I like sloths of the animal kind. Their strange looks, long claws, big eyes and heavy fur have a certain kind of appeal. Slow and sleepy, sloths of the animal kind have a good reason for their languor – their diet is very low in calories so their bodies have adapted accordingly. They have significantly less muscle than comparable animals and move sluggishly to conserve what little energy they glean from nutritionally deficient, almost indigestible leaves.
Human sloths seem to be an entirely different kind of animal, the kind Miguel De Cervantes might have contemplated when remarking that “sloth never arrived at the attainment of a good wish.” Today I’ve run out of good wishes for human sloth because laziness of the wanton kind is so unnecessary. Usually I assert that it’s for each of us to live as we please (within the bounds of common civility) but when someone’s action – or inaction – directly impacts another’s wellbeing it’s irritating. Beyond irritating it’s deeply selfish. This kind of sloth is neither cute nor appealing.
After 5 months of chemotherapy my body is not in tip-top condition, my patience is a little frayed and my willingness to be taken for granted has all but evaporated. Coming from an extremely hard-working and diligent family sloth has never been a concept that sits well in my world. Being a cancer patient with a potentially limited lifespan has made me very aware of the need to have more balance in my life, to take care of myself instead of scrambling on all fronts like a woman possessed day-in, day-out, non-stop.
I know being irritated by someone else’s idleness solves nothing. I’m acutely aware that I’m responsible for the way I interpret and react to others behaviour. The irritation is my problem and only I can resolve it. I will resolve it. It’s said no-one ever steps in the same river twice: it’s not the same river and you aren’t the same person. I hope the sloth sitting alongside the river wakes up very soon because the river has changed and in future leisure craft will no longer be able to drift here aimlessly.