The Joys of Laziness

As I write this I'm busy sitting here eating total crap.

Now, I don't like eating total crap, normally; I eat more healthily than that most of the time. I try to cut down on how much I eat and things like that. Neither - for anyone who cares about these sorts of things - do I get them from giant, soulless corporations...well, not directly at least. The ingredients are sourced from giant, soulless corporations (and full of people too, which doesn't exactly do wonders for my misanthropy), but fuck it, if I'm going to increase my risk of all sorts of serious conditions and illnesses I'm going to prepare my doom for myself.

Tonight, I'm eating total crap because, well, fuck it! I've been craving it for hours and a little bit won't hurt. And as for why I'm writing this?

Because I love being lazy.

At this point some people are going to get confused and wonder what exactly I'm on about. Why would I enjoy being lazy? Why wouldn't I instead work, work, work to get good grades? Why wouldn't I eat healthily, sleep well and energise myself for long, stressful days? Surely that's better in terms of both pleasure and morality than just lounging around? I love being lazy, because laziness is freedom and choice - two things I don't really get that much of. Laziness is pottering down to the kitchen at an absurd hour to get myself something that I know is bad for me, simply because I want to and a little won't be too terrible. Laziness is not having to worry about people wailing out passive-aggressive statements about how terrible their privileged, pampered lives are, or fussing over me, or telling me what to do.

Laziness, to me, is being able to concentrate on what I want to do - the things that I enjoy. Laziness is lying down, relaxing, smiling, being happy, not having to worry about pushy parents breathing down my neck to do work.

Now tell me, isn't that pleasurable? Is it not more pleasurable to do what you want to do at your own pace than to grind yourself down over a series of meaningless tasks simply because someone else is telling you to do them? I'd say yes: I certainly get more pleasure out of having my fun while working slowly than I do pushing all the fun out of my life because someone's snapping at me to do work, work, work. Oddly enough, while being lazy I also get more done: by my nature I'm not a good, productive worker - I'm a distracted dreamer thinking about several things at once. Trying to get me to focus on one thing at the expense of the others - no, forcing me to do so - backfires horribly. Cut off from the things I love and stressed out by people being snappy and pushy, I will at the very least be a bit down - but I've been known to lose all motivation to work and instead just sit in a catatonic, depressed lump, not even being able to pick up my things when I drop them due to my slow, unsteady, demotivated movements. (I did this to contrast laziness - which I enjoy and which is good for me - with actual depression, which is neither). Without laziness, I don't eat well - I can't, I don't have the time. I undereat or I overeat, and I don't sleep either due to having horrible sleep patterns. Thanks to that, I've got no energy, and I need to replenish it with laziness.

But some people might also say that laziness is selfish and immoral. How dare people lie around doing nothing when others are working so hard?!

I'll just say this: we have a major problem in society when it comes to how we treat work. We talk about a work-life balance, or to put it more accurately we pay lip-service to the idea of a work-life balance, but in the real world there's too much work and not enough life. Even 11-year-olds, shunted into secondary school to start being properly prepared to be good little worker drones, are having to wake up at ungodly hours and go to bed at equally ungodly hours thanks to a horrible combination of people thinking that children don't have enough crammed into their heads during the day and that teenagers should be constantly involved in all sorts of random fucked-up social things. Things are far, far worse for people in the actual working world.

As a result of this, people are stressed. They're fucked up. They're addicted to all sorts of things - from caffeine to heroin to snake oil to self-help books. Few work well getting the poor sleep and the bad diet that society forces us to have.

And it doesn't have to be this way, either. It would be better and perhaps easier to be much more flexible, starting things earlier or later as people prefer and finishing when people get tired - so then someone else takes over. I doubt the quality of work would change that much - if anything it might actually increase thanks to people getting proper meals and sleep and being less stressed out - and to the lawyers and businessmen crying over how slowly their deals might go: shhhhhhhh, money is a bit like Monopoly money except people take it more seriously. Life's too important to get stressed over, so laugh a little.

I'm digressing, though, and I should really come back to my main point - laziness, good sleep and flexible working schedules aren't selfish. Far more selfish is to demand that everyone conform to an arbitrary framework that nobody really likes and to make them stressed if they show signs of slipping. Far more selfish is to burn people out with busywork because the thought of them taking a break would be anathema to you.

Moreover, it's selfish to do something else that people like to do when it comes to working - and here I'm talking about being a manipulative shit.

I don't like to whine or give too many personal examples, but I'd like to share this one. As a student, I work hard enough to burn myself out and have done since I was 11. I don't have a minute of free time to myself in school because I'm too busy working. I even feel guilty about reading sometimes. Now, when I actually want that minute of free time to myself at home, because not only am I tired but I have a bit of a social life and I actually want to talk to people, I've had people stand over me and tell me that if I don't work right this minute I'm going to fail my A levels.

Well, you know what? Let me fail my A levels, because I'm doing terribly in them anyway. Let me absolutely flunk each and every single one of my exams thanks to being too much of a lazy shit to revise. Let every university turn me away for being such an indolent pig. Let my parents hate me. Let my friends turn away from me.

I don't care, because if I have that time to relax and to do what I want to do, I'll be happy. Even if my spirits sink the instant I see my grades, I'll have had two years of happiness instead of two years of stress, tears, depression, hopelessness and suicidality.

It's not selfish of me to want happiness. It's not selfish of me to want to do my own things at my own pace, even if that means failing by everyone else's standards. I'm under no obligation to become what people expect me to, only to do right by other people - and I can do that even if I fail every single exam I take.

And this is the great joy of laziness - the utter freedom it brings.

Maybe if we had more of that, we wouldn't be in such a terrible state.