boring

365 Challenge: Day 78 – Lazy

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Lazy: unwilling to work or use energy

It’s Monday 5/29 at 2:37pm EST and my daily 365 Challenge post is only just beginning right now. Let’s set the stage even further. It’s Memorial Day and I am officially not working today. It was a 3-day weekend. I’ve done nothing so far today except catch up on writing book reviews, interacting on social media with all of my e-friends and new e-friends. I’ve completed all but one outstanding tag/award/meme, which only just arrived in the last hour. But I still haven’t written the 365 Daily post. But it gets worse. I have not left my apartment. I’ve barely gotten off the couch. I haven’t gone to the gym. I haven’t even yet showered. Sure, you probably didn’t care to know that, but I’m just creating a little ambiance here…

At first, I thought to myself… you are worse than lazy. It’s Memorial Day and you’ve done nothing to support this important day. But… I did, as one of my posts earlier this week was thanking our veterans, active duty  armed forces (all branches) and anyone involved in this type of a role. So at least I don’t feel too guilty about being completely neglectful, as I’ve properly extended my humble appreciation via the blog; however, even if this were a regular normal day, it’s half-over and I’ve done nothing by normal standards. So…I am officially lazy today. Not everyday. It’s just today and I can accept it. I’ll be back on track with my schedule tomorrow. Actually, after I finish this post, I do plan on hitting the gym, then showering (thankfully), and I will pickup food to cook for dinner this evening.

But since we’re on the topic… is it OK to be lazy every once in a while? Do you feel wasteful when you sit on your a$$ and “play on the computer.” How often do you find yourself engaging in such a behavior? Up until about 3 years ago, I still had a flip phone. I did not have any social media accounts except for Facebook. I wasn’t big on searching the internet or reading any news or blog sites. I had other hobbies. But in the last few years, social media continues to take up more of my time. In some ways, it’s great, as I meet new people, learn new things and am connected across the world. In others, how do I measure this as true productivity of my discretionary time?

I’m not referring to it as a professional or business-oriented metric, but as a personal one. Many of us have families, children or parents to care for. Some of us work a lot more than the “standard” 40 hours, or have second and third jobs. Lots don’t have a personal computer and use their phone or at the library / work, when time permits, which is usually minimal. I’m sure there is a wide range of usage even across those of us who have blogs on WordPress (or other sites). It’s got me thinking more than usual today… about personal productivity versus laziness, when it comes to the art of just “surfing the internet.” How much is too much?

Many have asked this question before. Many have answered this question before. There are different answers as there are different kinds of bloggers. I would say I “work” about 40 to 50 hours per week on a normal schedule. I do not have children, which gives me more available free time. My parents are in good health, and although I visit with them each week, I’m not a caretaker at the moment. I exercise in my building’s gym, so no traveling around to work out or participate in sports. Basically, I’ve got a lot of “extra available” time for hobbies and pastimes, when compared to other people. It hasn’t always been this way, as I’ve had the 100 hour weeks and caring for others, so this is just a point in time contemplation over my own laziness. A few thoughts on my mind:

  • How much time on average do people spend doing this stuff?
    • A few hours a day, if I added it all up. Between the daily 365 post, reading other comments, an extra post or two depending on tags/memes/awards/summaries/updates, 5 past book reviews to catch up on for the next month or so, then syncing between all the different sites and social media accounts. That’s a lot of time. But I do enjoy it. I feel productive on some levels. I’m meeting fantastic people. {Aside: YEAH – YOU!!!}
  • How much time do I think we should spend doing this stuff?
    • I feel like 1 hour per day is sufficient, but using time wisely. Maybe a few checks thru-out the day during a quick free moment, but then back to the normal tasks at hand. I’d like to strive for accomplishing my blogging goals within a one-hour limit.
  • Is it important to consider “quality” versus “quantity?”
    • The more followers you have, the more people you follow, the more you want to engage. Today, I kept hopping from blog to blog, finding great new people and posts. And then I kept seeing “20 new posts in WP Reader” all the time. It was a bit of a rabbit hold, arguably a good one. Part of me thinks I could do this all day, but that might be unhealthy, unless it were my full-time job.
  • Are response times important on social media and blogging?
    • Even when I think about my work email, I am restless if something sits in my Inbox for more than two minutes without me reading it. And then I get nutty if I haven’t responded within 30 minutes to the sender. I’m now feeling that way about the blog! It’s definitely not a complaint — as I love blogging — but is there any “response time” that one would consider appropriate or inappropriate? It is probably subjective by person, as well as if you’ve setup expectations with someone in the past. Maybe that’s 30 minutes twice a day to keep up?

