Saturday, January 11, 2014

Autism Answer: The Work Of Being Lazy!

My oldest son is twenty. His dream is to become a man who plays video games, hangs out with friends, watches films of every genre, edits music for fun, creates stories via video or writing at his leisure, and is not only accepted, but also loved and applauded for his contributions--such as they are.

In our home, where autism is a key ingredient, there is nothing but comfort surrounding conversations wherein we share our passions and perseverations, and then look intentionally for how they can best benefit our future, and the future of our world. But then, unfortunately, we almost always expect to have a fight on our hands. Knowing too well how society wants desperately to see success in ways that are not at all creative and don't challenge them to see differently. Jory, my son, seems ready to fight for his laziness. 

My oldest son is so much like me, it's weird! Our skill at avoiding much responsibility is impressive, and our innate desire to be an active, thinking audience makes us seem (and very often be) lazy.

However, this kind of laziness is a lot of work! We exhaust ourselves avoiding certain people and their judgments, justifying our choices, laying out proof of our value, and running away from our own slowly-increasing-in-volume doubts that we actually have any value to prove.

Eventually--and I'm starting to see this blossoming in my son-- we start wanting to prove our lazy life as valuable badly enough that we take baby steps toward responsibility. We learn to articulate the synergistic and important need in the world for an active audience, we start to live our ideas loudly and insist they are an impressive byproduct of taking our time and observing the world freely--without deadlines or a need to prove success in society's view. We write music or paint our feelings and open our eyes to the part of ourselves we see being shared in our art, and then we step it up and become intentional and feel a bit responsible for what we see when we look at ourselves.

But always, at the core, we strive to stay some form of lazy. Those smarter than me use different words, more accurate words, like "at my own pace" or "relaxed". My mom--who is not only the hardest worker I know, but also my boss!-- always insists I'm not lazy, but "satisfied". 

These are all great ways to put it, but I actually like lazy. It's comfortable and I've always identified with it, without too much worry or concern. But with just enough concern that it helps me keep an eye on that part of myself, because I truly could become someone who does nothing but read and write, only for myself. I wouldn't be as happy as I am now, but I could do it. I'm not "driven" to become successful or rich or even not poor. So my use of the word lazy nudges me to always see and contribute my value, where it does exist.

And it does exist!! And I do see it! And I do work hard at pointing it out, so my lazy-like-me son will see it too!

The other day, when my son was explaining why he just wants to be accepted as a man who edits music for pleasure, plays video games, and is available for odd jobs when he's needed, I was more than happy to point out that society will find it easier to accept him as soon as he fully accepts himself. Knowing what he wants is step one, now going out there and being responsible for it--articulating, contributing clearly, showing his truth comfortably--is step two.

Choosing the lazy life is not easy! There is much work that needs to be done in order to live lazy happily. 

But once you know that lazy is not synonymous with useless, and once you take responsibility for finding your personal passions and abilities, and are willing to risk an injured ego and work your butt off to hone your craft and contribute your time and skill... you can make lazy look good!!

And once you can see that your lazy contributions are equally contributions, you can (and should) expect to receive something in return!

"I feel it coming in. My voice is getting an opinion."~Jory Shelton (my lovely lazy son!)

Hugs, smiles, and love!!!
Autism Answers

My oldest son: Jory Shelton
Loving the lazy life!
Driving on the sand dunes
a vacation planned and paid for by my mom!
The never lazy one!!