Anyone who eavesdrops on my brain will know the number of times I chastise myself for laziness. The reason being that I leave so many things undone.
If I did nothing but get things organised in my home I would not run out of things to do for at least two months. I could easily spend 3 or 4 weeks just on the room that I am in at the moment. Boxes of papers, shelves of files, heaps of goodness knows what all need organising when I find the time to do it. If do find time to tidy it up a bit so that it does not get any worse but that is all.
I could do so much on this site and the associated kindle books so that it would be the equivalent of a full time job. By the time I have written a post every work day plus the associated awareness raising plus written a kindle book every two or three weeks plus the associated awareness raising for that I could easily go over the 30 hour threshold.
Then there is the work I do with Lily the Pink Education CIC. I have a long list of things that I want to do with that set up. I could do 50+ hours a week for many months and still not get to the end of the list of things that I want to do. Lets start with the things that are just thought about two by two i.e. two books to market, two more books that I started that need re-writing and two websites that need to demolished and started again. Then there are the dozen or so project ideas that I have had that are now little more than websites that need to be left safe and secure while they lie dormant.
As if this was not enough both God’s Lily and Lily the Pink Education have accounts and planning and admin stuff on my jobs to do list. This is without trying to stay on top of the garden. I spent a couple of hours in the garden today sorting out the containers of plants that have moved house with me some only once but some twice.
On top of that there is the pressure from the helpful people around me who are pushing me to do other things that are high on their list of priorities that I am just not getting around to doing. This includes sorting through the boxes in the conservatory. Unfortunately this is where I have left the boxes that are last on my list of stuff to sort out. You know the stuff that you put off until you have done everything else because they are the tough ones to do.
You get the picture. You have heard of people taking work home with them. I go a step further than that. I take it to bed with me. If I wake up in the middle of the night or too early to get up I have something I can pick up to read, or that I can use to write a draft, without getting out of bed. It might be checking or revising a plan or it could be writing a draft for something or it could be some reading I am doing to help prompt ideas for something I will be writing soon. If I wake up at 4 am and cannot get back to sleep I have some work to do beside me that I can get on with.
Is that label I carry really true?
Despite all of this I give myself the label lazy. One dictionary definition of lazy is disinclined to work or do anything requiring effort. Another is idle. When I checked up what idle mean I found an interesting set of meanings
- not in use or unoccupied
- not wanting to work
- having no purpose or value
- without cause, basis or good reason, unnecessary
- having no effect or result, not taken seriously
What a bunch of negative statements! I certainly do not feel unoccupied. I tried filling out a weekly plan and found it really hard to find the time to fit everything in. There are times when the burden of everything that I think I ought to do leaves me wanting to escape for a short shopping trip. Does a lazy person really plan ahead to do some do some work when they wake up in the middle of the night?
Having no purpose or value
Well that resonates a bit. For some people around me my value is linked to how tidy my home is. I can be really happy about the way I have things organised so that I can find anything I am looking for. However I have someone who likes to coach me to do better who believes that nothing should be seen outside a cupboard. From their perspective anything I do around the house to organise things is not worth much if they can still see anything outside a cupboard. So I can work really hard getting things sorted to suit me only to have to endure comments about not doing enough of the right things.
There are also times when other people value me in relation to what I do. You are not worth much because that book you wrote is not selling very well. You are not worth much because you are struggling to make a profit. Yet another way that people could be very active and even industrious but what they do is seen as not being of much value because it does not reach the expectations of others.
Being without cause, basis or good reason or even unnecessary
This sounds a bit harsh but there are people who once played a big part in my life who have for various reasons decided that I am not longer a necessary part of it. They could not have the life that they wanted while I was around and voted with their feet. They decided that I was an unnecessary part of their life.
Having no effect or result, not taken seriously
This sounds familiar as well. All too familiar. You cannot do that or have that. What you say or want does not matter. If you want this then tough you cannot have it because I am in control. You need to do what I say you should do as what you say or think does not matter. It is all too easy to waste away into nothing when you face that kind of situation. There again when the worm eventually behaves like a human being the anger that erupts from actually demonstrating that you have wants needs and desires that are not being met has at times needed to be seen to be believed.
