Monday, July 17, 2017

Lazy Boy – Lessons from a Leisurely Life

Think of this as a warning, a true cautionary tale. It may not be pretty. It may not be pleasant. Real life seldom is. And once having consumed the forthcoming account, consider sharing with your children, lest they someday fall into such an unfortunate state. For, not unlike the plotline of a 1950’s, atomic age, drive-in, sci-fi flick, this is the story of a once gainfully employed, fully functioning, active member of society, turned slug.

I have become astonishingly, remarkably, and perhaps even, Guinness World Record noteworthy lazy since my surprise early retirement was suddenly thrust upon me.  I rarely rise before the crack of noon, if that early, and even with that deferred rousing,  usually pencil some time into my barely there schedule to allow for an utterly unnecessary nap, somewhere in the period between afternoon syndicated courtroom shows and whatever frozen restaurant leftovers I microwave and munch standing up over my butcher block table as an evening meal (a hint from a very seasoned and accomplished napper - no matter how awake and alert you may feel when first reclining, a screening of any episode of the PBS chestnut, “The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross” will gently lull you into a soothing and satisfying slumber, complete with dreamy visions of happy, little trees and friendly, fluffy clouds.  I have watched hundreds of episodes and have yet to witness a painting rendered to completion. You may consider that good, you may consider that bad - art is subjective.)

Tasks, outings, errands, social events, theatre, shopping, drinking, dining – any activity that involves the extreme exertion of actually departing the apartment, be it for pleasure or chore, is generally limited to one a day.  In the infrequent situation when faulty and most tragic miss-scheduling arises, and two or (perish the thought), more events are on the docket, the subsequent 24 hours are to be largely spent in bed, followed by an immediate vacation. For example, once concluding an expedition to Gristedes Supermarket, a mere quarter of a block from my building’s entrance, for that taxing and trying task of food, grocery and sundry replenishment, I’ve put in my eight hours. And, once more, it’s into the familiar and welcoming embrace of a well-worn sofa, the anxious and willing servitude of Google Home awaiting my verbal commands and demands, and the companionship of a cat who, at best, just wants to be friends.

Friends, beware the siren call of the electronic home assistant.  I have fully succumbed to its allure and seductive charisma, so much so, that I own one each of the bitter rivals. In the livingroom, a Google Home, and in the bedroom, an Amazon Echo - combatants in a contentious commercial conflict, cautiously coexisting in these claustrophobic accommodations. There is a peace between the two, a ceasefire of sorts, but it is fragile and antagonistic, so, it’s imperative they be kept continually separated, rooms apart - for their well-being, my safety and the continued existence of all humanity. But thanks to the futuristic, Jetsons-esque capabilities of these underpriced, over-achievers; movement within the confines of my home is virtually unnecessary. These celebrations of sloth and enablers of immobility have made the simple motion of typing on a keyboard seem a grueling and superflous Herculean challenge.  However, in complete fairness to myself, I would not say I am, yet, an inert object, but I also would not proclaim myself particularly “ert” either.

While this lethargy, and its corporeal consequences, have reached such epic proportions that I’ve been offered my own TLC program, despair not from this unseemly saga of a good man gone bland, and a drive temporarily stuck in neutral, because this physical inactivity has not been equally mirrored in the mental realm. In actuality, the opposite has occurred, the rested body has led to an active mind, and many a condition and position have been pondered, even beyond fresh phrases with which to insult Donald Trump on Twitter.  With maturity, comes a heightened ability to recognize and confront weaknesses and flaws, and whereas in youth I would have denied, I will now forthrightly and willingly admit to being a bountiful cornucopia of faults. It’s unlikely I’ll do much to correct them, but I’ll be more than happy to fess up when called out. And, in today’s society, that gets you a trophy.

“Up a lazy river by the old mill run
Lazy river in the noon day sun
Linger awhile in a shade of a tree
Throw away your troubles, dream with me."

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions?  Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.