My Big Fat Lazy Secret
I’ve been called lazy. Heck, I refer to myself that way practically every day. Because it’s true. I am undeniably, unabashedly, unapologetically lazy. But that’s not the whole truth. My laziness is merely a symptom of a greater syndrome.
Somewhere deep down in the generator room that occupies the basement of my soul, there is a distinct lack of generating going on. The amount of juice being produced could scarcely wind up one of those chattering teeth toys. By the time any compulsion or desire makes its way up my long torso to my brain, there’s barely enough power to coerce a faint ‘Meh’ from my listless lips.
I’m not talking about fatigue; I get a sufficient amount of sleep most nights and I have enough physical energy to exercise and complete my requisite daily tasks. I’m talking about spiritual energy; enthusiasm; gusto. Hear me now because I can only be bothered to say this once: I am passionless.
I’ve never had, what some people term, a calling. Growing up, my friends told me about their desires; the things they were so obsessed with that they couldn’t possibly consider living a life without that certain special zeal. They all knew what they wanted to do after high school, to the point of tailoring their course selections accordingly. If I did have the rare revelation, it was usually followed soon after by reminding myself that things would still be okay if I found a different path instead. As time went by I stopped searching for a passion and just enjoyed the life I stumbled through. It was easier that way. My preoccupation with finding relevance eventually drove away all opportunities to find it.
I managed to get quite good at fooling people, which I suppose must count for something. Somehow I’d convinced my friends and family into believing that I could do anything I set my mind to when actually I never set my mind to very much at all. I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I’m forty-five years old.
I would like to know the feeling of waking up in the morning with the urge to follow my bliss. Hooray! Today I get to practise law – open my book shop – mow the lawn – find a cure for cancer – fix a toilet – ride the Tour de France – babysit – cook dinner for two hundred people – build a teapot – do someone’s taxes – steal a car – harvest wheat – rule Spain – cut hair. When I wake up, the first thing I think is: I wonder what I’ll do today.
It’s not so much a burden, this hungerlessness, as it is a curiosity. I simply can’t fathom having so much fervour for that one thing – for anything.
To be clear, I’m not unhappy. I’ve had a great life and continue to do exciting things with my family or on my own. I’ve been able to pursue several disparate careers on a whim because each one seemed like a good idea at the time. I’ve attended four different universities to study the subjects I wanted to study. I’ve performed in front of thousands of people, had my own business – twice – and been a stay-at-home dad. I’ve travelled to more than twenty countries and have lived in four. I have a brilliant, passionate wife and a sensational son. So what’s not to like?
I don’t publicize this idiosyncratic trait of mine. It does, occasionally, cause me pangs of concern for my future. Because even though I’m proud of my life, I’m embarrassed by what my friends might really think if they knew just how little effort I put in.
There is, however, something to be said for my simple brain. I don’t stress about the things I can’t control; I don’t bring work home with me; It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy and I’m happy not to always have my way; I never feel like I’m underachieving because there is little I strive to achieve. I can live in the moment, perfectly content with the knowledge that other moments will happen. To paraphrase John Lennon: Making plans gets in the way of life happening to me.
Years ago, just for fun, I wrote a song about being lazy; about sitting on the couch in my pyjamas watching whatever rubbish is on television; about eating over the sink; about first embracing and then being consumed by the lifestyle a lazy person finds themselves trapped in. But I don’t think I ever finished it. I’ve forgotten it now.
Jon Magidsohn is from Toronto, Canada from whence he’s been ever-evolving. He’s been an actor, singer, waiter, self-employed upholsterer, sales representative and a handyman. Upon his wife, Sue’s, death in 2003, he became a full-time Dad to his six month old son, Myles, and established the Susan Westmoreland Legacy Fund for Cancer in Pregnancy Research in partnership with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He and Myles moved to London, UK in 2005 where Jon married Deborah. He recently graduated with an MA in Creative Non-Fiction at City University London. He’s written about fatherhood for Today’s Parent and Mummy and Me magazines, also for dadzclub.com and currently publishes three blogs. He and his family are now in Bangalore, India for two years, where Jon writes full time and continues to evolve.
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