The Art of Laziness

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The art of laziness is best appreciated as a solo endeavor. As a kid, my efforts to practice the art were thwarted by a psychotic older brother with whom I shared a room. From the rare sleepovers Cinder-Harold was allowed on, I discovered Saturday mornings were the quintessential time for practicing laziness, as my friends were allowed to lay in bed to awaken to wafting fragrances of bacon and pancakes, with an option to partake only if they wanted. At my house, Mom would call for breakfast faintly enough for my brother to hear, but not loud enough for me. I’d lay in bed, to be awakened by my brother’s threads, not wanting to be whisked away to the farm to do all the chores (i.e. cleaning a week’s worth of horse stalls and hauling feed). Defcon 2 sounded when he’d sprint up the stairs to personalize his threats. On rare occasions when I’d challenge his bluff, Defcon 3 meant head shots and hair pulling until screams were quietened by royal decree to acquiesce to my brother’s demands. Only once did my efforts result in being able to sleep in, except when sick, but that’s another story.

These days, true laziness can only be expressed through mindful meditation, which allows detachment from procrastination. A couple of deep breaths, wiggle the toes, and progressive relaxation to unconsciousness before awakening to a moist towelette on your cheek (aka spit soaked pillowcase). Ideal laziness can only be achieved if you have nothing to do. The thread of work is enough to ruin the experience, and one has to be careful to never fill in all the dates on your refrigerator calendar. To achieve true balance for the things you have to do, you must find time to centre yourself to do nothing, and counterbalance with pleasurable activities. Indeed, some of the laziest moments I’ve achieved have been on the golf course where I’ve swapped my feelings of procrastination with the bliss of one pure strike out of 100. Sadly though, the 99 blows of frustration often lead me to question if there’s a better use for my time. Thankfully, my ruminations are short lived as I focus mindfully on my friends mounting scores, tortuous profanity and the odd helicopter club launched into a water hazard.

It is true that some of the least lazy people are medical doctors. High achieving individuals with calendars packed with appointments to cure humanity. It’s little wonder the AMA hasn’t endorsed the Art of Laziness to promote longevity. How many times have you heard of a type A personality taking the retirement plunge, keeping their foot on the gas and shifting into neutral? They lose their sense of purpose, and keel over when their neural gyroscopes go off kilter and scramble their noggins. You cannot lose purpose if you have no purpose, which is the central tenant to the Art of Laziness…with one corollary….you must move enough to ensure all your parts keep working. Your body has to be primed and toned to do things like get up out of a chair to avoid the downhill slide from fat and sassy to ashes and dust. In similarity to the hypocritic oath, however, you must do no harm. The only proper way to work up a sweat is lazily consuming spicey Tai food with a cold beer. Be lazy my friends…peace out. May they find your body in pristine condition when you achieve perfect stasis.

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Harold Splatt, a long time resident of Lacombe Alberta, provides us with his colourful commentary on life as he sees it.

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