A life lesson a lazy day taught me

Last Saturday I had a whole plan for how I was going to spend my day.

I went to bed Friday night imagining how productive I was going to be. I had lists. I had goals. I had all the things in mind for me to get done.

When the alarm rang, I did none of it.

Instead, I woke up and thought to myself, “You know what I haven’t done? Listen to the rap album I made when I was 19 years old.”

After that (and many nostalgic feels), I decided to walk down the street to get a cup of coffee from Starbucks. I told myself I would get my caffeine fix and then get to work.

Then my brother called.

I sat outside for almost an hour catching up with him. He said he wanted to go special ops at the Air Force Academy. He said he was already waking up at 4 a.m. every morning to swim with the seniors. He said he was leaving in 2 weeks for basic training, and he was just named head commander.

He told me how much he looked up to me for going my own way in life. I told him no way — I was the one looking up to my younger brother.

After we got off the phone, I went back to my apartment, sat down at my desk, and got ready to work. Finally, I would be productive.

My girlfriend called.

“Hey, is it alright if the girls come over to swim? It’s their last day in town and it’s beautiful outside — how about a pool day?”

I told her I had a lot to get done. But I said sure.

Immediately, I felt two different ways:

Part of me felt guilty.

I had gone to bed with so many things on my To-Do list. I had made promises to myself that I would accomplish things — and because I wasn’t executing on those promises, I felt like I was letting myself down.

The other part of me felt relieved.

So far, the day had not gone the direction I’d wanted. I didn’t wake up feeling productive — and had I chosen to barrel forward with my goals, I wouldn’t have listened to any of my old music, and I wouldn’t have gotten to talk to my brother.

Sometimes, you just have to go with the flow of the day.

What’s important is to notice how many days go by where you give into what’s easy, convenient, and lazy.

If it’s a rare occasion, enjoy it. The universe is giving you a gift.

If it’s constant, it’s not a gift — it’s a bad habit.

Know the difference.

This article first appeared on Medium.