy cousins, the kind who never have a job. They think that they will hit the big time some time, and they pin their hopes on the lottery or other nonsense. I’m not sure they are lazy. They might be putting too much energy into hoping for their ship to come in, instead of maybe working on something that might have a possibility of coming to fruition.

Is laziness like a virus you get, and then you get better? It appears to me that sometimes I feel lazier than others. Sometimes I can work and work and work, and not even realize time has passed. Other days, I get to work and can’t believe I’m still there twenty minutes later. Wait a minute, make that five minutes later. When I feel that way, is it because I have the “lazy” bug? If I have the lazy bug, what cures it? Surely not antibiotics. Perhaps a never-ending round of mimosas or a tray full of cosmopolitans?

Am I lazy because I don’t want to work out? I’ve been telling myself that I don’t like working out because it’s boring. Yes, it is. It’s way boring. My dear husband can do it for an hour and a half every day. I can’t spend that much time in front of the TV. If I could work out in the out of doors, that might help. Except that I have this work to do in the yard, and I’m still sitting here. Hmm… Still, when I visit California, I could walk on the beach for hours. I also could walk back and forth across downtown San Francisco all afternoon, and it doesn’t seem to affect me, even the hills. Well, I take that back. It usually affects me later, when I wake up the next morning and find my knees throbbing.

I like playing my instrument, but I get lazy there sometimes too. Sometimes the etudes are killers, or the pieces my teacher gives me to play are difficult because they aren’t harmonious. Then I’m not into it at all. Other times, I can play for hours and not even feel the time. I can play scales all day long. I love scales. So I’m not a lazy scale player, but am I a lazy homework student?

This whole “laziness” question might explain my entire life. Was I lazy when I quit college? Or was it really because I wanted to eat and not be homeless? Sometimes I think that if I weren’t lazy, I might be a doctor by now. Maybe. Of course, it was tempting to not be homeless, so I got a job and quit school.

Was I lazy when my son decided not to do hockey any more? I was certainly doing the happy dance that I didn’t have to cart him to the ice rink twice a week. I keep telling myself that it was for the good; he was better at the piano and I doubt he’d be in the NHL now. Perhaps it was a good choice.

Finally, am I lazy because I’m not working on my book? I can appreciate people who have a plan (like Dr. B) or others that I know that are able to write late into the night, and also participate in forums all night long. I feel like a thief or like I’m having a clandestine affair with my novel. I have to sneak in thirty minutes here and an hour there and plug in a couple thousand words here and there, when I have time. I suppose if I weren’t lazy, I could just sit here all day long and get my thoughts on paper.

Well, I think I’m ready to tackle those leaves now. In the meantime, I’ll take a poll. Am I lazy, or not? And what the heck is laziness?

Misadventures on the Golf Course Part I

I took up golf about ten years ago. It was about the time that my husband took it up, because I insisted my son take it up. My son was about ten at the time and has never been athletically inclined. He’s now approaching 21 and still not athletically inclined, but he can bang a mean Steinway. He can also golf fairly well.  Golf is the one sport where literally anyone can participate, whether or not you are athletically inclined. In fact, old duffers and youngsters with no clue are usually the best at golf.

Now me, I’m really not very good at golf. In fact, you could say I’m awful. I tend to dig up a lot of fairway. In fact, I hate to hit the ball if it’s on the fairway, because I’m afraid I’ll mess up the grass. I’m fairly decent off the tee, but it depends. Some days I can really nail the putts too. I’ve shown some brilliant moves as well as some downright stinkers. If I’m in a good mood, if I’m not paired up with a Tiger Woods  wannabe, if I’ve had some liquid refreshment beforehand, I can look like a genius. If not, I can look like a blind golfer. I’m not kidding when I say that I can sometimes throw the ball much farther than I can hit it with a golf club.

I have many golf stories, even though I now only golf maybe once a month. Back when my son lived here and was on the golf team in high school, we probably went out a few times a week. We don’t seem to have the time for it anymore, even though he moved away. I don’t do it to beat the pants off my opponent; I like fresh air and the fact that I can do this by myself. The only person I want to beat is me. Some days that’s easier said than done. I’m the kind of person who has always taken two steps forward and one step back.

