The Yin and Yang of Laziness and Productivity

Monday, March 1, 2021


I always wonder when this feeling of inferiority will drift away from my thoughts. Will there ever come a time when I think that I did great with what I had, and accomplished much even though the path was often shaky? I feel as if I am stuck in a limbo from which I can neither pull forward nor slip back and change my course. Dark thoughts swirl through my mind echoing my failure back at me so that I cannot end my day without reliving all the past experiences that have led me wrong. Funny though, because overall I am perfectly content. It makes me wonder if I am perceiving things as they are not and have decided to live in an ignorant state of mind until my head hits the pillow at night. Just as darkness consumes my surroundings, the ringing in my ears grows louder, persistent, and then the images begin to stir thoughts dragging me into an anxiety-induced haze. It always feels as if I am waiting an eternity for decisions to be made about an aspect of my life and currently it is no different. I have begun to abhor the application processes of these large institutions that require waiting endlessly on bated breath. 

    This carousel of uninhibited thoughts serves no purpose in my life because my hands are tied at the moment. I try to search for different avenues and revise my eternal list of plan B's which will take me into depths of mediocrity that I cannot sustain in the long term but nevertheless, I am forced to consider in case my future does not pan out as I hoped. The gray tones of the world overwhelm me as I beg to see in black and white. The duality of decisions would let me know when to give up hope so that I can stop dreaming instead of being lured into a confusion of gray, a realm in which maybe's and what if's flourished like a bee colony surrounded by wildflowers. The people around me observe the results of my futile attempts and choose to weigh my worth by quantities that can be measured in some numerical form and agonize over the dwindling numbers that statistically and alarmingly reduce in value as the years change. Apparently, age can only be valued and respected if there is some mark left on earth to show for it or shiny baubles kept stored away that can be accounted for and represent the riches acquired through sweat and hard work. Another value of mine lies within the passage of my genes to further the generations of my lineage and increase the population on this planet because what is the point of being a woman otherwise if not to undergo and live through the agony of pushing out children that I must raise into humans. Not that I know how many are actually enough because if I have too little or too many then that is also my own fault because I did not think my life through. I will forget who said what because eventually I will be fooled into believing those are my own thoughts seeping through the confusion.

Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

    I couldn't bring myself to be productive at all today because my mind was already busy with overwhelming thoughts that it had no room for progressing and learning. Energy to do anything useful around the home also vanished as I lethargically draped myself on the couch for the entirety of the day. I am sure these symptoms are enhanced by the fact that my iron levels have dropped to an extremely anemic state. But there is also a strange gloom over me that I cannot get rid of and reminds me of a horde of annoying gnats buzzing around my head. I am sometimes unable to see them zooming around in a chaotic frenzy but I am always aware of their presence. So I continue to lay there as the hours pass quicker than I ever anticipated. My husband watches me throughout the day and goes about running minor errands here and there and checking on my listless self. He doesn't ask me to do anything today not that it would be a good idea to do so in this current state. I give him an appreciative and understanding but helpless look because I feel the guilt of wasting my day and not accomplishing any of my never-ending tasks. 

    It makes me wonder why is being unproductive a negative trait. I cannot run on a hundred percent every single day or even begin to catch up on my mother's boundless energy levels even though she approaches sixty she has twice as much energy as I do. This thought wells up my anxious state even further as I think back to all the times I was caught laying in my bed as a child and my upset mother would stomp into my room reminding me of how much she has to do and nobody to help her. How she rarely spent time idle because it is a waste and time would be better of spent finishing or doing something. My mother's wrath and anger would bubble inside my mind with the guilt of my inaction so I would drag myself away to help her or work on something to prove to her that I am not worthless. I knew by that point I would not receive any praise for work because it was too late and I had been caught earlier. I earned praise when I completed my required tasks without being reminded. Even then praise was only given when I accomplished something extraordinary because usual tasks are meant to be completed and are not special in any way. So there were no brownie points for cleaning my room or the home, finishing my homework, or receiving satisfactory grades in school. I would receive the attention I desired when I went above and beyond anything they expected of me and earned first place in competitions or won awards. Of course, these were rare moments for me because I was not the golden child by any means and even then the dopamine rush wouldn't be what I expected I would receive so I would somehow remain disappointed with myself. 

Photo by Susan Yin on Unsplash

    These memories are a reminder that I trained my mind to believe that rest days are a negative component of life. Life is meant to be lived in every moment and should not be "wasted away" with naps, rest, and relaxation. The world cannot and will not wait for me to recover. But here I am sitting in my quiet calm with my husband relaxing a few feet away from me with no expectations. He did not ask me why I am not thinking about dinner or studying when I should be. I am not a terrible person for not providing anything useful at this moment. Everything is okay because tomorrow is another day and somehow he understands. We did not reach this state magically of course we learned each other's behaviors over time while living together and chose to accept who we were and make it work. There was a learning curve because of different habits but both of us were willing to adapt as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Even then, my mind cannot shake away the guilt. A part of me is still in the learning process and forcing myself to take time when I need it. Through the years I forced myself to keep moving, even when every particle within me screamed to stop for just a second and breathe. 


    The current lifestyle of throwing ourselves into a rat race to achieve the ultimate dream of sitting on a pile or riches to maintain high-end lifestyles also enforces similar rules where productivity is awarded and time off for physical and mental health turn you into a negative asset for who you work for. People work at different levels and speeds, but it does not mean they cannot be equally, if not more productive when given the time to re-energize and use their wealth with those whom they love or even just for time for themselves. But there is more complexity in this case because if someone is working towards their passions and goals that drive them they are willing to spend more time on it than those who have different priorities so it can vary. This is the most important aspect in all of this. There is no right or wrong answer to this. If a break is needed, take it, if you want to be a busy bee then by all means keep on buzzing! Don't make others feel bad for reaching fulfillment in their ways as children or adults. I know in times of necessity I force myself to keep going but then other times, I will become that listless body on the couch and have a day of nothing. I am a work in progress.

Until Next Time,

Intro Image Free-Photos from Pixabay 


  1. Resonating so much with this right now

  2. I feel your sentiments. I hope you see all your wishes and heartfelt desires come true.


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