What it’s like to be lazy

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I am utterly indolent, slothful, lackadaisical, and all other synonyms for lazy. However, I am still a functioning human being. Let me tell you what that’s like.

Everyone recognizes the value of hard work. They treat the industrious person as the ideal, at least here in the U.S. Even regardless of the tendency of the industrious to succumb to diseases of stress (cancer, heart disease, etc). My post today isn’t about telling those folks that they are working too hard. My post is to share how my lazy brain works and motivates me differently. I suspect many of the lazy out there will find their brains work much the same way.

There are people reading this post that will see it and find themselves surprised at my degree of laziness. Most especially the people who have known me only at work. But being lazy does not mean that I never accomplish anything. It means I am constantly looking for ways to have nothing needing to be accomplished. I can assure you that I never achieve this by simply putting in more hard work. Can I figure out a way to get that one hour process down to 20 minutes? That will leave enough time to read an interesting short story. Can I develop something that will turn two jobs into one? Who doesn’t hate moving the clothes from the washer into the dryer?

I value my relaxation and leisure more than any person I know. Sure, everyone likes down time relaxing, but I’m the person who aligns my goals to acquiring more of it. If I’m working my ass off to move up at work it’s because I want to have enough cash to retire early. I never get too bored on vacation and desperately desire to return to work. I’m working so that I can have a permanent vacation.

I am almost entirely led by impulse. My ability to complete any task is forever at war with my desire to just do whatever I want. I need rewards to stay motivated to work. Those don’t have to be monetary. If I work hard at something and everyone tells me how smart I am for a week, it was worth it. If I suck it up and put away the socks (god-forsaken laundry devils) and my husband showers me with kisses, worth it. I would never do hard work for hard work’s sake. This is why I would never go to the gym to be skinny, but I might do it to get to live out my retirement on the coast for longer.

I’m indulgent. I can read an entire book series in two days because I love it. I mean, have you guys read Divergent? It’s book-binge utopia. I have to buy mini ice creams because that pint of chocolate chip cookie dough will be obliterated before I give it a second thought. I’m much too lazy to exert will power. I’d rather make it inconvenient for myself. Luckily for my employers, my indulgence also means that I will often give 100% to something I think will improve my job. Sometimes that’s too much, but such is the life of the lazy.

I live for short term goals. Urgency will always get more out of me than importance. This is likely why I enjoyed waiting tables for the length of time that I did. I am capable of executing long-term plans, but I enjoy putting out fires. My five year plan would consist of 60 thirty day plans. Unless, of course, we’re talking about a plan that will get me on the beach sooner.

I am constantly in a state of reprioritization. In almost every situation I weigh the pros and cons of expending my energy and using my time. For example, in a biology class in college, my professor had a policy to drop the lowest test grade. He also only had tests for grades. Everything else was voluntary. Prime lazy A ground for me. I looked at that and knew that if I invested enough time and effort to study hard for the first two tests, that I could simply choose one of the two last tests to study for. I did just that, made three A’s and turned in the cumulative final with just my name on in. Those of you tied into the morality of hard work may be appalled at me by now. But I put in just as much work was necessary to get the optimum result. In classes where more was expected, I either chose to put in more effort (based on what the outcome would get me) or I chose to make a B. This is what it’s like to prioritize due to laziness.

I assign value to everything. Maintaining an acquaintance has a low value. You want to talk about real life hardship, let’s get to it, my friend. Our friendship is valuable. You want to talk about the weather, can’t we just part ways and watch reality TV instead? My husband’s happiness is valuable. I’ll prioritize it accordingly even if that means exerting time and energy. My distance Uncle who hasn’t seen me in 25 years, his happiness is not valuable. No you may not attend my wedding in place of a friend. Organize a reunion.

