I have an image of myself as a pretty lazy person. I don’t like working. I really like spending half a day in bed. I procrastinate on almost everything. I can be really flaky on getting back to people.
In fact, this self-image is so much a part of me that I’m mostly incapable of ever feeling truly relaxed. I have a constant feeling that I’m not doing what I’m supposed to, and that something must be wrong. I don’t tend to think that I’m a dramatic person, but I do think that I live in a sense of permanent crisis. And I usually think that crisis could be avoided if I was less lazy.
But then on certain days, like today, I actually step back and make a list of all the things that I’m actively working on right now, and the question almost completely flips! Could it be the opposite? That I’m actually drastically overcapacity and I’ve lost my perspective on what “productivity” and “laziness” even mean (both of which have all sorts of ablist, classist, racist undertones, right?)?
I mean, let’s actually make a list of what I’ve actively done this week:
-International wire transfer to Guatemala of $8,000 that Glendi and I raised to buy land for the Guatemala school project
-International transfer of final $2,000 to Guatemala to build first septic tank and basic plumbing for Glendi’s family
-Two meetings and loads of correspondence around my grad school applications and impending decision
-Publicity and logistics for a political speaking event on May 12
-Co-organizing a 250-person, $12,000+ fundraising dinner for my job for May 21
-Daily support for a youth direct action campaign against the school to prison pipeline, including a May 4 action
-Helping to prepare my transition out of my job and the hiring of someone new by July
-Preparing and facilitating of two presentations/workshops on Thursday and tomorrow
-2 nights of support for Glendi’s various jobs, making copies, driving Glendi around, etc.
-Daily cooking and chores
-Phone conversations and hangout scheduling with multiple friends
-Walking 10,000 steps each night
-Reading each night
-Writing each night
-Oh, and dealing with identity theft and fraud of $400 by someone in France, and changing all accounts
What?! I walk around each day with all of these threads, struggling to hold them together. Yet, still, even right now my dominant perspective is that I was lazy this week! Seriously, what?!
How do I accept what I’m not able to do in a week? How can I accept that healthy living includes downtime in which I actually do calm down? How can I accept that perfection actually is impossible, and that it’s not the secret goal of my little real-life video game? How do I hold onto my self-love, even in moments when I feel like I’m screwing everything up by not working harder?
Jeremy. Please breathe. Feel your body. You’re okay. You’re okay. I love you so much. I think you need a good cry.