The Art of Goofing Off
It is a quiet Saturday here in Biffville. So far it has been a near-optimum mix of taking care of the perpetual list of chores and taking it easy. Normally I feel guilty for taking it easy, but not today. It has been a long, hard week and my brain (and body) is telling me to just relax a little and recharge a little before next week, which is going to be just as long and just as hard, if not a little more.
It made me wonder why we don’t allow ourselves to recharge. Why do we always feel guilty for leaning back, putting our feet up, putting our hands behind our heads, and just closing our eyes for a bit? Is it our culture? Our upbringing? Something innate within us?
It just makes me curious why lolling (not LOL’ing) is held in such disdain. I’m not talking about someone who makes a career out of it. I’m just talking about the person who, after a long day or a long week, wants to just sit in a hammock or a chaise lounge and do nothing for a bit.
We’ve all discussed the “Murphy’s Law” moment that describes the situation where, even if we’ve been working hard for hours, when we stop for just a minute to catch our breath, that’s when the boss walks by and sees us. Even in that folkloric story, the primary theme is the fear of being caught resting.
In contrast, I’ve known people in my life that lifted being lazy to an art form. It was just who they were. They would go months or years without having a job. They always seemed to mysteriously disappear if a group of people started talking about taking care of something that needed to be done. Their sole topic of discussion seemed to be the vague and ephemeral illnesses or ailments or conditions that kept them from working or participating in anything that smacked of work. Everyone knew their only ailment was that they were bone idle. And yet, they always seemed to have enough to live on. They truly are as the lilies of the field, neither toiling nor spinning. Neither are they stressed or overworked or exhausted or stretched as tight as a rubber band. So who is the smarter?
I don’t have it in me to be lazy, but I sure would love to enjoy a little idleness from time to time without feeling guilty.