Learning to Loaf

01 February 2010 · 8 comments

One of the things that sucks about being productive is that I no longer know how to relax. Once, not so long ago, I was the Master of Slack. If there was work to be avoided, I avoided it. I preferred to relax — and I was good at it.

Now, though, the opposite is true. Perhaps I don’t do as much around the house as Kris would like, but that’s usually because I’m doing work of some sort, whether it’s for a book, a blog, or some related project. In fact, for the past four months, all I’ve done is work. (And complain about working.)

But my schedule is no longer crammed with things to do. Sure, I have my chore cloud, but there’s nothing that needs to be done RIGHT NOW. Yet because I’ve become conditioned to be in this hyper-focused work state, I’m finding it impossible to relax: My body is tense, and my mind is alert. It’s difficult to fall asleep at night. I don’t have the patience to read a book.

Yesterday, I tried to spend a lazy Sunday. I remember fondly the lazy Sundays from my youth, lounging around the trailer house with the funny pages, playing outside with Jeff and Tony. I also remember having nice lazy Sundays when Kris and I first moved into our house in Canby. But I haven’t had one of those in a long time.

So, yesterday I loafed on the couch (or tried to), petted the cats, read a book (or tried to), and watched a movie with Kris. It was nice. Today I tried more of the same. I walked down to the gym and back — a 5-1/2 mile round-trip. I drove out to the box factory, and then stopped at my favorite pizza parlor on the way home. Eventually I made my way up here to the office where I had vowed to play a computer game. But I can’t make myself do it. It seems like such a waste.

Instead, I’m going to continue my attempts to get into a groove here on foldedspace. I realize that nobody’s really reading anymore, but I’m sticking with the promise I made last summer when I moved this blog to jdroth.com (it used to live here). I intend for this to become an active, vibrant place again, just like it was in the olden days (circa 2004-05). But in order for that to happen, I’m going to have to write nearly every day.

So consider this a bit of practice. That seems like a good use of my time: It’s neither fully productive, but it’s not loafing around, either. Plus, I enjoy it. And maybe if I do this often enough, I’ll find my voice again, and foldedspace will return to its glory days. I think that’d be fun…

1 Roger February 1, 2010 at 16:32

I must have happened upon an older post. I liked it so much, I put you on my reader. I enjoy the way you write and hope that you do get into a groove here on this site.

I like to “listen” to you write.

Get a Grip and Go for it.

Have some fun with it.

2 ClaireTN February 1, 2010 at 16:46

Like Roger, I have you in my RSS feed, so you have at least two readers. I enjoy your voice and look forward to hearing more.

3 bethh February 1, 2010 at 16:53

Well, sure, you probably need some practice loafing. Or maybe you’ve just changed and you need to do more than constant lolling to feel satisfied with your day. That happens to the best of us :-)

4 Four Pillars February 1, 2010 at 21:17

I read this blog. I actually prefer occasional posts – too many posts usually mean I end up reading about what you had for breakfast etc.

5 Tiffany February 2, 2010 at 08:51

Hello Jd,
I’m still reading, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I click on most every day in hopes that a new posts will be there.

6 bethh February 2, 2010 at 12:41

I had a follow-up thought to this post as I walked home from work last night (see? not only do you have readers, but your thoughts sometimes stick around for a while) – perhaps your Extreme Loafing Skills were due to the fact that you were avoiding a lot of things you didn’t like about your life. Life improved = less need for hiding from it.

7 Marisa February 7, 2010 at 20:11

You made it into my RSS reader at some point, too, and I really enjoyed your posts about finishing the book. I’m at the very end of writing my dissertation, and it’s been nice to read about a project that is very different, yet also similar.

8 Nicole February 13, 2010 at 17:05

Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out again.

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