Something About Me Most People Don’t Know
One thing about my personality that most people can pick up on within a short amount of time in meeting me is that I’m a very capable person. If I see a task, I figure out a way to accomplish it. I’m moderately intelligent, good at logic, I’m good at critical thinking, I’m good at math, and I have a tendency to take charge and lead. All of those things combine into one neat little capable package.
Gregg often uses pectin as an example when he is discussing my capable-ness. He said that he mentioned to me once that pectin can be found naturally in apples. I saw a real-food blog party about natural food preserving. I remembered the conversation about pectin, researched it, picked apples from our own apple tree, made pectin, used it to make grape jelly, and then wrote a couple of blog posts about it.
My capableness tends to provide a cover for another side of me.
The thing that most people don’t know about me, though, is that I’m just about the laziest person you’ll ever meet.
The only thing that keeps me from lying about on the couch all day long, eating grapes and snacking on bon-bons, reading romance novels or cookbooks is accountability. I feel accountable to my husband. I want his home to be a place of pride, even during this long absence. I feel accountable to my daughter. I want her to come home and/or bring friends home to a clean, ordered home where after-school snacks are available.I feel accountable to all of my children. I want their bodies as healthy as I can make them, and so I take extra steps in feeding them.
But that doesn’t mean that inside me isn’t this lazy woman wanting to spend six hours playing with her Facebook newsfeed then ordering pizza for dinner.
The other day, Gregg and I were talking about my email subscriber system on this blog. I don’t really know my way around the program that manages it, but I was in it a few weeks ago and stumbled upon the area where I set the settings for the emails. Right now they go out at 7AM EST every day. I told Gregg in a way I wished I could remember how I got there so that if I were running late for a post, I could change the settings.
Gregg said exactly what I was thinking as I said those words out loud. “Not a great idea.”
I agreed. If I could change the settings, the posts would come later and later every day. Having a deadline I cannot control forces me to work to get posts done by 7AM EST every day. Forces me to be accountable to you by 7AM EST every day. The lazy side to my personality would convince me that it would be fine to push posts back day after day after day.
There’s a reason I’m exposing my very human self to you this way.
I consider my laziness a character flaw that I have to battle. (It’s that or God was equipping me for about 4 months of total bed rest between two of my pregnancies – ha!) I once felt extremely inadequate and insecure as a person. It was born of several years married to my first husband. When I realized just how bad it had gotten I determined that I wasn’t going to accept that particular flaw and I joined a professional organization associated with my job. It took six months before I attended the first meeting – before I walked into a room full of professional colleagues, held out my hand, and introduced myself. Within a few years, I headed the committee to run a state-wide conference. Within another few years, I was president. Not long after that, they were trying to convince me to be on the national board, and my pregnancy with Scott was the only thing that had me saying no. It took YEARS to feel competent when I walked into a meeting. Years. I fought an internal “you are not worthy to be speaking to this person” during every single networking event. And on a level, I still battle it. But I never give in to it. When I feel myself withdrawing, I force myself to step even further into a crowd.
I think the same thing goes with this struggle with the desire to be lazy that I feel. I want you to understand that even if you are like me — someone who has to give herself a pep talk in order to get up and do the dishes every night instead of going to bed and just dealing with them in the morning, (anyone remember Sweet Pickles books, Goof-Off-Goose’s “I’ll do it tomorrow!”?) you can still do it. You can still cook homemade, from scratch, healthy. You can still keep a clean home, maintain order, keep it all in check. You can still wash, dry, fold, and put away laundry every single day.
What you need to do is to recognize and acknowledge that part of your character. Determine that you’re going to battle that part of your character. Then, pull out whatever weapons you need in order to beat it down. It can be done. I am living proof that it can be done. If you think you just don’t have the motivation to keep an orderly home, you’re just making excuses. Nothing will change until you let go of the excuses.
If it takes a pep talk, then give yourself one. If it takes accountability, find someone to help you with it. If it takes getting up and just working, then quit reading this, get up, and start working. If it takes a schedule and a timer, then put that system in place. Just because there’s an internal desire inside of you to not do it, doesn’t mean you should give into that desire.
When talking with Gregg about the email system, I said something about being lazy. He said, “You’re not lazy. You just work better with a deadline.” And as I wrap this post up at 6:47, I think we’re both probably right.
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Amen! Great article.
