At the end of a week, I am wiped. I arrive home every Friday evening declaring my plans to get some serious rest. Does that happen? Of course not. Instead, all I do is loll around watching DVR’d episodes of Community, wondering why my university never hosted campus-wide paintball fights.
This may sound very restful. Indeed, I am not doing anything. If it wasn’t for Shiva, I probably wouldn’t leave the house at all during such a session. Unfortunately, it turns out that after two days of such laziness all I am is more tired.
How can this be?
Dogs don’t have this trouble differentiating. They seem to innately understand their immediate needs and how to meet them. If they are thirsty, they find some water and drink. If they are tired, they climb on the nearest couch and sleep. If they are hungry, they find the nearest human and beg for treats. It’s that simple.
We humans seem to have our wires mixed up. If we are thirsty, we debate the ethics over bottled versus tap versus soft drink. If we are tired, we tell ourselves we need to suck it up. If we are hungry, we calculate how many calories we’ve already eaten, decide it’s too many, and go back to work.
No wonder we don’t truly understand what real rest is. By the end of a long week spent denying ourselves, it’s natural for us to want to indulge in extreme lazy. Of course, this only makes us feel unproductive and exhausted, setting us up for more failure once the work week begins again.
I am completely guilty of this. But, as they say, nothing changes if nothing changes. If I am going to break out of this work-till-I-drop-then-waste-away-on-the-couch routine I need to acknowledge my problematic behaviour and come up with solutions.
Rest is… Spending time playing with my three fuzzy foster kittens.
Laziness is… Reading a trashy novel and feeling guilty for not sweeping the floors.
Rest is.. Taking the dog for a three-hour trip to the dog park.
Laziness is… Watching a Will Smith movie I’ve already seen three times before.
Rest is… Going to bed at a decent time before I fall asleep on the couch.
Laziness is… Sleeping in as late as possible and then rushing around to get everything done before work.
Rest is… Eating regular meals that fill me up.
Laziness is… Grabbing an energy bar or a handful of chips and berating myself for eating crap.
Rest is… Long, cozy chats on the telephone with family and friends.
Laziness is… Responding to emails five days late and spending the whole time apologizing for said lateness.
Rest is… Getting my chores done during the week so I can enjoy fun on the weekends.
Laziness is… Procrastinating and hurrying to do my laundry at 10 o’ clock Sunday night.
Rest is… Petting Shiva at night when she snuggles up on the couch.
Laziness is… Batting Shiva’s tongue away as I try to get a blog post up at the last-minute.
So it’s a work in progress. The point is I need to be more aware of what I am doing and how I could better be spending my time. Sure, lolling around can be fun. However, there is a limit. What is better is getting out and appreciating the moment. Finding things that inspire me. Relishing my abilities. Taking time to get things done so I don’t beat myself up for not doing them later.
I am not saying I am going to delete everything from my DVR or give up potato chips. Please. But I do think it’s important to understand what makes me feel rested and what just makes me want to delve further under the blankets. There is a time and a place for Community. A sunny Sunday afternoon is not it.