It does not help being told that if someone says no then they mean no and realising that it would be far better if you accepted what they said and did not mention the subject again. Of course part of accepting what was I was told was the obedience test. This meant that if no was the first answer then even if I was asked if I wanted that thing some time later it was better to say no, because saying yes would mean that you had not accepted the original answer. At that point saying yes to something I wanted would mean that I failed the obedience test i.e did not accept that no did really mean no.
Add to that being reminded that you need to allow others to take control aka be submissive. The upshot of that is that what you want, or say or do or think about a situation really does not matter. You are expected to do what you are told to do, when you are told to do it, how you are told to do it and without questioning their authority. That is tough when the instructions you are given are miles away from what you (or indeed anyone you explain the precise circumstances to) think is reasonable or logical. Sadly yu can then end up learning the hard way about the torrent of anger that can erupt if you lose your patience and stop doing things their way.
See I know the hard way that some people who look idle are not idle in the sense that we often understand it. They are dis-empowered. They feel that there is no point in them doing anything or saying anything because they have learned that it will cause them problems. They like I have done in the past feel as though it is wrong to do something because of the expected negative consequences.
Am I really idle?
Well it appears that I am in some people’s opinion. How do you cope with that? The problem is that you end up working harder and harder trying to come up to their expectations. The problem with those kind of expectations is that the goalposts keep moving. You head in that direction but then you have further to go again and again. In fact it seems as if you will never reach the goal as it is always moving away form you.
The one thing that you want them to do is stop. It might even be possible to explain to them the damage that they are doing. If they just stopped pushing or encouraging or trying to making you do better you might have a better chance of being able to do what they want you to do. You are trying and trying and trying but getting stuck because you cannot meet their expectations.
I see this as being like a car that is stuck in the mud and the engine is revving. The wheels are spinning round and round but the car is not moving. It might move if a piece of carpet is put under the wheels to help the wheels gain traction. It might move if there was more weight on top of the wheels so that they dug into the ground. It might move if it was pulled by a strong vehicle that could get a good enough grip in the mud to move. In other words something different had to happen before that car would move.
What happens when the wheels go round and round like that? Mud and dirt flies around all over the place. Anyone that gets close gets covered in mud. Who wants to be covered in mud like that? Workaholics and perfectionists spray out mud while they themselves are stuck. Things don’t go right for those around them while they spin their wheels.
Something has to happen or change if those wheels are going to stop spinning and spraying out mud. At the moment I am trying hard to hitch onto the stronger vehicle that will help me move forwards. I might not be idle but being overwhelmed by such a long jobs to do list does nothing to help me move forwards. This explains the daily prayer what do I do today i.e. which of the things on my list are the things that I need to tackle today.
Idleness is not always what it seems
Ever seen the newspaper articles of people who have been told that they can no longer claim sickness related benefits. They have to go out and find a job to support themselves. Some of them when you look at their situations are simply unable to do anything like the sort of work that they used to do.
The problem is that they are blind to the options that they do have. It is all too easy for them to see the things that they cannot do and not see the things that they can do. Unless you can see what you can do and recognise what you are truly able to do then you will be stuck in what appears to be idleness.
Deal with the barriers that stop us doing what we should be doing and we will be able to do it. Some barriers are obvious like finding childcare. Some are harder to find like strategies to cope with health or disability issues. They are out there but how do you work out what you can do especially when to do things you need more support that may include special equipment that few are willing to invest in.
Ever thought that it is not always an advantage of being able to see barriers. Sound stupid, well not from my perspective. The thing is that when you can see a barrier you then have to work out how to overcome it. Some barriers are easier to overcome than others. Practical ones are often easier than ones that are generated by thinking patterns. Find a practical solution and the barrier fades away. Barriers created by thinking patterns can be much harder. It can be the case of God help! Have I got this right and if not how do I correct it?
Purity comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It could be that my accusations of myself as being lazy is a sign of impurity. It is a good job that God loves and accepts everyone who is willing to accept His invitation to become His child.