This morning, I was lazing around in bed. I should have been getting up and dragging my son out of bed too, because we both had work we should be getting on with. Rather than getting on with it, I decided to continue listening to Richard Armitage reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, picking it up again at Book 5. This is what I heard:
At break of day, when you are reluctant to get up, have this thought ready to mind: I am getting up for a man’s work. Do I still then resent it if I am going out to do what I was born for, the purpose for which I was brought into the world?
Or was I created to wrap myself in blankets and keep warm? This is more pleasant.
Were you then born for pleasure? Or for feeling, not for action? Can you not see the plants, birds, ants, spiders, bees, all doing their own work, each helping in their own way to order the world? And then do you not want to do the work of a human being? Do you not hurry to the demands of your own nature?
But one needs to rest too.
One does indeed, I agree. But nature has set limits to this too, just as it has to eating and drinking, and yet you go beyond these limits, beyond what you need.
Not in your actions, though. Not any longer. Here you stay below your capability.
The point is that you do not love yourself. Otherwise you would love both your own nature and her purpose for you.
I think I’ve been told.