Writing two hundred sixty blogs a year for at least ten years has stretched my imagination, and no doubt kept my aging brain from turning to mush. Much like a baseball player who participates in hundreds of contests during a season sometimes I hit homers and sometimes I devolve into a slump. I suppose on some days my humble offerings sound a bit like broken records and those who are faithful readers may even wonder if I’m reaching the end of relevance. As I’ve often noted I am like a hunter in deer season, constantly searching for that one topic that will resonate. Today I will embark on a new writing challenge given to me as a gift by my grandson’s lovely girlfriend, Araceli, whom I already view as a cherished family member. She presented me with a book of two hundred writing prompts which should serve me well whenever I sit staring blankly into the air attempting to generate a decent idea for my writing.
The first challenge in the book is to describe my favorite way to spend a lazy afternoon. It’s more difficult for me to speak of such a thing than one might imagine because in truth I don’t often allow myself to just be lazy. When I do, however, it is quite glorious and no doubt rather good for my general health. While I’ve enjoyed a purpose driven life, it’s grand to be aimless now and again, to throw determination and routine to the wind and momentarily live the life of a slug.
I have to confess to enjoying junk food and movies of the kind that turn the body to fat and the brain to mush. Staying in my pajamas all day long is my idea of heaven on earth. Sitting in an easy chair watching rom/coms or mysteries while munching on cheese dip and Doritos is a sinful but glorious pleasure in which I don’t often indulge, but when I do it feels so delightful. On those days I don’t bother with healthy meals or taking out the trash. My mantra becomes, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”
When I was growing up my mom had to run a tight ship to keep things running smoothly. As a single parent she played multiple roles. I could almost set my watch based on what my family was doing at a certain time. We followed a strict routine with the exception of Saturday afternoons and evenings. My mother was insistent that we have a time devoted solely to having fun. That might mean indulging in a shopping spree at the local five and dime store with a whole quarter to spend on frivolous items like bubbles or coloring books. Other times it would be an evening sitting in the dark watching our favorite late evening television programs like Weird while munching on banana pudding or chocolate pie. It was always fun and relaxing and a way for all of us to recharge our internal batteries before tackling the new week of challenges.
As my mother grew older and perhaps even wiser she expanded her lazy interludes to include a bit of time each day. That’s when she would indulge in watching her favorite soap operas, or spending time at the nearby mall window shopping and talking with other older folk who got their exercise and social contact by walking in a big circle around the circumference of the stores. I used to think of her pursuits as a sign that she was running down, but now I know that a bit of laziness is actually good for the soul.
I find myself more and more often realizing that there is no need to rush. I will manage to get things done even if I just sit for a time daydreaming or gazing at the sky. The dust on my furniture will return with regularity but I don’t have to wipe it away each time it appears. A thicker patina will bother no one. In my quest to focus more and more on what is important such tasks gain less and less priority while slowing down to enjoy moments has become a more worthy cause.
I like listening to the sounds of my neighborhood for no reason other than to hear them. I enjoy wandering through antique stores, not in the hopes of finding a treasure, but simply to imagine who might have once owned the trinkets that line the shelves. I might easily spend the rest of my days on earth reading all sorts of books. I can set my little robot to sweep across my floors and let my microwave oven do my cooking. A swish of some Clorox wipes accomplishes as much cleaning as I actually need, so why not increase the number of lazy days? I suppose that I have surely earned them and I know firsthand how invigorating they can often be.
I become the laziest whenever my husband and I take our trailer to a scenic state park. On those days I like to sleep in and casually dress for the day. I enjoy being serendipitously led by whatever I opportunity I chance to see. Sometimes my road map on those days takes me to wonders that I had never before considered, and sometimes they only mean sitting in a comfortable chair under the awning watching the antics of squirrels, raccoons, deer or wild turkeys.
I suppose that we all need more lazy days, not fewer. Somehow we often feel guilty for indulging in moments of aimless bliss when in truth we are more likely to find our inner bliss when we slow ourselves down. So here’s to lazy days however we may choose to spend them.