I hurt feelings because I find it so inefficient and wasteful to go in conversational circles. I may take enough time to choose the words that convey exactly what I mean, but that does not mean the words will be gentle ones. I’m too lazy to walk you through my perspective in stages so that you may grow accustomed to it. This means that if you are the kind of person who is willing to hear me, then honestly and openly agree or disagree with me, I will likely cling to you. You are valuable to me.

All in all, being lazy really isn’t so bad for me. I have been successful at work, happy in my marriage, and surrounded by real friends all while still being an inherently lazy person. Laziness is simply about different priorities. So don’t be so quick to judge the lazy. They may accomplish more than you know.

Be well, friends.

MM

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How my husband won me over

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There are a ton of blogs, books, websites, and more dedicated to the pursuit of a lifelong mate. Even more dedicated to obtaining sex. I can’t speak for everyone’s experience, though I sure love to share my opinion about it, but I can say what it was that my husband did that made me so sure we would work.

For some background, I broke up with my college boyfriend after two and a half years and a few bad decisions about the relationship. After that I remained religiously single. I chose to go on only three dates in a span of almost three years before I met my man. I had vowed I would never get married. I couldn’t fathom how anyone could simply decide to tolerate another human being encroaching on their individuality until the day they died. I was kind of an idiot.

The first thing that my husband did was made sure I had fun. If I wanted to dance, he danced. If I wanted to watch a movie, we did. If I felt like embarrassing myself in a bowling alley, he watched me bowl a 28. It made me feel good about doing stuff with him in return. He never asked me to give up the fun stuff to be with him. Which leads us to thing number two.

He believed me when I told him I needed to have my own life, too. I could hang out with my sorority sisters or friends from work without being worried that he was going to be pouty or miserable. This is because of point three.

He knew he was worth being with. He knew he was a good boyfriend. He knew he was a nice person. He knew he was going to be fine without my constant attention. I’m pretty sure he knew exactly how hot I thought he was. It made him so easy to be with. Which brings me to reason four.

He did not bring in, nor participate in drama. I have met people who genuinely believe that their relationship lacks depth of emotion if there isn’t near constant drama and turmoil. They are in for shitty relationships and even shittier divorces. If he had any issue, which was rare, he simply told me what he thought and we talked about it. This was the major appeal highlighted in point number five.

He communicated with me honestly when I asked him anything. If I asked if he was pissed, he’d answer truthfully. When I asked him why he loved me, he knew and could articulate exactly why. That was powerful. More powerful than I knew it could be until I experienced it. And on top of that, he chose to do this final thing.

He was the most thoughtful person I’d ever been in a relationship with. He was amazing at making me feel like I was always on his mind. He did this without ever making an announcement about how often he thought of me. I remember being disappointed I was going to work late and miss a TV show. He recorded for me and then invited me over to watch it. When I was coming home after work and he was going to meet me at my apartment, he left the closest parking space for me even though he arrived first. He knew I used the last of my bread when I packed my lunch in the morning so he picked some up. He was able to buy me expensive jewelry or high-end gifts, but he honored the fact that accepting those types of gifts made me uneasy. He kept them few and far between and chose to do the little things that won me over.

In summary, my husband is amazing. For so many reasons. We are absolutely compatible. He changed my whole perspective on marriage in far less time than it took for me to previously abandon the institution. I know romantic comedies will tell men (and lead women to believe) that love can only be displayed in grand gestures that are heroically sentimental. But the real truth is that love is easier than that if you let it be. I owe my husband so much for showing me that.

Be loving, friends.

MM

I didn’t mean to start a war

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Last night I accidentally started a war on a teenager’s pin on Pinterest. It wasn’t intentional. I was scrolling through the Popular feed and saw the following picture attached to a Fitspo (fitness inspiration) board.

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This is a picture of a (probably) healthy girl that has been photoshopped to push in her thighs, “waist” (more like six inches below it), and arms. I commented on how sad I was to see a girl like this morphed into something closer to an anorexic. That’s when all hell broke loose.

