A while back, when I was flipping through some homesteading magazine, I thought to myself, “I’ll never be a real homesteader, I’m too lazy.” And when I was thinking of things to write about for this blog, I decided to write about my misadventures in homesteading, and call the series “The Lazy Homesteader.” I didn’t google it when I started to use it, and I should have. It’s been brought to my attention that another blog has been using the name The Lazy Homesteader, and I’m sorry about that. So it’s time for a change of name, which gives me a chance to play one of my favorite games: Thesaurus Hunt.
I have read advice from certain writers saying that you should never use a thesaurus, but I disagree with this. I have many, many words stored in my cortex that I can’t consciously access for what ever reason, but I can remember when I see them in the thesaurus. (Fun fact: Short term memories are formed in the hippocampus, then somehow transferred to the cortex for long term storage. For a fascinating article on how we know this, thanks to one very special patient and a lesion-happy surgeon, see here. Seriously, it’s one of the best articles on neuroscience I’ve ever read.)
Anyways, without the thesaurus, my writing would look something like this: “She was sad. He was happy like [insert character appropriate metaphor here].” It might be a crutch, but some of us need our crutches.
So, let us look at some synonyms for lazy, shall we?
Indifferent: It’s a perfectly fine substitute, except that it suggests that I don’t care. I really do care, but my natural sluggishness wins out most of the time.
Lethargic: Hmm, this one has an association of sickness for me. As in, “I knew the Preschooler was sick, since she was so lethargic.” I’m lazy, not ill.
Shiftless: No. I have a PhD, a mortgage, and a car I own free and clear. I have a brother who is the epitome of shiftless. Not me.
Indolent: This one, I like. It suggests luxury, and really, my life is pretty luxurious, especially if you compare it to my great-grandmother’s life. I have a machine to wash dishes, do laundry, mix and knead dough, and clean the floors. I can hold a connection to nearly the entire world in the palm of my hand. My life is pretty darn cushy. Funnily enough, this word is often used by Anglo sources when describing the Spanish settlers of Early California. Because they had not planted every acre with wheat, but were instead raising livestock, in a region with precious few water resources, they were “indolent”. I might be taking this criticism a little too personally, since those are my ancestors being called lazy, the same ones that came to California when it was the Siberia of New Spain. This indolence, which was particular to California, was known as the “California Fever” and was often caught by the Anglo settlers who arrived to remake California into New England. (I have a whole blog post planned on “California Fever”.)
I think we have a winner here. So now, it will be the Indolent Homesteader–still just as lazy, but now fancier sounding.