Some days? I just get lazy.
Take last Tuesday, for example.
I woke up at my usual time, around 4:00 a.m. (although I should say that the phrase “waking up” doesn’t really apply to me—I almost never sleep for more than an hour at a stretch, so there’s rarely any kind of “deep sleep” to “wake up” FROM . . .).
Anyway, I woke up, looked at the clock, and rolled over, knowing I had a decision to make.
Sleep or run? (Sometimes the choice is sleep or WRITE. . . .)
It’s the same choice I have to make every morning, and most days, the decision is simple: Drag my exhausted, sleep-deprived butt out of bed and get out there for my run.
It’s a simple choice because on the days when I run, when I do the “right” thing, when I don’t give in to the lazy streak that hides out there in the back of my mind, I feel better.
Even when I haven’t slept a wink (again), when I have a touch of the sniffles, when I’m overworked and underpaid, I feel good—great, even—when I force myself out there and act like the person I want to be. She may not be perfect, the person I want to be, but she’s a heck of a lot better than the person who curls back up in bed and pretends to be asleep.
But there are other days when the choice isn’t so easy to make. And even though I know I’ll never get back to sleep (and that making any attempt to do so is pure folly), even though I know I’ll feel like garbage all day long if I stay there in my warm and cozy bed for even a minute longer, I can’t make myself get up.
On those days, the laziness is like a snowball rolling downhill, getting bigger and bigger and knocking down every healthy option in its path.
Do one thing wrong—like skipping my morning run—and it’s nearly impossible to avoid other “bad” behavior, like eating a whole bag of Swedish fish or sugary granola bars or whatever nutrition-less piece of empty calories happens to catch my eye.
It’ll also be harder than usual to do the everyday things that are normally so easy—like, you know, my job (which is to write and to read).
All day long, I’ll fight the urge to stretch out on the couch and “rest my eyes” (or just abandon life entirely for the day and get back into bed, even if it means more tossing and turning, just like I do at night).
I’ll wander around in a foggy haze, wondering what happened to all that motivation I felt just—when? Yesterday? On lazy days, it feels like forever since I had any energy at all.
But here’s the thing: I’ve learned to accept it, my laziness. In a weird way, I’ve come to see it almost as a friend.
Because in truth? It’s NOT laziness.
It’s my body telling me I need just a little bit of downtime.
You can’t keep going the way I do—working out, reading and writing and editing for long hours, driving yourself to do more, day after day after day—without eventually breaking down.
Last winter, I ignored my laziness, tried to fight it, and ended up with a knee injury that kept me from working out (or doing much else) for over a month.
So now, I’ve learned to listen to my body, which (to my surprise) is a LOT smarter than my brain.
My body—and my laziness—tell me when I need to rest. And they also get me back out there—better, stronger, faster—the very first thing tomorrow morning.