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I didn’t realize the pinner was a teen. If you’ve ever told one they were wrong before, you can imagine the reaction. She said something slightly rude and a little angry. A different adult jumped down her throat and told her the picture was gross. She defended the picture saying there was no way to know it was photoshopped (see above). Another teenager jumped to her defense. Yet another adult insisted it was a photoshopped image. In the end this teen just asked us all to hush. Fair enough.

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I apologized for starting a war on her page and told her that the adults got all up in arms because we don’t like seeing people lied to about what their body should look like. I genuinely felt bad for this young girl. She only believes what she’s been told her whole life. I hope she looks a little more closely at the pictures from now on, and I think I’ll keep my mouth shut. Pinterest is a happy place!

Be careful, friends.

MM

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When Your Dog Dies

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Yesterday we lost one of our animal children. My husband has such a deep connection to his dogs and the loss has hit him hard. Seeing his deep pain is heartbreaking.

The task was mine to tell the kids. I scoured the internet for stories of those who have done it before me. I told the children the night prior that our dog was very old and had gotten sick. We prepared them for the inevitable by telling them that she would be dying very soon. They already had a sense something was wrong based on all the recent vet visits. We told them to spend a lot of time with her giving her lots of love. They wrote her notes. It was such a genuine outpouring of feeling from such little hearts.

That night, we took her out to go to the bathroom. She was feeling pretty weak. The first time we checked in she was shaky but no worse than she’d been. The second time, she wasn’t breathing. We brought her inside, covered her up, and said our goodbyes.

In the morning, I told each of the kids separately that our friend had died at night. I let them see her and pet her one last time before they went off to school.

I hate to see so much grief in our home, but I would not trade the years with our canine kid. We’ll miss her.

Be loving, friends.

MM

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Curves vs rolls

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All the ladies out there talking about how “real” men want “real” women, shut up. For real. This debate is a Cosmo version of the presidential debates. No one believes you when you are talking unless you are indoctrinated into the Kate Moss or, conversely, the Velvet D’amour camp. Because if people were really, truly honest they would be able to admit there’s a whole spectrum of body types out there with no single type being more “real” than the other.

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Women uselessly attack each other over their appearance. We use a special language when referring to our bodies that lets others know what camp we reside in. “She’s a curvy girl.” “She’s a fit girl.” “She’s bony, ew.” “She’s a ‘fat piggie’.” That last one was a description of Kate Upton that’s floating around the interweb. We are so afraid to admit that bit in the mirror is a roll vs a curve. We are terrified to say that maybe this weight results in a gaunt looking face.

It’s okay to be flawed, ladies. Even the models, both conventional and plus, are flawed. They just have airbrush and a team of professionals. We have to stop using language in an attempt to hide those flaws. No more “real” woman when you mean chicks size ten and up. No more “healthy” woman when you mean size four or below. We all have our assets, but they are not made greater by renaming our flaws. They are not made greater by renaming the flaws of others. Accept the lack of perfection, call your roll a roll, then call it a day. Then you don’t have to be so mad at the woman who doesn’t have one, because she’s admitting to not being perfect either. See how that works?

Stay honest, friends.
MM

Stupid husband

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One of the things I see on television all the time is what my spouse and I like to call “Stupid husband” commercials. You’ve seen them. That affable man in the polo and dockers just couldn’t remember to put the lid on this foreign bit of machinery called the blender. Stupid husband. That nice man in his pjs was just trying to help out by washing the shirt he clumsily spilled something on. It’s too bad he mistakenly filled up the washing machine with Dawn. Stupid husband, those bubbles are sure to give you away! That helpful dad has no idea how to put that maddeningly complicated disposable diaper on his eighteen month old, because surely he’s never done it before, so his small child runs around with poo streaming down his leg. Stupid husband!

