Tag Archives: laziness

Around the House

818kGmg0fFL._SL1500_I ended up sleeping until almost 9 am today.  For most people, that would be the equivalent of sleeping until noon.  Is this a luxury?  Something I needed to do?  Or merely a lack of discipline?  My intention was to not set my alarm clock, wake up as close to 7:45 as possible to go get my blood drawn (no coffee, food, etc.).  Well, I accomplished sleeping in until the lab was open.
Consequently, I’m feeling rather “type b” today.  As we speak, I’m typing this from bed and it’s past noon.  However, it can be said that I have been a little too tightly wound this week.  Having recovered from some unknown respiratory virus that I caught last week, I’ve been on a mission to catch up on grading, prep for classes, find time to write, crank up the exercise, and read 4-5 books at the same time. Getting up at 5:30 or earlier each day this week,  I’ve caught myself being impatient with my sister, who lives with me and has a number of infirmities from the toll that cancer has taken on her.  If I need to take her somewhere, she’s debilitated enough so that she can’t really be hurried.  For her to get ready, it takes as long as it takes.  Meanwhile, I’m drumming my fingers, hyperventilating, obsessing about being late for class, driving way too aggressively, and in general, being rather annoying.  Not a flattering picture!
So, I got myself organized, made myself a list of things that I need to get done over the next couple of days, and am just going to go after them one at a time.  I’m almost caught up on grading, having maybe a couple of hours to go.  Since it’s the midpoint in our quarter, I need to notify the parents of my students who have gotten behind the curve, while there is still time and hope for them to improve.  A sermon that I’m scheduled to preach next week is still to be written.  Then, the weekly task of planning each class period for the upcoming week.  A good day to take time to think and sharpen the saw rather than go, go, go.
I made myself a list of books in my house that I’d like to read this year.  I counted 46 books, which include an assortment of fiction and nonfiction, education, life development, spiritual growth, biographies, histories, etc.  Good to know that I have enough reading to survive an  long economic downturn or reduced circumstances.  This doesn’t even include books in my study at the church, which would at least double that number.  At a future date,  I’ll categorize and publish the list.
Tagged ,

Momentum, Processes, Goals, and Sisyphus

I steeled my will to go to the gym and spend an hour on the elliptical machine.  It wasn’t exactly quality cardio, but I did get it done.  Probably helped me to sleep and is building momentum toward more and better training.  I seem so far removed from even being able to think about getting fit for an ultra.  However, getting out and doing something every day is the first step.  Getting momentum going is what is key at this point, rather than a state of fitness at a future date.
I’m finding this is true in other disciplines as well.  Reading.  Writing.  Counseling.  The temptation is to think in terms of goals completed.  This can be depressing, as my thinking tends to drift toward how far away I am from the goal and how much effort it will take to get there.  Unfailingly, this turns out to be an exercise in self defeat,  as I ponder the Sisyphian labor involved in reaching this milestone.  It works much better for me to hold the goal loosely, and instead, work on the process that should move me toward that outcome, and every day continue to take the steps necessary to move toward the objective.  “Success” seems to be more of an exercise in taking disciplined steps to move things along on a number of fronts rather than arriving at a “Eureka”moment.  Momentum is key to continuing to be faithful in this discipline.  What you do when no one sees is what turns your endeavors from brainstorms or ideas into reality.  When momentum accrues, the labor no longer seems Sisyphian, and the process becomes the focus rather than the outcome.   496164907155199844_338ba033584f
I still shudder to think of some of the minimum objectives I need to achieve to keep the status quo.  I don’t know why the word “goal’ is such an intimidating word, why it screams “failure!”  It’s possible that in challenging oneself, there must be a strong possibility of failure.  Otherwise, the endeavor wouldn’t really be a challenge.  However, my slothful self doesn’t quite see it that way.  Even my wife hates it that the word “goal” is such a taunt to me.  I even felt this way when I was competing in cross-country and track in high school and college,  I surpassed a significant number of seasonal goals.  It’s probably the distance from starting the process to completing the process, only to do it all over again.  It can quickly get into the mentality of “can you top this?”  Such an equation puts a person under a great deal of pressure, because there comes a point when every achievement can’t be built upon, or the point of diminishing returns for one’s effort is reached, and it is folly to go beyond this point.
Tagged , ,

Small Things, Big Influence

The new year often brings out the belief that we ought to make sweeping changes in our lives.  Beginning a rigorous exercise regimen, losing a substantial amount of weight, living within our means, and disciplining ourselves to save for the future are common New Years Resolutions.  Some of us also serve in professions or capacities that continually pressure us to do the “new,” the “unexpected,” the “unprecedented,” and to be “innovative.”  All of these desires and expectations may seem a huge burden to us.

However, the small things, done day by day, have an incremental value that we often overlook.  We underestimate the impact of faithful habits, incorporated into our days.  Those who have deep influence are faithful in what we would consider the small tasks.  For me, one example is circulating among my students and greeting them, talking to them about how their day is going and other small talk, instead of having my head down and ignoring them because I have “significant projects.”  Will I have deeper influence in their lives because of how well I prepare my lessons, or how much I connect with my students?

There is some proportionality here as well.  We are not to ignore what Jesus called “the weightier matters of the law” and be satisfied that we can check off the details.  This is the error of the Pharisees that Jesus condemns in Matthew 23,  However, Jesus is not advocating that we neglect the details and concentrate on the big picture only.

Faithful, daily tasks, as small as they may seem at the time, grow into something greater than the tasks themselves.  Consistent care of children usually results in more than a checklist completed of child care tasks, but children who are loving, well-behaved, and a pleasure to be around.  Sometimes it’s difficult to remember this.  But it’s encouraging when we do and are able to carry out this idea in specific ways.

Tagged , , ,

How Not To Rise Early

A couple of days ago, I posted about the “Early To Rise” Challenge.  I did not rise early today, unless you call between 7:30 and 8:00 am “rising early.”  So now, I can tell you what not to do:

1.  The night before you will attempt to rise early, sit in positions that bad for your posture so that your back is sore when you lie down to go to sleep.

2.  Stay up late.  Make sure you don’t get to bed until at least 11:30 or 12:00

3.  Waste the extra hours that you stayed up.  Go through your RSS feeds . . . slowly.  Alternate between checking Facebook, ESPN, ESPN soccernet, and EPL transfer rumors (note:  EPL transfer rumors generally have no factual basis whatsoever).  Check your Amazon seller account every five minutes for new sales.  Wash rinse, repeat for two hours.  Don’t read a book or do anything that may even be slightly construed as productive.

4.  Eat.  Ignore the fact that your body is 99 percent lard already and that today’s calorie expenditure has been roughly 50 calories more than if you had slept for the past 24 hours.  Eat lots of snacks.  You can even eat “healthy snacks”  like I did — black bean chips, peanut butter bars.  These “healthy snacks” will still give you the same caloric intake as a bag of potato chips and a couple of candy bars.  Just make sure you add another 600-800 calories to an already bloated diet.

5.  Tell yourself, “I deserve to sleep in for all of this!”

Tagged , ,
%d bloggers like this: