Vegging
by Bart Vogelzang
©2012 All Rights Reserved

Are you like me, and once in a while you just don’t have the drive, enthusiasm, or energy to do anything? I don’t know if it is called by the same name everywhere, but here it is often called ‘vegging’. It may not be terribly obvious to all, but it derives from ‘acting like a vegetable’, which essentially means doing nothing much at all.

I’ve never exactly figured out why I get that way, but I’ve managed to determine that it is not related to blood glucose levels, blood pressure, or illness. I have my suspicions though, as I’ve noticed a few ‘coincidences’ that might be more than that, maybe even causal.

Often I will snap out of it if I get cooler. While sitting there, barely moving enough to change the TV with my remote, I don’t even want to get up to go to the can, despite an ever growing need. Eventually, the forces of nature leave me no choice, and I drag my sorry ass out of the chair. Doing my thing doesn’t seem to make any difference to my lethargic mood, but if I should step outside into the brisk cooler air (not in mid-summer, of course) I almost immediately shed that dragging anchor, and perk right up. Full of energy, I head back inside, only to find that minutes later I am back in la-la land. The only thing is, even hotter temperatures in summer don’t seem to cause this reaction, so it’s hard to know what’s up. It may be akin to those days of sleepy driving in the hot sun, which are believed to be caused by positive ions.

I’ve also noticed that I’ll get this bizarre near-immobility when I have tasks or challenges ahead of me in the near future, but ones that I really don’t want to tackle. I’m not talking about dangerous things, but just those ugly, nasty, repulsive tasks like clean up the attic, or the basement crawlspace, or maybe washing the car, or, worst of all, going to a meeting I don’t want to attend. I’m always amazed at how quickly I can become fully motivated and energized simply by clearly, and cleverly, deciding to simply not take on that unwanted job. It’s actually a little bit scary to think that I’m able to create near paralysis simply by being reluctant about something else. It makes me wonder how many other people don’t do things, anything, simply because they are facing an unrelated task that is destroying their motivation. How much better it would be for all of us so afflicted if we could determine our blocking challenge, and either remove it or just overcome it, so that we can get on with the pleasure of energized enthusiastic living. Hey, thinking about it, isn’t that what we all do at Income Tax Time? We feel like shit for weeks beforehand, but once it’s sent away we feel renewed spirit, even if we are poor as anything after sending off that money.

Is there any conclusion to be drawn from this? Pay your taxes early, and thereby freeze from lack of money for heating your residence, and feel on top of the world. I wonder if vegging is related to that other peculiarly human phenomenon of wanting something but not knowing what it is. Perhaps I should sit and vegetate over that. Okay, silly season must be upon me.