When Sloth is Your Friend

IMG_4413One of my major character flaws is sloth. And I try to fight it. All the time.

“Really. Lov. Please don’t snort.”

When I am sitting at the computer, surfing or playing FreeCell, I always try to think. Oh, I should check my todo list. I should be using time more profitably.

I try to do triage. What needs doing most?

The kitchen. Check. It’s hard to cook a meal (or micro-wave left-overs) when the dirty dishes completely block the micro-wave door. The refrigerator. Check. Things should be removed before they begin plotting their own escape.

Is this one of the days the kids are coming over? (Of course it is. They know where we live.) So, is any of the floor food turning blue? Should I sweep? Or, gasp…get out the vacuum cleaner? Are there water glasses on low tables that would be delightful to pour on the floor? Are my computer glasses within reach? Is my computer plug plugged in on one side and dangling on the other, just waiting for a young scientist to see what would happen if he put it in his mouth?

Ok, mental triage done, back to free-cell!

But wait, I ask myself. What are we having for supper tonight? More importantly, what is in the fridge for lunch? What can we put in front of the children, quickly, to distract them from hitting each other, or jumping off high places? Do we have yogurt? Chicken fries? Those little cups of applesauce? Cheerios? American cheese and Thomas corn muffins? Am I prepared for the apocalypse?

But sometimes I have a couple of free hours. And, more rarely, motivation.

At that point, I try to cook some basics. Rice. Salad. Bacon. Or I go grocery shopping. Milk, eggs, chicken fries, applesauce, Bacon.

On a rare free day, I’ll dive further into my todo list. Declutter. Deep clean the refrigerator. Throw out the suits (its tough to be retired). Tackle the room of no return. Cook soups for the freezer. Write an article. Learn Dragon Speaking, and eliminate all that pesky typing.

Right now, I have a golden opportunity to complete all those tasks. And more. I can try on the 10 pairs of nice black slacks that I’ve not worn since 2006; try the healthy breakfast cookie recipe; or go to Shaws and look at the back of every single granola bar to compare protein content vs. sugar content.(So that maybe I can convince my grown-up kids to let me them to their little darlings.) I might even clean the fridge.

You see, I am currently in the midst of two glorious weeks with nothing at all to do.

I had been putting off an ear operation. Several years ago I had lost hearing in my right ear. I was lucky in that it was something that could be cured with an operation called a Stapedectomy. In a Stapedectomy two tiny deteriorating bones in the inner ear are replaced with bionic components and you can hear again. It’s cool, and it worked.

But recently, the same thing happened with my left ear. This time, I wanted to first try hearing aids so that I would not have to go through the 6-week, don’t-pick-up-anything-heavier-than-10-pounds period. It was a reasonable plan. But, it didn’t work. Perhaps the tiny bones were deteriorating fast and I should have had my aids’ adjusted more frequently. Hearing aids do work better than no hearing aids. But. Eventually I decided that being selfish probably wasn’t selfish, and did what I should have done a year ago.

So, right now, 3 days after the operation I can’t tell if it will work or not. In part, because I am told that patient compliance is as crucial as is the surgeons’ skill.


So here I sit, thinking about my list of restrictions. I remembered the no lifting from several years ago. That has relaxed. They say I can pick up my grandchildren and go back to babysitting within 2 weeks. (Do I feel really silly? Shhh. Don’t ask.)

But I’m not supposed to bend. I’m not supposed to vacuum clean. I’m not supposed to lift a laundry basket and carry it down 2 flights of stairs. I’m not supposed to blow my nose. I should follow a soft diet. I’m not supposed to drive.

“I’m not supposed to drive?!” I cried piteously. “What about my projects? How can I get to the library?! Am I just stuck in the house for a week?!”

“What I am going to do?” I’m whining to everyone who will listen. “Just surf the net and play FreeCell?”

“Sloth.” pronounced my husband. “Sloth. This week, repeat after me, this week, sloth is your friend.”

1 comment to When Sloth is Your Friend

  • I think I would go stir crazy if I could do NOTHING for two weeks. as it is, if my kids (when they are around) see me sitting reading a book for more than half an hour, ask if I am ill!! I could, of course, tidy the studio, rid the house of magazines and paperback books, but that entails lifting, so NO…I could so my painting, and embroidery and sewing. Am looking into surgery for my lumbar spine that will necessitate doing nothing for two weeks. hmmm..enjoy your free time. the refrigerator will get cleaned, the vacuuming will get done, etc. Mr. Paul will just have to run around!! ha ha ha!!! and you cna always say you can’t hear

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