Hello, my name is Jeff, I’m 40 and I’m feeling pretty lazy…..
It hasn’t always been this way, I used to be really active and social. I used to like to play basketball, tennis, hike at the lake, sing, hang out with my friends and I loved to write. When my kids were younger I loved getting them outside to climb rocks, go swimming or get a kickball game going behind our apartment building. As my kiddos got older, they became much busier which consequently meant, I became much busier. My daughter played volleyball, basketball and was on the swim team while my boys were involved in football, basketball, baseball and their true love, soccer. All of them also became involved in band, choir and/or theater at one time or another over the years. All of these things have been exciting as a parent, watching each of them dedicate themselves to something that they love and perform to the best of their abilities. Having this vast array of activities constantly swirling around us provided a schedule which was bursting at the seams with practices, rehearsals, games, meets, matches and performances. Often times, my wife and I wouldn’t see each other until 8:30 pm (on a good night) as we had to divide and conquer this recreational battlefield.
An unfortunate side effect of pushing our schedules to the brink and our bodies to exhaustion was that fast food became the norm. By the time we worked an 8+ hour day and drove between activities for multiple hours each evening, neither of us wanted to even think about cooking a meal. It was much easier to just grab some fast food on the way home and know that we were that much closer to collapsing on our bed. Another side effect of the congested schedule was that the more children’s activities we crammed into the schedule, the more adult activities we pushed out. On the rare occasion we would have down time, we knew exactly what we wanted to do….nothing. Instead of playing basketball, I laid on the couch. Instead of rock climbing or hiking at the lake, I laid on the couch. Instead of hanging out with friends or even writing, hello couch! Doing nothing became a luxury we could seldom afford, making it more difficult to turn down than a piece of pie on Thanksgiving. By repeating this schedule over a long period of time, I began to form “lazy” habits. These habits became my routine. This routine became my lifestyle.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I have not always viewed this lifestyle as lazy. Lazy by definition is: unwilling to work or use energy.
Clearly, I was willing to work and use energy or I could not have kept up with our crazy schedule. The laziness was more a matter of when and how I was willing to work and use energy. I began to realize that it was great that I kept my kids involved in a million activities and it was wonderful that I was able to show up to all of their games and performances, but what about when those moments were over? What type of relationship was I forming with my kids, my wife or even myself if I only repeated the actions that were necessary to “survive” each day? I have always thought of myself as a good father, good husband and good friend, however, as I initiated this self-reflection and looked deeper into these relationships I had a bit of an epiphany. I realized that I want more. I realized that I want to be more than a facilitator and a spectator in my life, I want to be a participator. I realized that I want to have more than a surface relationship with my kids, my spouse, my friends and family….and myself. I realized that I want more knowledge and appreciation of the people in my life not just for what they do, but for who they are.
So, how does all of this tie in with my “laziness” and the intimate relationship I have formed with my couch? That may have been the biggest realization of all. I realized that the less I do FOR myself, the less I expect FROM myself. This made me think of Newton’s first law of motion (because I’m a nerd). An object at rest (me on the couch) stays at rest and an object in motion (me NOT on the couch) stays in motion. How simple is that? If I want my life to start moving in a certain direction, Step 1 is to start moving! To me this means I need to get out of my rut, stop spectating and start participating. I need to start doing the things that I think about doing while laying on the couch. The things that intrigue me, excite me and inspire me need to become a part of my new normal. This is the only way for me to consistently be the best version of ME and by being the best version of me, I am able to be the best father, husband and friend I can be.
This blog is Step 1.
I love to write, it makes me feel alive and inspired and that’s a good place to start. Hopefully, this can be a source of information, inspiration, motivation and entertainment for others but I don’t have it all planned out, and that’s ok. The selfish truth of the matter is this, I’m doing this for me. And to anyone still reading this, no matter what our relationship, just know that by taking Step 1, I also hope to be a better me, for you.
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