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Even the small spark of zeal which he used to have is extinguished by laziness, just as it is kindled by attention.
-Blessed Theophylact

I fight a battle each day, and my opponent is laziness. I like many, am drawn to it. Oft times I even embrace it. You have to be careful with laziness, hang around it too long and you can find it bound up with despondency. You would think having a 6 month old would keep me from having this problem but it’s crept in regardless. I’ve been struggling more than usual lately and after a talk with my spiritual father we’ve put into place some steps to help combat laziness.

1.) Immediately upon awakening, baring feeding the baby and Sundays, I am to do ten prostrations. A small amount but until this month I was unable to do prostrations due to a lingering injury from giving birth. It’s very interesting how such a simple movement can humble the soul. In my case, it’s simply for the spiritual benefit but the physical act of bowing down and getting up has a tendency to fight off the overwhelming feeling of laziness that I struggle with each morning.

2.) I am to start running again. Running energizes me, it gives me physical satisfaction and it exhausts me. It’s physical labor that I enjoy. Physical labor is an excellent weapon towards laziness. Sure, there are other things I can do that are physical labor, dishes, laundry, general housework but running is a joy, it’s not usually something I need to convince myself to do. That’s an important factor for me when combating laziness. I

3.) I’m becoming a list person. I’ve never been one to write lists. I have a decent memory and don’t generally feel a need to write things down but since I’ve started writing lists each morning of things I like to accomplish during the day I’ve become more productive. I find that a daily list gives me instant direction. “I’m not doing anything at this moment? Check the list!” Not to mention the satisfaction that comes from crossing things off each item on my list until it’s all complete!

They may be simple novel steps but they have made a huge difference for me in the last week. I think simply acknowledging that I was struggling and am in need of steps to help me overcome the temptation of laziness was half the battle.

Pray for me, a sinner.

My 6 month old battle partner!

My 6 month old battle partner!

Boredom is the grandson of depression, and laziness is the daughter. To send her away, labor actively–do not be lazy in prayer, then boredom will pass and zeal will come. And if you add to this patience and humility, then you will escape much evil.

– Elder Ambrosius of Optina