Most of us go through our day jumping from one thing to the next and trying to squeeze in that one last thing before dinner or sports practices or bed times. After all that, we need rest! When our chronic pain is more than medications or therapies can tackle, we need rest! When our brains have been going 100mph, we need rest! Even God rested:
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Gen 2:2-3
But then there is just plain lazy. We tend to pin this word to our kids’ foreheads on a regular basis… shoes out, backpacks lying around, a trail of winter clothes all the way up the stairs … and there they are planted in front of the XBox. Sometimes I wish I had duct tape for my OWN mouth because there I go, spouting off brilliant and love-giving things like: “Dude, why are you so LAZY!?!?! Pick up after yourself!”
And then I go sit on the couch and scroll through Pinterest for 30 minutes, because mommy needs to “rest.”
Or am I just being lazy?
- : repose, sleep; specifically : a bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities
- : freedom from activity or labor
- : a state of motionlessness or inactivity
- : the repose of death
- : a place for resting or lodging
- : peace of mind or spirit
Ok, sure — I had minimal function except for my scrolling finger on my tablet and definitely experienced FREEDOM from activity/labor. Motionless, check. Repose of death??? Um no. And blah blah blah — peace of mind or spirit… YES! Child upstairs, mommy downstairs… just yes.
- : not liking to work hard or to be active
- : not having much activity : causing people to feel that they do not want to be active
- : moving slowly
I’m not going to pick those apart because it will cause too much harm to my Pinterest boards. Ok not really — but you know what I’m getting at here. How do we know when we are needing rest and when we are just being lazy? Here is my opinion after 3 years of truly needing rest for my aching body.
The top 3 signs you’re just being lazy and using “rest” as an excuse.
1. You feel fine, you just “don’t wanna.”
I know. I’ve been there. You’re finally home, homework is done, chores are sort of done… and then comes dinner prep. I personally do not enjoy cooking. People like my sister can’t wait to try new things or mix this spice with that meat or whatever — we may look an awful lot alike, but I’m definitely not like her in that aspect! I tend to lean towards eggs and toast for dinner because it’s easy and a crowd pleaser at our house. Yesterday, I wasn’t in pain – but I just didn’t want to make dinner. THAT was laziness. Pure and simple. Sitting on the couch with Pinterest for an hour? More often than not, that’s REST for me — I’m resting my body and finding creative things that I can do with my hands once my energy is restored. Be honest with yourself. Try to push through the lazy times so that you can give yourself grace when you need the crutches of rest.
2. You’re considering picking up carpool in your pajamas.
Yes. I mean afternoon carpool. And I get it — BELIEVE ME, I get it. There are days your pain is so bad that brushing your teeth makes you cringe! The thought of buttoning your pants makes you imagine that your fingers are just bones with zero skin and tissue padding. Doing your hair? Not going to happen. But If you’re capable of driving a car to pick up kids from school, you’re capable of putting some clothes on (and maybe a hat if the hair just doesn’t work out for you.) Chances are if you’re still in your pajamas and it’s time to walk out the door, you’ve done plenty of resting and you can push through for an hour to get the kids home safely. Getting dressed will help YOU feel better about yourself, and it could potentially save your relationship with your middle schoolers. PS: Sweats counts as clothes. You’re welcome. If being a stay at home mom or dad is your current job, then do your job. Once everyone is settled at home you can reassess and see if your body is telling you to rest some more or if your mind is telling you to just throw in the towel because you’ve already accomplished zero stellar things today.
3. You’re not fulfilling your commitments. None of them.
I like to be busy. But when paralyzed with pain and fatigue here’s what happens. I keep signing up to do things, make things, lead things because in my HEAD I am still a healthy adult who can be an active member of her family, church, and society. But then I start cancelling left and right because I can’t physically do the things I signed up for. This is not laziness, this is absurdity. STOP SIGNING UP FOR THINGS IF YOU CANNOT DO THEM! It’s ok, give yourself some grace, people! Just because you can’t be the soccer mom who works out at 4:45am and finishes her day with grocery shopping at 9pm does not mean you are less than, that you are useless, that you “can’t” do things. Once you have your list whittled down to what you CAN conceivably master (and I’ll tell you it’s much much less than you think it is — even for those who are physically well), fulfill those commitments. Don’t use “I need to rest” as an excuse. You set the pace. You set the routine, and stick to it!
If you can’t seem to pull yourself out of the laziness rut, it could very well be time to seek some medical help. At the very least verbalize it with a friend or your spouse. Unspoken issues can become stone walls if we let them. But once they are spoken and addressed, ANYTHING is possible!