Those Pesky Shoulds

ThinkingWhenever I get a little bit of free time, my mind is filled with things that I should be doing instead of not doing anything important or, laws forbid, relaxing.

I should work on that bag I started as a way to keep me occupied during afternoon kid minding.

I should do a few more lessons on Duolingo.

I should do more work on whatever writing project I’m doing even if I’ve already hit my daily To Do List demand.

This blog post is a should. I had some free time this afternoon. I did a few extra Duolingo lessons. Then I still had some time. So instead of enjoying the fact that I don’t have to make dinner this evening and resting up some before I go to work tonight, I’m writing this blog post. And after I’m done writing this, I’ll do my workout, and probably try to get a couple more chapters on A Tale of Two Lady Killers revised before I leave for floorset.

You see, so long as there are things I should be doing, then I’m always going to feel like a lazy bum if I’m not doing them when I have the time.

I already feel like a slacker, like I don’t work hard enough or have enough to do. I feel like I haven’t earned any downtime or free time or relaxation time. So I SHOULD be doing something productive. I should be working out or writing or sewing or working or SOMETHING.

Those shoulds are so pesky. They make me feel guilty every time I decide to take ten minutes to play a game or check Twitter. Because I SHOULD be doing something else. I’m wasting time.

I don’t relax. I waste time. At least that’s what the shoulds in my brain make me think. And so I go to bed feeling guilty often because I wasted time watching reruns of F Troop and The Rifleman instead of doing more exercises or writing more words or curing cancer or whatever else I should be doing.

It’s something I try to work on, but it isn’t easy for me. I envy people who can do nothing and not feel bad about it. I spent a day in bed with a really nasty headache last week and felt like a bum because I barely got one page written before I gave up on trying to be productive. Even a headache doesn’t quiet those shoulds in my brain.

Because I should have been doing something else.

For me, to not do anything is an act of rebellion because I don’t feel like I’ve earned it. Even when I complete my To  Do list for the day, I didn’t earn it. I’ll never earn it and I know it. There’s always one more thing I should be doing before I can relax.

Ooh, that reminds me! I need to wrap up this post.

There’s something else I should be doing.


English: the lazy barnstar. created to award m...

My mother used to tell me all the time how lazy I was. It rated right up there with selfish and stealing as an unforgivable sin. I hated it when she called me lazy. There are so many implications in that word, all of them negative, and none of them that I wanted to apply to me.

But now that I’m older, I admit it. I suffer from extreme bouts of laziness at times.

There are some days when I’m absolutely unstoppable. I start early and check off my To Do list in short order, no matter how difficult. I get everything done before noon and then celebrate with reruns and Internet porn all afternoon.

And then there are days when I am so filled with don’t-want-to that I’m still working at nine o’clock at night because I refuse to leave a To Do list unfinished. The effort that it takes just to get started is more than I want to expend, even though I know that once I get going, I’ll get it all done in no time.

It is laziness, I know. Don’t-want-to laziness that I’ve carried with me all of my life. In my head, all of the projects seem bigger and harder than they really are. I think about how much I don’t feel like doing something and so I put it off until I can’t put it off any more. And then when I finally get around to doing whatever it is, I get it done in less time and usually with less difficulty than I imagined and I kick myself in the ass for not getting it done and over with sooner.

For example, I need to do my taxes. But I don’t feeeeeel like it. I know it’s not difficult. I know it’d probably only take me 20-30 minutes to get it all done. My taxes have never been that complicated. I might as well just get it done and over with.

But, like I said. I don’t feeeeeel like it.

That feeling rules me sometimes. That kind of laziness. I don’t feel like it so I don’t. Sometimes I make myself. Sometimes I don’t have a choice. But, if I have a choice, then I’ll make the choice to put it off.

So, yeah, my mother was right. I am lazy. I’ll probably always be lazy.

But so long as I have those excellent productive days, I’ll keep breaking even.

Even when I don’t feeeeeel like it.