I could probably go on and on with thoughts and questions, but I think this is good enough for a daily post about feeling lazy versus productive on this specific day when speaking directly about blogging. How about you? Any thoughts on the questions above? I end with one last realization for today:

I’m not actually lazy. I have accomplished a lot since I awoke this morning. It was just all done while sitting on my couch, as part of a hobby where I’m not being paid, so… that’s why I felt lazy — because it was time where I focused on what I wanted instead of the things I thought I was supposed to do with an extra day on the weekend. So… where do I end up if not lazy… Superficial? Selfish? Silly? Oh no, another rabbit hole — and this one doesn’t sound as pleasant.

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 18 – Pale

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Pale: light in color or having little color, feeble and unimpressive

What an interesting word… do I mean my skin color is pale, as in light? Do I mean my personality is pale, as in boring? Or do I mean I am pale, as in comparison to others? Perhaps a little of everything… a bit vanilla and plain. But I’m good with that.

Waking up this morning, I realized I drank a bit more than usual last night and felt a little sleepy and lazy. I still pushed myself out of bed and began my day by 7:15. I thought to myself… “40 has hit you! You’re a bit of a lightweight now, eh?” [said with a thick Scottish brogue].

I remember I had 1 mixed drink and 5 or 6 glasses of wine over a 4-hour period. More than normal, more than one should, but not all that significant compared to many others. So, I suppose I do pale in comparison, in those respects.

I got out of bed, threw on some clothes and went to wash my face. When I looked in the mirror, I appeared washed-out… even more pale than usual. Almost like a ghost! Was that really me?

Yes, it was… you see… my skin is really, really light. Not translucent where you can see inside, but often you see the blueish colors of the veins (or is it arteries? wish I remembered high school science stuff) shining right on thru!

I’ve always wanted to have a bit darker skin… to actually have a sun tan; however, if I go anywhere near the sun, I burn within minutes. Probably that English, Irish and Scottish heritage deep within. Did my people just hide away in caves????

But while Stewie is in pain, he at least has a consistent color all about him. When I get caught in the sun, or if I purposely try to hang out on the beach to get a tan from time to time, it is never even. I look like the messiest splotch around. I don’t spread the suntan lotion properly. I’ve had a few cases of farmer’s tan. I’ve even burned just half my face. My skin is not meant to get near the sun. I must have vampire blood in me somehow. And that’s why I say I’m pale. There are some good things about being pale. Dark colors look extra good on me! Umm… can’t think of anything else tho, so maybe it’s not such a good thing.

As noted, pale can also mean bland, boring, vanilla, plain… leaning towards unimpressive and feeble. I’m not sure I agree pale could mean “feeble” but the dictionary says so, which means it must be true. I’m far from feeble… and that’s not thinking of the word in relation to age.

Pale implies ordinary, common. I find that to be a good thing. It means you don’t stand out, whether it’s to get attention or due to some unusual physical characteristic or behavior. I do think of myself (in about 80% of cases) as a bit vanilla and plain. I’m not showy. I’m not extravagant. I like to keep things in the “average zone” so as not to call attention to myself.

But there’s that 20% of me that’s not pale, not average, not ordinary. Most of it is behavioral. Some of it physical. Some you can see. Some you cannot. Some is temporary. Some is permanent. It’s always in flux. But it’s there. And those who know me well, know how and when it comes out.

Those who don’t know me, or meet me in a corporate setting, wouldn’t really notice it. Perhaps if they were intuitive, it might be a bit more obvious to them. I’m certainly not average in lots of areas, but when I am, I am comfortable with it, even if it means I pale in comparison to others. Knowing and accepting who and what you are, faults and all, strengths and all, is a sign of… well, intelligence!

Would I change any of it?

  • Yes to being able to get a bit of sun tan. Not too much as it could lead to cancer and other diseases, but I think having a bit of color is a more healthy look and feel.
  • No to being average. Life’s a balance of so many things, and I don’t want to stand out above others. It doesn’t mean I’m not competitive (that’s very different, and I am very competitive). It just means I’m comfortable with who I am.
  • Yes/No to being boring all the time. A few surprises are a good thing in life, and I have a good balance here most days.

What about you…

  • Do you agree with my self-assessment, those of you who know me?
  • Are you pale?