You have to admit that golf courses are really pretty. They seem to attract a lot of wildlife, too. One time, my son hit a flying goose with a long drive. I’m not sure if the goose survived. It was too bad, because usually he hits straight into the woods. He’s hit balls there and deer have emerged, shaken but alive. Speaking of the woods, it’s usually more fun to hit out of them, plus the bonus is that you can find a lot of stray balls in there. I would not recommend looking for stray balls in Florida, where there are alligators or in the Bahamas, where some of the insects are bigger than my palm.

I once hit my husband in the neck with a ball. The ridiculous thing is that he was in the cart right across from my tee box. Yes, my tee shot went laterally. (I happen to be the only one who can do that.) For a long time after that, when I approached my tee box, he would yell “cover your neck” and proceed to back up to the black tees. Oh, yes, Mr. Demonic is a comedian.

When I first started golfing, I would have my own cart, and Mr. Demonics Senior and Junior would share a cart. This is because Ms. Mini-Demonic doesn’t golf. She thinks the clothes are ugly and make women’s butts look big. When she was younger, she would go just to ride, but now she has other things to do. The other two would circle my ball in the fairway, and proceed to make faces at me while I lined up my shot. If you’ve ever seen Mr. Demonic Junior’s face, you’d know that he’s his own cartoon when it comes to facial features. This would either leave me steaming mad, or laughing so hard I would fall to the ground.

Thinking about golf makes me wish it were nicer out.

Positive Reinforcement, Fear and Doing it All

There are several things that can be said about me. The one that seems to fit the best is an old adage “Jack of all trades, master of none.” (You may change the name to “Jill” if it makes you feel better to be gender-specific.)

When I first heard this, back in my youth, I thought it was rather sad. To me, it spoke of a person who could do a lot of different things, but none of them very well.

My, my, how time has changed perception.

Now I’m rather proud to have the “Jill of all trades” distinction. After all, it means I can do lots of things. At this time of my life, I really don’t care if I can do them to perfection, I just want to do complete the tasks with a modicum of ability.

In my youth, I used to write. A LOT. When I grew up, there was only three TV channels and radio. No MTV, no 24-hour news, no movies on demand. Writing was an outlet for me. It was pretend. It was an outlet to exploring feelings and a way to report on my world, which I thought was pretty bleak and abnormal.

Then, of course, comes adulthood. Maturity means being able to provide for oneself. Writing (and drawing and painting) took a back seat to making a living. After that, comes family. You can’t just leave your family to fend for themselves while you go off and try to create.

During those years, I did it all. Put up siding. Painted houses. Hung wallpaper. Stripped oak moldings and refinished wood. Raised children. Sewed their clothes. Sewed my own window treatments. Learned to knit and crochet. Learned to really cook. Gardened. Dug up lots of dirt using only a shovel. Moved boulders with my own bare hands. Tended orchids. Took photographs for my business. Learned to use the computer. Designed books and catalogs. Learned Peachtree and became a bookkeeper. I found out I was damned good at customer service on the phone. Learned to play the violin. Kept an assortment of pets. Learned to be brave in the face of bugs. Concentrated on my siblings and dad. Made lots of friends online.

It’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve returned to my first love, writing. It’s been slow, an excruciating learning experience. I’m thirty or so years behind. I’m shy about it. My family knows what I post online, as in that forum, I use my real name. I blog here every day. For the other, more heart-gripping writing, I’ve been keeping that under lock and key. I’m afraid to take the plunge and let others read what I think of as my “baby.” I’m not ready to let the public in, just yet.

Yesterday, I decided to post something for serious critique. I need to know what that’s all about. It was something that I worked on seriously, but it’s not my “baby.” I can afford brutal comments on it. Immediately afterward, I received a phone call from an online friend. She is a published writer. We had a lovely conversation. She hasn’t critiqued the story yet, but she did offer some positive comments.

I was buoyed by her words. Some of my fear has subsided.
I’m ready to forge on.