Sunday, March 14, 2010


One of our greatest motivating factors is laziness.

“That’s an oxymoron”, you might say.

I have fought a life long battle with laziness. It crops up in the most hidden and unexpected places, winking at me from the corners of my consciousness. It takes the form of short-cuts and obliviousness. There it is when I walk past something on the floor that needs to be picked up and I pretend I don’t notice it. When that dish in the sink begs to be washed and I make up some lame excuse to myself to do it later. When I want to sit down to write and I let every little distraction keep me away from the keyboard. I could go on and on.

Through the years, I have trained myself to be aware of those moments in the moment. As I walk away from the piece of cellophane on the floor, I make myself turn around and pick it up immediately. Then I try to put it on the table, but that won’t do. I make my feet take me to the trash basket to deposit it where I will never have to deal with it again. I bless the trash basket and the foresight someone had to create such a receptacle. All that took me, at the most, five seconds. I now have the peace of mind to know that I won’t have it lurking and nagging at me later and my house is the neater for it.

“How OCD!”, you might exclaim. Oh, well.

How many inventions have been created to assuage our laziness. All we have to do these days is push buttons and meals are cooked, or laundry is washed, or blogs are written. Walk when I can drive? Forget it! Now, I am a great believer in making our hectic lives as smooth as they can be and the pressures to do so much each day less overwhelming. But do we lose sight of the possibilities to take the time to attend to those details that give so much satisfaction.

My son and his family live off the grid. It is their choice.They cook on a wood stove and heat with wood, so that means that they have to chop many cords of wood to survive the winter. In the warmer weather, they sleep outside and cook on an open fire. They shower outside with a sun shower or bathe in tub, which they fill from the water warming on the stove. They grow amazing gardens in the mountains of Colorado, get eggs from their chickens, and meat from the rabbits they raise and the deer they hunt and dress. They also do permaculture landscaping for clients, and my son blows glass art and is a Rolfer. My daughter-in-law is a great mother.

If this sounds like a promo for them, it is more than that to me. When I seek for more comforts in my life because I am lazy, I have to remember that effort builds character and stamina. Yes, God is in the details. I do not want to miss any opportunity to fine-tune my perceptions and my willingness to walk the extra mile or even yard.

Of course, the reality is that I succumb all the time. I try to take the shortcuts and miss the meanderings that give so much satisfaction. Actually, taking care of things in the moment is the shortest way from here to there. I don’t have to go back to take care of it later. Maybe that is a form of laziness, too.

Am I driven? Well, perhaps, but I get a great deal of pleasure and fulfillment from taking care of the little things in the best way that I can. Sometimes it is better to know when to let something go. That takes awareness and discernment. It all depends on the motivating factors. Laziness can get us going and open up new ways of seeing the world, if we are able to be very honest with ourselves, and counter our innate trends. Something can arise in us that is very precious.

Prema Rose

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