In a way, I could easily imagine lying in bed all day, eat my breakfast and lunch still in there, not cleaning my own room, and let people visit me while I stay comfy in my pyjamas. Yet, I would just as easily line up for getting up early for a trip pretty much anywhere, reading books and good journalism all day, going to various happenings after, following the expressions of our current culture and joke around with people at dinner parties.
That’s why finishing Goncharov’s novel Oblomov, where the main character literally spends the first part of the story in his bed and his adventurous best friend is his complete opposite, was somehow revelatory. They are the two sides of every human being, two expressions of our will or a lack of it, two moods that reign our thoughts and actions, the two possibilities we’re juggling with all our lives.
At least, I do.
I often feel two tensions, instincts inside, each one of them pulling me to its side, often at the same time, tearing me apart internally. It starts in the morning when I have to get out of the warm blankets and it does not even end when I get back in to sleep, since I turn about a million times with my body and in my mind before the dreamy part begins.
Luckily, I don’t have much of a choice, living alone I have to take care of myself and my superego is too strong to let me not do it. So, I get up sooner or later and make myself coffee (the best motivation really), and then somehow start the day, between reading, cleaning, looking for a new job, cooking, doing errands and eventually getting to my evening shift.
Yet, I think that when everything becomes too much of a routine and we get too comfortable in it, the habit doesn’t numb us much less than lying in bed all day would. Of course, better at least a semi-active day than sitting in front a TV (luckily, I don’t have one) or procrastinating otherwise constantly, but mentally you’re still going to be deadened soon. So, don’t listen to those voices pulling you down every time you try to do something.
The funny thing is I even have to force myself a bit to do the stuff I enjoy. Travel, for example, always starts an inner battle which even when won will leave behind a sense of anxiety before the actual departure. A struggle to overcome, I suppose, which gets easier with time, and especially with a change of place. You have a good reason to go out in the morning, usually sooner than you would back home. Plus, you don’t get caught in a habit, even if you reinvent a bit your routine anywhere.
Maybe, routine is not something to be demolished, just shaken up a bit often with new elements, new goals, new senses to life.
Honestly, Oblomov seemed more depressed than lazy in many scenes, changed too much too quickly when he finally got a good reason to live, and fell that much easier back to his bed when he lost it. I don’t believe that I will congratulate myself every time I get out of bed thanks to him, yet I do see that as long as I keep my curiosity alive, I will be fine and get through my phases. Because there will always be another book I’ll want to finish, another theme I’ll want to think about, another course I’ll want to take, another exposition I’ll want to see, another friend I’ll want to take a drink with, another place I’ll want to explore.
As long as I have both tensions, one of them will keep me going forward, while the other will at least make me rest sufficiently.