An excerpt from Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome (1889):
“…I had the symptoms, beyond all mistake, the chief among them being a general disinclination to work of any kind.
What I suffer in that way no tongue can tell. From my earliest infancy I have been a martyr to it. As a boy, the disease hardly ever left me for a day. They did not know, then, that it was my liver. Medical science was in a far less advanced state than now, and they used to put it down to laziness.
Why, you skulking little devil, you, they would say, get up and do something for your living, cant you? not knowing, of course, that I was ill.
And they didn’t give me pills; they gave me clumps on the side of the head. And, strange as
it may appear, those clumps on the head often cured me for the time being. I have known one clump on the head have more effect upon my liver, and make me feel more anxious to go straight away then and there, and do what was wanted to be done, without further loss of time, than a whole box of pills does now.”
A friend had gifted me this book 10 years back. I’ve read it end number of times and often go back to it to ponder over the things in life that remain unchanged even after 130 years. This excerpt from the book clearly calls out my present state of mind.
I’ve been a sloth for most of my life. For those of you who are unaware who a sloth is, it is the slowest mammal ever. It spends its life hanging on the tree and eating leaves from the same branch forever, digesting one leaf in 30 days. It’s life is so slow that it grows algae on its coat.
I sometimes feel, while being programmed, my chip got swapped with that of a sloth, the same as Jerome. I could stay in the same spot undetected for hours, reading or painting quietly. I read around 50-100 storybooks/novels in an year, depending on the thickness of the book. Often, my parents didn’t know I was home. Unlike my brother, I wasn’t into sports, didn’t party, didn’t have a social life outside school, and moved my ass only when absolutely required, like when it came to clumps on the head. I didn’t grow algae, but only because my mother forced me into the bath once a day.
Now as a mother, I always have the company of my child who hasn’t started school, and the duties of a mother and homemaker. I enjoy her company, but often miss the opportunity of being a sloth.