I hate these commercials. Every time I see one I glance over at my husband in disgust. I hate to be the one to break it to the world at large, but guys are capable of doing all that stuff. In fact, I can bet that plenty of men are capable of doing that stuff better than their female counterparts. Most guys had to feed, clothe, and care for themselves for at least a small portion of time before a woman was in the picture.

These commercials are the other side of the “helpless woman” commercials that display how impossible it is for a woman to change her own tire. Their intent is to encourage the gender divide by not acknowledging us as individual people with different levels of capability. Which helps reassert the gender role you supposedly should conform to. Which makes you feel like it’s weird for your sister to take up mechanical engineering or your brother to master the art of baking creme brûlée.

Stupid husband jokes are designed to MAKE you stupid, not to highlight your inherent stupidity. I’d like to submit my vote here to see them abolished.

Be smart, friends.

– MM

Imbalance

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I have found when talking to anyone that is struggling with dissatisfaction that there is often a problem of imbalance in their lives. They poured every ounce of their effort into a relationship that eventually dissipated, or they used all their emotional and financial resources to get ahead at their job just to look around and find themselves yearning for a life partner, or they gave up their whole identity to raise their children, who suddenly want nothing to do with them, and a friend or job is not to be found. We live lives of utter imbalance. This is not to stay that a stay at home mom cannot enjoy parenting instead of a corporate career or that a career woman must get a man or be depressed. What we need to recognize is what each one of us holds as our true needs and what our balance should be.

Mandatory reading for my job at one time was the book Juggling Elephants. An entire book dedicated to the idea that we sustain a lifestyle that doesn’t allow us overall satisfaction, let alone happiness. The book goes on to tell you that you simply have to give each part of your life the attention it is due.

Are you a career badass that desires a partner but hasn’t gone on a date in months? Balance that out! Are you a stay at home mom that desperately wants to work on a kick-ass program and watch it succeed? Balance that out! Are you a girlfriend who wants to feel like more than just half of a relationship? Balance that out!

Clearly if it were as easy as that, we wouldn’t find ourselves in this position so often. How on earth do we end up imbalanced to begin with? Often, it’s because we go after low-hanging fruit. An intelligent person with a knack for training and a great handle on office politics, that person gets easy satisfaction by excelling at their job. Then they add a little more effort and garner a promotion. Give it a bit more, and there’s an opportunity to travel the world on behalf of the company. Suddenly that person finds themselves traveling five out of seven days a week and is never rooted long enough to find a mate like they planned to back when they started that job. So what to do? HOW do you balance it out?

1) Recognize the different areas of your life. Work, relationships, and self. Also recognize that they should be of fairly equal importance.

2) Time study yourself – Four days in a row, say Fri-Mon, write out what you are doing/thinking about and for how long. Spend 3 hours daily texting your man? Eight hours at work plus another two thinking about it? Write it all down.

3) Take this information and sort it out. What goes under the Work category? Relationships? Self? Are you seeing a pattern? I know I did.

4) Get rid of as many things as you can in your over-full category. Don’t text your boyfriend three hours each day. Call or meet up with him after work for an hour instead. Don’t spend your whole weekend Pinning things and reading in your pajamas. Make a date with your sister to actually MAKE one of those damn crafts. You see where I’m going with this.

5) Make goals and track your new balance. Getting out of our comfort zone is usually a pretty anxiety filled endeavor. So make a plan. Send out a calendar invite to your sister, don’t just tell yourself you’ll get around to asking her. Have a sit-down with the boyfriend telling him you are going to focus more on moving up at work and won’t be texting during the day. Then lock that phone in a drawer. Tell your boss that you are interested in local job opportunities and ask her to keep you in mind for them. Just take action! When you try your time study again, it should look more balanced.

Balance is key to finding happiness. You wouldn’t want to only eat chocolate cake for the rest of your life. Eventually you’d think, “I would kill for a carrot right now!” So don’t allow your life to become so one dimensional. It’s not about “having it all.” It’s about not being consumed by one thing. Be multi-faceted, friends.

MM

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