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Do you suffer from slacker-itis?

At our house clean-up time triggers acute onset of slacker-itis in all children summoned to help. Symptoms include (but are not limited to) temporary loss of hearing, sudden inability to maintain an upright position and impaired grasping of small objects scattered on floor. Some children vanish entirely beneath a dust cloud of excuses. Slackeritis appears to be contagious. I suddenly long to take the path of least resistance too. Instilling discipline and responsibility requires more energy than I have to spare in slothful moments. It would be easier and faster to pick up all this stuff myself. But I am their mother not their maid. And mothers must deal with their own symptoms of slackeritis while coaching kids through theirs.

Slackeritis is caused by a pesky parasite that thrives in a host of excuses. No one is completely immune to becoming infected. Slackeritis follows a fairly predictable pattern. Symptoms typically appear during or after exposure to situations and tasks that seem difficult, overwhelming or confusing. 

Sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning is hard. Slackeritis glues me to my bed, tricks me into believing I need to sleep until the last possible second. This usually means awaking to demand- my spirited three year old hollering in my ear something about being hungry. I wake up grumpier that way. I actually could set an alarm and wake up at 5;30 to start my day with a quiet peaceful routine. But not if slackeritis wins.

Slackeritis shows up in my unwillingness to engage in any kind of conflict. I want life to go smoothly and end up complacent, simplifying problems and minimizing anything upsetting. It’s work to speak up for yourself and slackeritis will thwart the extra effort it takes.

Slackeritis fears the unknown and avoids stepping into it. There are some settings on my camera I would love to change and as I reach for the manual to try and figure stuff out, I cough and quickly set it aside. It’s probably too complicated anyways, just like the last time I tried. Slackeritis wins again.

Slackeritis loathes spiritual disciplines, sending sudden waves of stupor over my body. I kneel down to pray and instantly fall asleep.

Slackeritis may flare when asked to try something new. A while ago my husband requests to communicate family events or calendar details via e-mail. Slackeritis ignores this request. E-mail yourself, buddy. Once recovered from acute slackeritis, I comply with his request. We now share a google calendar and (who would have thought) it works great.

So we can beat slackeritis!  We are not helpless victims tied up by our own excuses. Once we recognize slackeritis in ourselves, we can learn to fight it. And help others do the same.

“I haven’t really done anything about it [slackeritis], I figured it’s just one of those things that gets better on it’s own.” writes Shelly B. from Slothville, ND.

Dear Shelly, while some ailments gradually improve over time without direct intervention, slackeritis is not a self-limiting condition. Slackeritis must be actively fought. Unfortunately no magic pill or potion currently exists to cure all symptoms of slackeritis. Instead you must rid yourself of excuses. Find every place you’ve turned into a platform for “I CAN’T” and knock that baby down. You really can face situations and tasks that seem difficult, overwhelming or confusing. Just pick one and do it.

I am stopping to take my own advice, summoning my wayward children once more into our tornado alley of toys. Nothing has really changed except my attitude and I am here to tough out these minutes filled with lethargy and excuses. I will sit here until the job gets done. At last they reluctantly toss toys into the correct bins.

We have been doing this for weeks now and our symptoms of slackeritis are slowly subsiding. I know they’ll return in one form or another. But we’ve got a little immunity built up. For now, we are feeling slackerifficly victorious.

Are you suffering from slackeritis? How do you fight it?












12 Replies

  1. Slackeritis, oh how I don’t love you. Sometimes, in my camp, it’s simply not wanting to do xyz. It’s a battle of the will. Fun, but to the heart, post today. Enjoyed visiting you via #livefreeThursday.

    1. Astrid Melton

      I hear you. We rarely want to do things that are hard or uncomfortable… but we can learn to fear them less and just lean into some of our not-want-to’s.

  2. Oh Astrid, I’m definitely in the slackeritis club 🙂 Thanks for encouraging me to #livefree – have a great day!

    1. Astrid Melton

      I think we’re all in- it’s the human condition. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Astrid, I know this pesky infection too well. Love the clever post! The only way to fight it is one day a time. Usually moment by moment. Happy to connect through #livefreeThursday 🙂

    1. Astrid Melton

      Yup- I go for moments- it’s the span of my victory for now.

  4. Voni Pottle

    Absolutly loved this post!!!
    How I remember Saturdays when ALL of my kids (ages 14 to 2) had slaceritis!!!
    You made me laugh!
    And yes, it is a virus I still have to fight. Maybe Bible study would count as Vitamin C???
    In fact, my website is still not done…because of slackeritis..
    love you, girl! keep up this good stuff!

    1. Astrid Melton

      Totally. I love your vitamin and I love you- website done or not- you rock!

  5. I may be a happy slackeritis in some areas and in others I work on it. <3 But I love your post, remembering back to those days of trying to teach my little ones how to pick up and take care of themselves. It was a job, that's for certain!

    1. Astrid Melton

      well done- teaching your kids self care and responsibility is a definite gift to future spouses 🙂

  6. Just do it! It works for NIKE and it works for me at my unfocused best. So much fun! I loved reading!

    1. Astrid Melton

      yes!-I totally thought of the Nike slogan when I wrote this too.

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