Sunday, June 26, 2016

Lazy Days Suck

I hate lazy days.

I'm just putting it out there. Lazy days suck. Yes, this seems to run afoul of everything I hold sacred and holy. I can't even believe it myself that I am typing these words. But it's true. I hate lazy days.

This has not always been the case. There was a time mere months ago when I relished lazy days - when I wholeheartedly grabbed lazy days by the horns and had my way with them. I was a prodigy-level connoisseur of lazy days.

Let me back-track a moment. You do know what I mean by a lazy day, right? Those days that will typically fall on a Saturday or Sunday (though they have been known to occur on a particularly work-adverse weekday) when you manage to perform no more and no fewer than the following activities (in this order):
  1. Sleep in until 10:00 am.
  2. Drag yourself downstairs in your pajamas (the unofficial uniform of the lazy day) and make yourself a cup of coffee.
  3. Toss a couple of Pop-tarts and juice pouches at your famished children. 
  4. Schlepp yourself to the couch and assume a reclined position. 
  5. Explain to yourself (internal dialogue is a pretty big component of lazy day) that you are only going to lay down for a few minutes before you accomplish the myriad of tasks you have on tap for the day.
  6. Nap until noon as your coffee gets cold.
  7. Wake up momentarily to advise your children that they should get a bowl of cereal for lunch if they are hungry. 
  8. Curse yourself for not having the foresight to teach your children how to use the Keurig machine. 
  9. When you can't go back to sleep (damn the children and their complex culinary requirements), spend an hour playing Spades on your iPad. 
  10. Remind yourself (internally, of course) that there are still several hours left before the wife gets home from work to accomplish all of the tasks  you intended to wow her with on this Productive Day.
  11. Ask your son to turn on the television (the remote is sooooo far away) so you can watch the last two episodes of Season 4 of Vikings.
  12. Curse loudly (though only halfheartedly because it is a lazy day, after all) that  season 5 is still being filmed somewhere in Canada. 
  13. Fall asleep reading a book on your Kindle - which also happens to be on your iPad because who has the energy to keep track of two devices on lazy days?
  14. Nap for two hours while your children entertain themselves with flashing screens. You are vaguely aware that their lazy day screen time exceeds the American Pediatric Association's age-specific screen time guidelines for by...oh, I don't know...9 or 10 hours. But your ability to care is somehow impaired on lazy days.
  15. Wake up and beg your daughter to climb onto the kitchen counter to get you the box of Hot Tamales you have stashed in the back of the snack cabinet and bring them to you. Offer to be her best friend. When she snarks back that she doesn't want you for a best friend, pretend it doesn't hurt your feelings and bribe her with a dollar. 
  16. Eat an entire movie theater sized box of Hot Tamales in one sitting. 
  17. Play a little poker on your iPad.
  18. Order pizza for dinner. At 4pm, of course, because that is when geriatrics (and derelicts, vagrants, slugs, and ne're-do-wells) eat dinner. 
  19. Soak in a warm bath until your fingers and toes look like you are 136 years old. 
  20. Scootch the dog off the couch and re-assume your position - cleaner, but no less lazy. 
  21. Spend the evening channel surfing.
  22. Drag your happy ass upstairs to bed at 9:00pm.
So now that we've established that we are on the same page as far as lazy days go, you are probably wondering how I could possibly hate lazy days. Right? I mean, on the surface - on paper - the lazy day looks like nirvana on Earth, amiright?

A few months ago, I would have agreed with you. A few months ago, amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life with three kids, I LIVED for lazy days. They were few and far between, but oh so freaking sweet! I would declare a lazy day any chance I could get and fully participate in all lazy day activities with wanton abandon.

These days, there is nothing I hate more than a lazy day. Since being diagnosed with cancer, lazy days are no longer a luxury. They are an everyday reality that I did not chose. That I do not chose. Lazy days are thrust upon me these days. "You need to rest." "You need to lay down." "Please don't try to do anything today." My wife has my very best interests in mind when she asks me to do nothing - and she is right, it probably is best that I rest on the weekends - but that does not make the reality of it any easier.

I can't take the kids to the beach because it's too hot. My medication makes me more susceptible to the sun. And who wants to be the bald girl at the beach? I can't take them to the park because I get too tired - too easily winded. I can't go to the mall because I can't walk that far. I can't go to museums because I can't stand that long. I am exhausted all the time, but bored out of my mind. I'm gaining weight because all I can do is sit on my ass. And eat. I am an expert eater.

I've never really considered myself an active person, though I am realizing now how much I enjoyed my activities. I've never really considered myself an outdoorsy person, but I am realizing now how much I miss the outdoors. I am developing a great appreciation for the simple freedom to act. To do. To move.

You hear about people who are diagnosed with cancer and, afterwards, completely change their lives. Couch potatoes who become marathoners. Slugs who become ninja warriors. It always seemed weird to me that cancer could change a person so completely. Change a person to her very core. But I can see it now. I never appreciated the abilities I have - the simple ability to do and act and move at will - until I was forced to be lazy. Until lazy days became compulsory. Until lazy days became synonymous with...days.

I have eight weeks of chemo left. Then I have surgery. Then I may have radiation. It's a long road ahead, but one day I will have my life back. One day, I will be be in control again of how I spend my days.

And when that day comes, lazy days will be be a thing of the past.


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