Finding myself can’t be all goodness and light. Otherwise, what’s the point?
I am lazy. If something is not causing me physical discomfort or personal danger, I tend not to want to bother with it. If there is something that needs attention or doing, I will sit and wait to see if anybody else is going to deal with it first, so I won’t have to. The more competent people there are in the immediate vicinity, the worse it gets. It’s infectious, too, hence our answering machine message, which says something like, “Everybody at this number is currently standing around looking at each other and waiting for somebody else to pick up the phone.” That really happens. It also happens when somebody knocks on the door, when something gets spilled, when there is yelling or hollering, etc. Even if I might disagree with the way somebody else handles a situation, I tend to prefer them handling it over me handling it. At a party or ritual, I will wait until the last possible minute to start clean up and tear down, in the hopes that somebody will do some of it first.
I can be obnoxious about it, too. For example, I’ll wait until the last half hour before lunch, and then start doing all the morning chores, while muttering under my breath about how nobody else is doing them and how much I hurt today.
Pain can make anybody bitchy. But an explanation is not an excuse.
I wonder how much of that is pain, and how much is not. If it is from pain, does that make it a true part of me, or not?
It’s a part of life that I have recognized and despaired over recently, my large quantities of inertia. But when I think back on it, it’s on the days when I feel remarkably pain-free that I actually do get up and bounce around the house, getting chores done quickly, answering the door and the phone, taking care of business. I’ll clear off the tables and sew, I’ll cook something nice without turning into a puddle when I’m done.
Am I being too hard on myself when I say I am lazy? How much am I supposed to fight? How much can I expect grace for my situation, versus pity or worse for being too weak?
Right now, I have a headache that has been here for almost a week, and I haven’t been able to run in nearly two and my feet still hurt, and both of those reflect into the general pain level. Which probably makes it a better time for examination than when I am pain-free, because then I tend to look back and wonder what I was complaining about. The memory of pain is always less. It’s a bad time for examination, too, because my brain is foggy and my thinking murky.
Do I want to be the person who fights every day to pretend nothing is wrong? Or can I accept “laziness” in order to save my strength for more important work than putting on a good show? What happens when this touches on my self-identity as a housewife, teacher, and mother, the Maureen Smith ideal I’ve always worked towards?