In praise of not doing much

Lazy pin

It’s a good day when I look at the clock at 2:32 and feel like I’ve already had a productive day.

Confession:  I long to be lazy.

Truth:  I rarely let myself be.

So, most days, I spend a good portion of my thought life wishing I could lie down and take a nap.  Or vege out and read a book for a few hours with my feet kicked up and a blanket tucked snugly around me.  Or that I could turn on the TV in the middle of the day.  (The only time, historically, that I’ve “let” myself watch TV during the day is when I have a nursing infant.)

I tell myself, “If you get x, y, and z done, you can lie down for an hour.”  But, I never seem to get as much done as I think I should be accomplishing.  Thus, I don’t usually indulge my inner drive for laziness.

I get a lot done, typically…  But I’ve never felt like I was INDUSTRIOUS.  Know what I mean?  Like Proverbs 31-industrious, when I’m up before everyone else, weaving purple cloth.  Or, in more current terms, I’m not a Pinterest mom, making and posting about the awesome projects I’ve done.  So, the things I get done are mostly out of necessity:  My family needs to eat.  We need toilet paper.  We need to not be drowning in clutter and covered in ¼” of dust.  So, I do a lot…  but I confess that I don’t have a creative, money-making drive.  I’m not always trying to DO MORE.  I’m pretty happy if all the basics get covered without too much stress.

I’m still not certain if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

I kind of wish I had more drive.

But, I’ve also observed Moms Who Do More having stressed-out kids and no time to snuggle on the couch in the morning.  I’m not saying that every industrious mother has a too-busy life, but I myself haven’t found the balance of how to keep snug-time, storybook time, “Mama, can you hold me for a bit?”  Or, “Mama, come look at the fort I made!” etc., AND get loads done every day.

This morning, before breakfast, four of my children and I were packed onto the loveseat, covered in blankets, trying not to jam elbows into others’ squishy parts.  My four-year-old, Fiala, said with a knowing wiggle of her eyebrows, and a pointed glance at my belly, “Actually, there are five children on the couch.”  We stayed for a good 30 minutes, until tummy rumbles and 6-year-old squirminess necessitated breakfast time.  I LOVE MORNINGS LIKE THAT.

Shortly after, I made sure everyone had breakfast.  I made the grocery list, comparing my list of things we need with things that are on sale at Sprouts.  I got the kids started on their chores (which included grounding my 13-year-old and my 11-year-old from playing with friends and/or in the front yard for the rest of the day, as it took me about five times “reminding” them to get them back on track…).  I took a shower, bringing a cup of baking soda and a cleaning sponge in with me and scrubbed down the shower enclosure, which was overdue.  I went to the store for the remainder of the week’s groceries (I went to Costco yesterday).  I came back, ate a good lunch — the first meal in WEEKS that actually tasted good, “thanks” to all-day-long so-called morning sickness.  I then put tonight’s dinner in the Crockpot — Chipotle-Orange Pork.  Lastly, I made sour cream dip and cut up mounds of veggies for my husband to bring to his home group Bible study tonight.

And that’s what got me to 2:32, feeling accomplished for the day.

I could still do the huge pile of ironing that has been taunting me.  I could nip out and get some Christmas shopping done.  I could sew my kitchen curtains, which truly is a necessity.  (There are two kitchen windows, which meet at 90° — one is completely uncovered, and the other has a nice linen table cloth-thingie held to the spring rod with a binder clip, acting like a curtain.  Classy.)  I could do more Christmas baking.  Or a load of laundry.  Or clean the rest of my bathroom.  I don’t even have my Christmas decorations up.  (They were in the storage unit, which we obtained for our move, and finally cleared out this past Saturday evening.  So, now they’re finally in boxes, in my garage….)  In other words, I could do something productive.  And maybe I should.

But, I’m not.  I’ve looked at my day, and decided, “I think I’ll go onto Facebook, then write a blog post.”

Part of me feels extra-justified, because I’ve been feeling like absolute CRAP with this pregnancy.  Mornings are better than any other time of day, so I’ve been scurrying through my mornings, getting as much done as possible.  But, here I am today, feeling better than I have in weeks, in the afternoon, and I could do more… Yet, I’m choosing not to.

Again.  I still haven’t decided if this is positive or negative, but I am — I think — coming to grips with the fact that I’m just not as industrious, not as motivated, not as creative, not as driven, as I think I should I should be.

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About Karen Joy

I'm a homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 16, 14 and 12 years old, and three girls: 7 and 5 years old, and our newest, born in June 2013. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I am a natural childbirth advocate and fledgling birthing class instructor. I'm a CSA coordinator for a local organic farm, Crooked Sky Farms. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on December 11, 2012, in Babies, Blogging, Christmas, Family, Homeschooling, Housework, Motherhood, Pregnancy, Random Stuff, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Thanks for describing me to a T… though I do think that overall you are more industrious than me, because we do often actually drown in clutter, haha.

  2. This is what I read yesterday in a time management book- ” Putting myself at the top of the list is not an indication that what I want always comes first. To the contrary, I put myself at the top of the list so that I am well and strong enough to attend to my other roles without being distracted buy the ailments that come with an unhealthy self.”…you are simply taking care of yourself and that’s a good thing :)

    • Yeah, I’ve always had conflicted thoughts about the culture of putting oneself at the top of the priority list. I’m always looking for balance in that… For instance, I need to color my hair — henna, and the process takes about four hours. I’ve needed to do that for about a YEAR. Something’s wrong there, when I can’t carve out an hour for myself in a year’s time. But on the other hand, I’ve definitely seen families suffer when the mom gets really caught up in what I believe to be a lie about, “If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others.” I tend to think of this busy time — these YEARS of busy time — as a season. I’m not going to be strapped for time forever. I want to prioritize my family, and not become embittered that they’re cutting into “me” time. But, I DO need to color my hair… :D

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