HOW TO BE CREATIVELY LAZY

Are you one of those people who are constantly operating on "drive", but has no "reverse?" Perhaps you have a trade or profession-- artist, machine-operator, doctor, mechanic-- which keeps your head spinning five or six days per week. At home, things are no less hectic. Your spouse decides the former hall closet should be a bathroom; or that the budget needs rebalancing; perhaps a special elaborate dinner is requested; or the whole family wants to take one of those all-day headache-inducing trips. Finally, you have a moment to yourself to sit down, take a deep breath and basically do nothing. Inevitably, pangs of guilt and anxiety well-up inside of you, your head throbs, you begin fidgeting, looking for something to do. Irritability takes over and, coupled with guilt, makes you feel very uncomfortable. Nice day off, right? You can't wait to have something to do again...Monday.
<?xml:namespace prefix = o /> In many sub-cultures of our society, there is an impression that we are "lazy" if not spending every waking moment in frantic activity. Those of you with a New York City-Long Island background may relate to this. It was called, "moping." Moping was any time not spent in scholarly or productive activity and included: Sitting quietly, gazing out the window, lying on the couch, watching t.v. during non- prime-time hours or perhaps chewing a pencil eraser while daydreaming. Many mothers seemed to have built-in moping- detectors that operated with 100% accuracy. As a result, you grew up squirming and fidgeting in your spare time, trying to counter-detect mom, and feeling guilty that you were wasting time.
 This sort of nonsense, you may be telling yourself in your spare time, is unnecessary. You can have laziness in all its glory without guilt. Be creative. Rather than making spare time the "leftovers", try it out as a "main course." Determine when inactivity is most enjoyable. Do you like to sit for an hour every morning, doing nothing more strenuous than making instant coffee? While other people are busy with weekend sports, would you rather spend Saturdays in bed, reading and daydreaming? Do you hate to move a muscle after dinner? Once you have spotted these special times, try to arrange your schedule so you can have them-- or at least part of them. Then relax and enjoy-- without guilt. In case a guilt pang or two resurfaces, remind yourself that there is no universal law which demands that you find something to do every minute of the day. For some people, this may be enough to then get lazy. If so, you can stop reading here. If not, you need to consider matters further. Busy work and guilt feelings are responses that have little meaning in your conscious awareness. In contrast, they sure have a lot of purpose.
 Purpose is a function, which is stored, unconsciously. These behaviors accomplished something at some time in your history. While that may have had worthwhile meaning back then, it likely accomplishes nothing today. It is habitual. For example, some adults today get headaches during an argument. When they were children and argued with their parents, having a headache may have ended the argument in their favor. So it happens today, irrespective of its success.
 In order for laziness to be accepted by your unconscious part that keeps you in overdrive, you may need to restructure your thinking so that "laziness" accomplishes the same unconscious purpose as does "constant activity." Consider that whatever the intent of that unconscious part of you, it might include, "self-preservation." Ask yourself how specifically creating constant stress for you strengthen your organs, your resistance to infection; and prolongs your life? Then ask if creating down-time inactivity that allows your body to "recharge" could preserve your well-being at least as well as frantic activity does? Next, find out if you would be willing to substitute inactivity for constant activity at such times deemed appropriate, for two weeks and evaluate what happens? Could you make some of those appropriate times those which follow the accomplishment of something you believe to be worthwhile? In that sense, you are rewarding yourself (including your body) for work well done. Then you can relax, knowing you have earned it. A little moping is just what your unconscious ordered!