The Art of Being Lazy

Practicing being lazy can be an art form! As workaholics, we find comfort in working as hard as possible. But taking time to relax and develop new habits can be just as important.

Recently, I took two river cruises back-to-back, and it gave me the chance to start some new habits. I’ve been reading more books, exercising, and reconnecting with my love of music and art. I’ve even been indulging in some favorite movies and shows.

According to experts, it takes 21 days to start or engrain a new habit. Sometimes, physically removing yourself from your work and responsibilities can be a great way to start.

If you’re looking to get away and start some new habits, maybe I can help. Consider a river or expedition cruise to get away from it all.

Let me share what I’ve been doing to practice the art of lazy?

I watched “CBS Sunday Morning” this week, as I do every week when I’m finishing up my full weekly Sunday newsletter (Get It ) , and their segment called “Take it Easy” touted the art of being lazy.

From CBS Sunday Morning

Take it easy – The importance of being lazy

Social pressures to be productive – not to mention a culture that prizes multitasking – make doing nothing hard to do, for fear of being accused of the dreaded sin of laziness. However, experts say there are rewards for not pushing yourself to the edge all the time. Correspondent Susan Spencer looks at how some of the most productive and innovative people in history allowed themselves to take time out, just to be.

Watch the segment here

The interview subject of the CBS Sunday Morning segment talked about her former pride about being a workaholic and how her badge of honour was that she could outwork anyone.

Then she relayed that she’d hit a wall. And exhausted by all the demands she’d put on herself in a work life that had her balancing multiple jobs, all while being a single mom, she suddenly realized that she just couldn’t do it anymore. She went on a two week train trip across the USA without wifi, and being disconnected, helped her reconnect with herself.

And then, she discovered the joy of being lazy.

Practicing being lazy does not come naturally to me.

CoVid shutting down my business for 3 years certainly messed with my bottom line, and therefore, my own personal sense of wellness. So, when travel started to pick up and explode again, I certainly was working hard to make hay while the sun shined. Who knew when stormy weather would come again?

So, it’s a real mind meld to force myself to slow down.

Fortunately, my doing two river cruises back-to-back this month gave me plenty of time to start some new habits.

I’ve been trying to read more books – something I used to do all the time as a teenager, when I would voraciously read a book a week. Now, I’m forcing myself to carve out at least 20 minutes a day to read – it’s a tough slog, cause there’s always something else waiting that needs to be done, but I’m trying. (Kudos to my Chapel Hill Book Club for keeping me reading these past 10 years! Now, let’s go further!) It was easier to start the habit since I just did two European river cruises – I had a lot of time on airplanes to read books again. Recent reads I’d highly recommend: Arlene Dickinson’s Reinvention, Hayley Wickenheiser’s Over the Boards , and Barbra Streisand’s My Name is Barbra

morning stretching classes on a river cruise

I’ve been trying to exercise more – again, something that I used to do all the time (I had a 747 batting average in softball as a teen, and earned my black belt in Tae Kwon Do as a young adult). Now, I’m forcing myself to do some running, and walking around the neighbourhood. It’s an easier thing to do now that spring has sprung, and again, the two river cruises I just did allowed me to start anew – carve out time for me, while also doing a lot of walking each day, and doing some morning stretching classes too.

at the Palais Lichtenstein for a Viennese concert

On a recent river cruise, I also reconnected with my love of music. I used to sing in choirs and perform solo at church, events, weddings and funerals. Life got busy, and that fell by the wayside. But going to both a Viennese concert, and then going to the Vienna Opera House to watch a wonderful production of “Simon Boccanegra” was absolutely wonderful.

at the Belevedere Museum in Vienna

And going to the Belvedere Museum in Vienna helped me take some time to just remember how much I loved the work of Gustav Klimt.

I’m also clocking out to watch or rewatch some favourite movies and shows – I rewatched “The Bucket List” and “Pitch Perfect” on my overseas plane trips. And I just started to rewatch “Golden Girls” show, and it’s so funny, and full of joy. (How could those actresses have been considered old? They are younger than I am now?!) And I’m also watching some “Somebody Feed Phil” along with repeats of Stanley Tucci’s “Searching for Italy” and some classic Anthony Bourdain shows (especially the Lyon one – wowsa – it inspired my river cruise to Provence last year, and I visited all the spots Anthony did!).

They say it takes 21 days to start or engrain a new habit – so sometimes, getting away from your work and responsibilities – as in, physically removing yourself from your home and job – is a great way to start.

I have seen Wellness Travel really take off over the last year or so. And to me, wellness is really about healthy living and self-care. There’s nothing like taking a trip to help you get started on rededicating yourself to taking care of you. And practicing the art of being lazy!

And I would highly recommend what I did this month. The two river cruises had walking long walks, drinking more water (and wine), doing stretching classes, watching movies (especially rewatching destination movies like “Woman in Gold” and “The Third Man”), and just reading for fun again.

It’s a start. And I’ve been keeping it up so far. I’m indeed practicing the art of being lazy. And it does take practice.

So, as this weekend approaches, I ask you – what are you doing to embrace the art of lazy?

What are you doing to regenerate you, and disconnect from work, responsibilities (well, where and when you can), turn off the phone, and do something just for fun.

One of my fave songs is Billy Joel’s “Vienna” – and Vienna happens to be one of my fave cities. I figured it was a good reminder to share some of Billy Joel’s lyrics. And since Billy Joel just posted a video about the song “Vienna” (on a song that has to be almost 50 years old), figured you should watch the video too.

Video from Billy Joel’s official channel Billy Joel’s “Vienna”


Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about?

You’d better cool it off before you burn it out

You’ve got so much to do

And only so many hours in a day, hey

But you know that when the truth is told

That you can get what you want or you can just get old

You’re gonna kick off before you even get halfway through, ooh

When will you realize Vienna waits for you?

Let me know if I can help you kickstart your practice of the art of lazy with a river cruise or expedition cruise.

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