Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Art of Laziness

The latest quote on my
kitchen blackboard.
My goal this summer is to really work on my sense of urgency.

The month of June usually starts out with a sheet of lined notebook paper with the title "Must Do"--a list that is on my refrigerator door and plagues me every time I look for the butter, and being a Wisconsin gal, I look for the butter a lot. 

I am and always have been an urgent person.  Things must get done, they must get done now, and they must get done right, or else the world will stop spinning.  Life as we know it will end.  

Yes, I am also a bit of a drama queen.

Some people would label this sense of urgency as anxiety.  I was the child how never fell asleep at night.  My mother would tuck me in at a proper 8 PM, and I would still be dealing with my mental monsters long after the older household fell asleep.  As an adult, I would awaken at 2 AM, and then replay every event of the day and every possible scenario of the future--usually ending up on the dark side

It wasn't until I was in my early 50's and in a particularly desperate point in my short marriage that a kind therapist let me know that this really wasn't the way that life had to be, and that Lexapro could be my friend.

I have embraced that friendship over the past five years, and the sharp edges of my anxiety have worn a bit.  I can now sleep through the night, sit in a room with a basket of laundry without imagining deepening wrinkles and creases that need to be smoothed and folded, and actually not make my bed if the whim hits me.
"Prairie Sherry, file us away.  We are multiplying."

Still, summer has continued to be  a time when I have felt pushed into my anxious corner. I don't feel a sense of relaxation and peace that others describe.  For those brief three months I feel that I must tease every aspect of my life into order so that I can face the new school year, and the total chaos and unpredictability it brings, with a sense that I have done everything on my part to make my at-home life neat, tidy, and manageable. No amount of meds and deep breathing have been able to overcome that.

Well, there really isn't a corner this summer because of the retirement.  The kitchen cupboards that I would really like to refinish will best be done in September when the garage is cooler, and I am not mixing my sweat with the polyurethane.  The boxes that I have pulled out of the utility area of my basement don't have to be sorted today when the temps are 70 degrees and I am sitting on my deck typing this.  I can wait until the temps and humidity of August are in the 90's and the basement will be a cool haven.  Yes, the boxes are littering a portion of the family room, but I don't need to look at them if I face the opposite direction.
"Turn around, Sharon.  Take a deep breath.
This doesn't need to be done today."

My Labor Day deadline is a moot point, and I am working on appreciating its mootness.  I am really trying to be lazy.  I took the alarm clock out of my room two weeks ago.  Yesterday, I let my youngest paint purple polka dots on my professional pedicure as I chatted with her and her older sister.  I took three days off of my part time job to enjoy the company of my sister, brother-in-law, and great niece.  Those three days included a day trip to Iowa to see much neglected cousins whom I adore.  

Today, I work at 4, but until then, I am writing this, waiting for a call from my best friend, and then going out to lunch with the middle child.  The only real housework that will be accomplished is moving the sprinkler a couple of times. And for that matter, does it really need to be moved?

The relaxation of that sense of urgency also includes this blog.  I was suppose to write this post last week.  The photos were taken, and the idea had sorted itself in my mind, but I just wasn't called to the keyboard.  I am hoping that our dear Prairie Readers will bear with my new-found and very intentional laziness.  In fact, take a deep breath with me, drop what you're doing, and just sit for a moment.  I am listening to my bird neighbors, contemplating a second cup of coffee, and resting my eyes for just a bit...

Prairie Sherry   


  1. Dear Prairie Girlz, I know you are Laura Ingalls Wilder fans. As one of YOUR fans, I thought of you when I saw this old New York Times article on the locusts of her era and what happened to them:

  2. Fascinating article. I did live in South Dakota in the late 1950's. I recall the grasshopper population peaking at times during the summer, although nothing like the swarm described in Wilder's book. I hated them. They would hop on your clothes and leave tobacco-like stains. Thanks for sharing.