On being ... 50 shades of lazy

By Ingrid Sapona

I was on vacation in Mexico for a few weeks in January. One of the trees outside the condo I was staying in was the sometime home of a rather large iguana. (I say sometime because there was one windy afternoon when it disappeared – perhaps seeking a less swaying habitat.) As soon as the condo owner mentioned the iguana, I looked for it.

The friends I was with were surprised at my interest in the iguana – I guess because they know my general lack of fondness for things that are creepy and crawly. What my friends seemed to not “get” was that the reason I was always checking for it in the tree was I knew if it was there, it wasn’t in the condo.  

The iguana’s conservation of movement was also of interest to me. Other than its disappearance that one day, I only saw it move twice – and both times the movements were slow and minimal. Indeed, to an untrained observer like me, it certainly seemed like the iguana was – well, lazy.

Though the others didn’t share my fascination with the resident iguana, I noticed that with the sun shining down on us and nothing more pressing than deciding whether to order a tamarind margarita or a pineapple mojito, with each passing day we seemed to model our behaviour more and more on our reptilian friend. And, at some point, being “lazy like an iguana” became our motto.

Alas, at the end of the vacation I left the warmth and the iguana behind to return to winter in Toronto. Before I knew it I was back in the swing of my everyday life, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for “lazy like an iguana” behaviour.

Last weekend – like much of the east coast – Toronto got a healthy dose of snow. In fact, it was the most snow we’ve had in many years. And, what made it especially unusual – from my perspective – is that the snow accumulated even in my neighborhood. (Living so close to the lake, I can testify to the truth of the old saying: it’s cooler by the lake in summer, and warmer in winter.)

By mid-Friday afternoon, as I watched the snow piling up on the balcony, I thought maybe on Saturday I’d break out my snow shoes, which have been gathering dust in my storage locker. Once upon a time I was very into snow shoeing and friends and I used to drive to different provincial parks far and wide to partake.

Saturday morning’s bright blue sky and the fresh, powdery snow was glorious. I thought about phoning some friends to see if they were interested going snowshoeing but, frankly, I was too lazy to organize anything and, given the road conditions, the idea of driving anywhere didn’t appeal to me. But, I thought it would be shameful to not at least try snowshoeing in the parkland along the lake. So, I put on various layers, dug out mittens and ear muffs, and grabbed my sunglasses. I also spent more than a few minutes deciding what boots to wear.

When I used to go snowshoeing regularly, I used to wear “city” boots to drive to wherever we’d be snowshoeing but I’d change into thicker, warmer boots (we used to call them moon walkers) to snowshoe in. I still have the moon walkers, but they’re tucked away in a far corner of the closet and I’d have to move a lot of stuff to get them out. Rationalizing that it wasn’t that cold out, I decided not to bother getting out the moon walkers.

As soon as I got outside, I was excited. And, when I saw a few cross-country skiers go by, I knew the snowshoes were a good idea. So, I set about putting the snowshoes on. It had been so long, it took me awhile to figure out the bindings. As I tinkered with them, I realized that because the city boots are pretty narrow, it was going to be tricky to tighten the bindings enough around them. But, eventually I got the snowshoes on and off I went. 

I got about five steps before my right foot stepped right out of the binding. Oops! I stepped back into the binding, snugged it up, and off I went. Eight or so steps later the left one came out. Ok, try it again. A few more steps and my right foot was out again. Damned bindings! This went on for quite some time.

Eventually I realized the problem had more to do with the boots – they were too small for the snowshoes – than the bindings. Ugh – if only I hadn’t been too lazy to get the moon walkers out! Finally, when it got to the point that I couldn’t take more than a few steps without leaving a snowshoe behind, I gave up.

As I headed home – carrying my snowshoes – I realized “lazy like an iguana” is but one shade of lazy. That morning I learned the hard way that even through action you can be lazy…

© 2013 Ingrid Sapona


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