Well said. I am constantly battling my desire to be lazy. Thank you for the encouragement to get up and get doing! :)
Great post! I really enjoyed reading this and it helped me out, thank you!!
We ARE sisters – soul sisters! I knew it! ;)
It is funny that you talk about how difficult it was for you to speak to people. I have felt that way for what seems my whole life. Within the last 4-5 years I have begun to work on speaking up and being more outgoing to strangers even though my insides turn to liquid when I do.
I also am lazy. I think one of the biggest ways for me to stay on top of stuff and not get into a lazy routine is to make sure I stay on top of things. A disorganized house, pantry, etc. leads me to feel overwhelmed. When things are organized & neat, I feel better and more capable of getting things done. I also feel responsible for the way my family eats, what their clothing looks like and the environment in which they live so that is a good motivator as well.
Keep bloggin’, girl. It makes me feel much less alone in what I’m trying to do.
Oh and as a side note, Quinces are also very high in pectin. We have a quince tree and I plan on using them this year for either peach or apple jelly.
I, too, am in the “Lazy Club”. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that accountability is what keeps one from giving in to that oh, so desired nap in the middle of the day. I care way too much about what people think of me. I guess that can be a good thing as well as a bad thing. If it weren’t for the people I fear of disappointing on a daily basis, I am sure that Lazy Amy would emerge and the couch, the remote control and she would have a very close relationship! Thanks for letting me know that I am not the only one out there who struggles with this, for it helps to bring the “odd man out” within me a little closer to “normal”.
This makes me smile because I am also lazy. I tend to put off what I don’t want to do. Sometimes it’s ok to be lazy. Only when it interferes with deadlines and others’ well beings is it not good. But I often have to give myself an extra push to do things. But once I’ve completed things and everything is in order, I tend to build a momentum. It’s getting started in the first place that I struggle most.
Hallee, what a great post! I agree with these other ladies and yourself about laziness and the need for accountability. I came from a single-parent home where laziness was not tolerated, so I worked hard at school, had a paper route and babysitting jobs, was involved in the school music program, and helped my single mom out at home with chores.
I don’t think I used to be lazy…but then I married a very laid back man and it changed everything!
When we were first married, I would come home from my 9-5 job, cook a really nice dinner, and get started on cleaning and tidying up. I thought that’s what a good wife was expected to do. But my husband would go relax on the couch and read or watch a show. At first I thought ill of him for doing so, until one day he said, “Babe, don’t worry about the dishes right now, I just want to spend time with you…” That changed our marriage! I started to relax more and not feel frustrated if the bed wasn’t made everyday and the dishes weren’t done by a certain time. Instead of nagging my husband to help out more, I guess I adopted a more laid-back lifestyle myself, for better or worse.
My old self still kicks in a lot, which is a good thing!! I keep the house looking clean and organized even though the floors aren’t scrubbed every day (it’s easier when you don’t have kids yet!). But when we have children I know I’m going to want to go back to having more order and less laziness, for their sake and ours. I think discipline is very important. I guess I just didn’t want anything too trivial to come between my husband and I, especially early on. And as a result, we’ve had a fantastic marriage-almost 3 years!
Oh boy, I think I’ve just written my own post…sorry! xo!
You’re preaching to the choir! LOL I get most housework done as soon as possible in the morning before the afternoon lazies kick in. Then one last straighten up before DH gets home from work. He’s been out of town all week and I’ve done a pretty job of keeping things tidy (my 9 month old helps with motivation) but today I’m in over drive to get things all sparkly before he gets home. Thanks for posting this! It’s good to know that we all have struggles. Mine is Mt. Foldmore. :D
I tend to think of myself as a procrastinator, rather than lazy. However, this article really resounded with me because I have had clean laundry laying on my bed for the past week. I just shoved to it the half of the bed I don’t sleep on and left it there. I think the fact that I no longer have another adult in my house to be accountable to, has allowed me to become lazy. My kids don’t care. Guess I should put away that laundry tonight, eh?
Thank you for this post. I have subscribed to your blog because I relate to many aspects of your life and your view of life. I, like you, am quite capable but would prefer to relax with a cup of coffee on the patio with a book. I am a wife, mom, homeschool mom, keeper of our home, and a lawyer. My accountability is to my Lord and my family. I find more satisfaction in my children’s joy, peace, and security than in the “me time” that women are told that they so desperately need.
Thank you for your posts … your text msg post had me laughing so hard I was crying!