The Virtue of Laziness
The word “lazy” is so negative and to be called that is incredibly insulting, or at least it’s certainly meant to be. But guess what folks, I think sometimes the so-called “bad” things of which we’re accused might possibly be, well, maybe not so bad after all. And being called “lazy” might just be one of them. Maybe not a good thing to be, but hey, not the worst, not by a long chalk, no indeed.
I was certainly accused of being lazy as a kid---what kid isn’t? ---and I know it to be true where I’m concerned, especially today at age 80. I can easily sit and make pretend animals out of clouds from morning to nightfall, except for the fact that I’m too lazy to get up early to check on those morning clouds. I think it’s genetic. Laziness isn’t a choice or a preference; we’re born that way. I am utterly convinced of it. I can sit at complete ease, and rest while my home and life are piled with things I ought to be doing. I can see them. I am unmoved. I’ll get to them when I ‘m ready, but I don’t plan on being ready for a while yet. If ever.
I am surrounded by family members and friends for whom the adjective “driven” is a given. That is their complete and proud description and they actually flaunt it. They are always roaring about accomplishing lots of things while I don’t, because I’m busy thinking about stuff. They’re so tired all the time. I’m usually just getting going and am rarely fatigued.
I can even recall the first time I heard the word “lazy” used as an admirable appellation. Do you remember that wonderful British actor named Stewart Granger? Swashbuckler type, from the 40s on, deep sexy voice, great thighs, star of King Solomon’s Mines and other films? His second wife was Jean Simmons. No, not that gross member of KISS dude with the 2-foot-long grotesque tongue. He is Gene and she was Jean. But I digress. Granger was married to the beautiful Brit Jean Simmons, and I recall reading a story about him in one of those hide-under-your-mattress movie magazines back in the day, where Granger announced to America that his beloved wife Jean Simmons was as “lazy as a cat!” I thought that was just so incredibly cool. She was beautiful, talented sweet and it became immediately obvious to me that she spent her days, when not on camera, stretched out in the sun, purring, waiting to be stroked and fed. Living the good life. That was for me! I related! Jean Simmons became my role model that very day. Well night, since I wasn’t permitted to read those movie magazines and had to hide under my covers with them, with a flashlight. Oh come on, you did that too, and with other kinds reading materials, right? Be honest.
The reason I’m prattling on about all this lazy stuff is that I read recently in a motivational magazine that we humans should take what is a possible negative aspect of ourselves and turn it into a positive. So since I’m so good at being lazy, I picked that and decided to make it a charming characteristic instead of the opposite. They suggest we make something splendid out of these picky little flaws of ours. “Splendid” is a bit too glorious a word for this subject but I haven’t used it in a long time, so decided to borrow it for in this column. See? I’m not entirely lazy. I’m taking a negative about myself and making it a non-negative. That obviously requires some effort, I’m sure you’ll agree.
It seems that if we procrastinate when we can, when we stay lazy as often as we can, it really isn’t a big deal after all. At the advanced age of 80, I’m sort of, kind of, interested in my Bucket List but I’m not losing much sleep over it. If I get to it, great. If I don’t, not a problem. There are hundreds of things I should be doing, but why bother? Who cares? I am far more interested in my image of being a serious lazy person. Works for me, although it’s actually not too much work doing the lazy thing and keeping that image going. I’ve found it’s one of life’s easier pursuits, but if a lazier one is out there I’m open to checking it out. I mean if it doesn’t require too awfully much effort.