I don’t like “Lazy”

I don’t like lazy. Lazy is a lazy word. It encompasses too much on it’s own. It’s too broad of a word, too much of a blanket term. Lazy implies righteousness in productivity. It implies one is less than for doing less and more than for doing more. It implies worthiness is tied to our production. Laziness is weaponized as a term to derogatorily refer to those who desire to relax or relinquish themselves from the pressures of do this or do that.

I’m feeling tired. I have worked a lot this week and not been sleeping well. I feel that I have less energy. I am feeling drained physically. I sit down to relax. My brain says loudly “STOP BEING LAZY”. So, I get up and continue to push through this feeling until, I have nothing left to give. And instead of feeling tired, I’m feeling burnt out. I’m feeling like I am a candle that someone left burning and didn’t blow out.

I’m feeling sad. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and I haven’t seen the people I love in a few months. I’m feeling emotionally empty. My cup is half full. I feel like my shoulders are heavy and everything I pick up from my water to my cat, all feels heavier. I sit down to watch a movie. I hear my brain “YOU’RE SO LAZY”. I get up and snap out of the short distraction I had given myself from the sadness and resume trying to think of things I have yet to complete since I have been too lazy to do them.

I’m feeling behind. The dishes in the sink have piled up, the laundry is clean and on my floor or dirty and overflowing in my closet, I can barely see the floor. My car that was supposed to be washed is now almost yellow instead of the bright white it should be. I look at all my tasks and my brain said “LOOK AT HOW LAZY YOU ARE”. I feel terrible. I scold myself on how could I let it go this far and get this overwhelming; shaking my own finger at myself for my lack of doing.

What if instead of saying lazy? I wasn’t so lazy with my words. What if I gave myself permission to look behind lazy and see what is sitting there.

I looked behind lazy and realized how tired I was physically and how much my body needed rest. I see how laziness convinced me I did not deserve rest because I had not done enough and I had to earn rest, but how do I recharge if I never rest? Simply, I can’t. So, I really wasn’t lazy for taking a seat to relax, I was listening to my body’s request for rest. I blew out the candle instead of letting it burn until it couldn’t anymore and asking it to do more.

I looked behind lazy and could see how heavy these emotions of sadness weighed on me. I saw that I was having trouble finding space where my emotions didn’t cause me pain. I found a flicker of joy in sitting to watch a movie, after I had sat with sadness so long. I stamped out my own joy and respite in the name of laziness, as if it was self-righteous of me to do so. As if it was more righteous of me to push through and deny myself my own needs. Where is the righteousness of ignoring yourself? You’re the most important one to listen to.

I looked behind lazy again to see how many times I decided to do something else instead of clean my house, like going out with a friend, going to the gym, going for a walk, sitting in the sun, calling someone I love, and reading just one more chapter before I have to leave. My priorities were different, and I chose to focus my energy on something other than my chores. Instead of judging myself and my “laziness”, what if I gave myself compassion and recognized I can’t always be productive in the same way. I really weaponized laziness as a way to hurt myself and judge myself for what I should do or shouldn’t do. And you know what, it doesn’t make anything happen any faster or easier if I judge myself beforehand. In fact, it makes me feel even more inferior as I compare myself to those more righteous than myself whose homes are clean all the time.

What if instead of saying lazy I said: I need a break so I…, I’m feeling overwhelmed so I…, I’m allowed to take a break so I…, I’m listening to my body so I…, I don’t require productivity to be worthy of rest so I…, or I don’t require productivity to be worthy. How different my relationship with me would be if I didn’t shame her for being “lazy” and used less lazy language to describe my state of being.

What if you stopped shaming yourself for time spent recharging, taking a break, and doing nothing? Because you do not need productivity to be worthy of rest. You are worthy of rest because you woke up this morning and listened to your body asking so. “You are so lazy”, says my brain, and now I choose not to listen.

If this resonates with you, or you want to learn more about self-compassion and coping with negative thoughts please contact Life Enhancement Counseling Services at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment with one of our mental health counselors.



Arielle Teets