The Unbearable Weight of Idleness

Being lazy has never been something I excel at. When immediate stress disappears and deadlines glimmer somewhere far in the horizon a smart individual sighs in relief and enjoys. What do I do? I get stressed about not being stressed.
When I devoted my entire extra-curricular time for synchro skating I was able to slack off on the occasional days we had off practice for the sole reason that I was too tired to even consider any other activity than a 5-hour marathon of Sims accompanied with a pile of sandwiches. And as recovery is crucial for physical development my lazy days easily fell in the category of 'productive activity'. During the short time that I was in a relationship, the countless hours spent cuddled up in bed watching Star Trek also qualified as useful ways of killing time hence not aggravating factors in the court case of the level of my laziness.
Anyway, ever since I quit skating I've bee struggling with the lack of structure in my days. Now don't get me wrong, it is relieving to not have such a rigid schedule decided by someone else, and also extremely important for my creativity. But there are downsides.

At the moment, I am pretty much done with the second year of university (huzzah) with only an essay grades to be published on the following Tuesday. In other words, I'm on holiday.
There are a few factors however, which make my current state of being not exactly enjoyable.

1. First of all, I regularly get a thing that I've named 'post-stress-exhaustion'. This state promptly occurs at the end of any distinctive period of varying but persistent stress levels - in this case, finishing the second year of uni. The symptoms of post-stress-exhaustion are physical tiredness and weariness; lack of energy despite normal amount of sleep; sensation of heaviness in muscles and noticeable drop in performance when working out; feeling disoriented; flat mood and general lack of motivation. There might be more. It's kind of like having a fever without the fever.

2. No major plans ahead for the summer. The next three months are something of a black hole that I wish I could just leap across. Sure there are some individual dates that I'm looking forward to (or that I will start looking forward to when I get my mojo back), but as a whole the overwhelming freedom kind of freaks me out. This is strongly connected to the frustration over my unsuccessful attempts in acquiring a summer job - again. A job would give me two valuable things: money and responsibilities, both of which tend to affect me in a positive way.

So in conclusion, I'm currently just drifting from one day to the next, sipping expensive lattes at noon and crashing the bed at 7pm. I know the only way through this stress-indulged weariness is simply taking it slow as long as needed: my body will give get its strength back when it has rested properly. Nevertheless, this apathy is seriously frustrating - mostly because I can't spend hours at the gym because I feel like collapsing after the first 15 minutes. Normally, I can do a 45 minute leg workout followed by a 50 minute interval run with ease, so perhaps you can see my point.
The unscheduledness of my summer months then, is just another empty lump for me to fill with 'productive activity' because should I fail in that quest, it will be a depressing three months of self-indulged guilt over my utter pointlessness. Not good.

It all comes down to the way in which my brain has organised itself: how I need to do certain things to deserve certain things. Like I need to exercise so I can eat cake. I need to run a number of errands so I can then sit down and read a book while enjoying my soya sugar-free hazelnut latte. And I need to first finish my essay so I can then reward myself with a longed-for new pair of jeans. If I feel like I haven't accomplished a necessary amount of things, then I cannot relax and enjoy unproductivity. This is probably the reason why I compulsively wake up really early in the morning because getting up at seven rather than at ten just seems more like an achievement.

Actually, going even deeper, I think that at the core of my constant strive for usefulness and productivity is some lack of self-esteem that I have. If, by default, I see myself as a pointless piece of junk then accomplishing things is a way of increasing my value as a person. But even this perception works like a self-fulfilling prophesy: lack of confidence prevents me from doing some things because I don't think I'm apt to do them, which results in not doing a lot, which makes me despise myself  even more, which lowers my self-esteem. Boom. Welcome to the human mind.

I hugely respect and look up to a lot of my friends whose lives consist of combinations of studying, working, having hobbies and keeping up relationships while not being entirely dependent on their parents. On one hand I don't think I could pull off a job alongside with university because I already manage to stress myself near to a breaking point. But on the other,  it might just be my own discouraging belief of my capabilities. In truth, I enjoy being busy and having to fiddle with my schedules to get everything fit in, and I do hope that in the future I will be able to lead the kind of life where I can feel accomplishment a tiny bit more often than as of now.

On a more positive note, some possible post-uni plans have started to evolve in my mind so perhaps I am not completely doomed to live as a failed drifter exploiting social benefits for the rest of my life.

For now though, the frustration is acute and I am impatient.
Give me a quest.

No comments:

Post a Comment