Lord Chesterfield, a British statesman and diplomat, once said that “Idleness is the only refuge of weak minds, and the holiday of fools.” Well, Chesterfield, you’ve got a good point, but I think I am going to listen to Charles Bukowski, an American writer and by no means a diplomat, who said, “Never get out of bed before noon.” In fact, I have pretty much followed Bukowski’s advice on a daily basis since I finished my last final during Spring Semester.
For the past two summers, I have been solving logarithms, factoring equations, and trying to not go insane by solving logarithms and factoring equations. Basically, I have been in school year round for two years. It would be an understatement to say that I needed a break.
Little did I know, I would be getting more than just a break this summer. I would be getting a “hey, you just lost your job and you’re not taking any summer classes and you are too lazy to have any hobbies” kind of a break, which translates into a lot of free time. And by “a lot” I mean “far too much.”
I never knew just how many hours there were in a day. Okay, that’s a lie. I of course know there are 24 hours in a day (I took math classes for two consecutive years, remember? I’m good with numbers.), but I always had many things to do to fill in those hours. I used to be productive and responsible. Now? I am lucky if I wake up before noon.
Once I do wake up, I will eat some cereal, maybe go running if I am motivated enough, and then…I am drawing a blank. I cannot even think of what I do for the rest of the day. I think I usually eat more cereal. Or pizza. And buy Big Gulps. And have a Simpsons marathon (along with a Family Guy marathon and a South Park marathon and a Curb Your Enthusiasm marathon…basically I am really into television marathons these days.). I also have this habit of drinking large amounts of caffeine at 10 p.m. and then writing really bad poetry until 3 a.m. I think the most constructive thing I have done in the past month and a half is when I went to the post office and successfully mailed off a package, which left me exhausted and craving an Arrested Development marathon and a slice of pizza.
I will admit it–sometimes I feel guilty for my chronic comatose state that I have developed this summer. But then I remember that next summer I will be graduated and looking for a job and/or trying to get into grad school, which means this may be my last chance at having a lazy summer when I can do virtually anything I want (as long as it doesn’t cost over twenty dollars). Yet am I wasting my time by simply resting and enjoying the long and lingering days with nothing to do but to just be? Not according to the biologist John Lubbock who said, “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” I will raise my Big Gulp and say “cheers” to that.