Monday, October 24, 2011

Relaxing feels strange

Do you ever feel like the laziest version of yourself? Like you were once the kind of person who was known for getting it done and now you're just Whatevs about pretty much everything? And it's not even about depression?

I think it's just cozy autumn weather settling into my soul.

Or I'm ill. Tough call. 

I've been spending time on the shores of Lake Erie, Ontario, which was once called "Ontario's North Shore" but now all the signs say "Ontario's South Coast," which I suspect is an attempt to bring in more tourism. Rebranding is always a valiant effort, unless it's done often, then it's just a shit product.

It's been 10 months since I quit the ol' advertising job where I had to consistently think up rebranding strategies. Since then, instead of running around the office like a nut bar, I've been running around the world like a nut bar. You got a tourist attraction? I'll be there. How about hours of urban hiking all around your city? I'll do it twice. You've got a train departing every hour on the hour and all I've got is time? I'll take the 7 a.m.

Go go go.

It's all a bit much.

Now, I'm taking a slow down.  I think. 

Sure, there is a giant project or two swirling around in my head. I'll have to get on that. But not today.

Instead, I'm reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.

I look just like that when I'm in Paris.

It's written from the point of view of Hadley, Ernest Hemingway's first wife. And it takes place during their courtship and their time in Paris. They lived in my hood in Paris, which back in the 20s was actually a dodgy part of town. Now it's swankville and where I spent a great deal of time with the lovely Christophe.

(The world waits with eager anticipation. What happened with Christophe?!) More on that later when I'm not too lazy to write about it.

In the book, we learn how she observes Hemingway struggling through his writing.

It reminded me of something. Oh ya, the observer side of myself watching my workhorse self struggle through her writing... or not writing, as the case may be.

And the parallels don't end there, folks. While Hemingway was off mingling with famous expats Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F.Scott Fitzgerald, I was watching Baby Einstein videos on Repeat Play, changing diapers and napping.

Not my children. Heavens no. My sister's kids. We're hanging. It's good times.

You can learn more about Hemingway's time in Paris in his book A Moveable Feast and Woody Allen's film Midnight in Paris.

You can't learn more about this in my novel because I'm too lazy to write it.

My workhorse self opened a few documents today. Then my lazy self showed up and said Whatevs. So that was the end of that. But not before I went through some self-judgment about laziness.
I forgive myself for judging myself as lazy. The truth is this just isn't the time to do those projects. There will be time. It's just not today. 
Why is it, when you're aiming to be evolved and enlightened, you have to do so much self-processing?

I can't help but think as I slink through the house, What is my deal?

Am I going through a dormant stage like all the trees outside? They are performing spectacular costume changes. It's really quite something to see, especially from the swing set in the park where you can swing so high that you actually get nauseous. Trust me.

Or perhaps this is the calm before the holiday season hustle and bustle.

Or perhaps I don't know how to relax.

Ah yes, that's it. Relaxing feels the same as laziness but without the judgment.

So this is what relaxing feels like.

Feels kinda lame. And tiring.

I hope this "relaxing" ends soon because it's seriously harshing my mellow. (As if I knew what mellow felt like.)  In the meantime, I'm going to sit back and admire the autumn. Why? Because I'm too lazy to bother doing anything else.

Relaxing feels strange.


  1. Right there with you. And I liked The Paris Wife so much more the Moveavle Feast. Did I just say that out loud?

  2. Maybe you have mono? That's always my excuse. Then again, I am a bit of a hypochondriac.

    P.S. If you're feeling inspired, I need a travel companion in NZ at the end of November/beginning of December. I'll have you back for the family Christmas. I promise.

  3. I saw those signs too, driving through Norfolk County a couple of weeks ago. Confused the heck out of me. If the North Shore can suddenly become the South Coast -- no wonder we are all directionless and lost.

  4. So you're hanging out around Ontario's "South Coast" which is so very very close to me in BuffaLove. I promise if fate should allow us to get together, we will not talk of the marketing world. Instead, I will take you on a whirlwind tour of Buffalo's wonderful art scene and show you where Mark Twain hung out.

  5. Grandma used to say being lazy isn't very flaterring but it sure is easy,but Jan you are not lazy you are always deep in thought you will and are a successful young woman which I am very proud of just like I am proud of your sisters too.My girls are very hard working intelligent human beings just like their Mom ha-ha.

  6. Funny, I never thought of relaxing as strange or boring. Rather, giving your brain the time to experience fresh thinking and develop new ideas - sort of a reboot.

    Laziness is when there is nothing going on upstairs and you don't care!
    Sometimes that's OK too.

  7. The Paris Wife made me remember why I love historical fiction so much. McLain not only captures the atmosphere, but she does it with striking prose. I was not surprised to learn she'd published a book of poetry prior to this.


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