Are you serious about your free time?

We work a lot in our lifetime. We go to school, we follow additional courses, we make a career. We commute to work, take care of our children and our home. We can be very serious about all that. I know I was and still am. Some people like to fantasize what they would do when they would win the lottery. What would you do?

 

This question is aiming at what you desire to do when you could have all the time in the world.

 

What do we enjoy doing in our free time? All the energy and planning devoted into our working time, the leisure part should be the easy part, isn’t it? We want to relax, be happy and have fun. The only obstacles we see is time and money. Sometimes we look at others and we try a pilates class or end up at an amusement park. We host parties or barbeques, we might go shopping or follow yet an additional course.

 

We miss out on a lot of life when we don’t do some serious soul searching in regards to our free time. We should apply the same reason and effort to leisure as we do in our career. I’m not implying that energy and devotion should be perfectly balanced all the time between career and free time but I think that we could benefit a great deal by applying some of the same resources to a domain that apparently is so easy to develop. We know what we like to do right? We know how to relax? It should be the easiest thing to do.

 

Yet still, I did miss the ball there. I missed out on the opportunity to apply my uniqueness into my free time. What gives me energy may be not the same thing that brings joy to others. When stressed out and tired my hobbies were mainly to take my mind of of things, to escape the situation I found myself in. Spending much time behind the screen or cleaning and ‘getting things done’ became a priority at all time besides commuting and working. I created many systems to be more efficient in the things that needed to be done besides ‘work-work’. There was ‘home-work’ and ‘self-care-work’.

 

susanlenox flicr
Are you serious about pleasure?

 

Confronted with burnout the question arose what I as an unique individual liked to do. What? When we tend to undertake what others do for pleasure, we miss out on a chance to develop our personality. We jump from one thing to another without letting the roots grow. To expand our branches we need to take care of the roots. You can say what you want but it shows, it shows in your branches when your roots are cut short.

 

To develop yourself requires to stay true to yourself. I got very distracted by the influence of others because I lacked a sense of my true self. I was a true people pleasure but I left myself out of the ‘people’. We need to discover our own taste in things and stay loyal and faithful to that. To start we need to have a very clear and distinctive idea what we really like. To make this more clear I could say that I like to cook vegan. It does bring me pleasure. But does all vegan food bring me joy? Definitely not. What I like to do is to find really good recipes, particular dishes that I enjoy making and tasting. When you like pizza, there is that one particular kind that will make you smile. It is the power of details that makes a great difference in experiencing pleasure.

 

What are we going to say no to and what details can we stress going forward? I do believe we need to be very selfish in order to grow and to be able to make a powerful contribution to society. Our weekends and free time can carry our own footprint.

 

 

Other posts on how to spend your free time:

Jo from Through My Eyes wrote a follow up from her unique perspective. You can read her post here.

 

References.

Full article click here.

Picture credits click here.

31 thoughts on “Are you serious about your free time?

  1. What I’ve noticed is that none of the things that I used to enjoy doing are the least bit appealing. I used to like travelling, going out to eat, the theatre, writers’ festivals… none of which sound at all interesting now.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I can understand, it changes. I knew what I liked too but now I can’t do those things because too peopley 😉
      So when presented with lesser options I’ll make sure to pick something that is really ‘me’. Till this day I have no idea … 🙃

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I learned some years ago, following my depression etc that I was a people pleaser and learnt that people were ‘not giving back’. It seemed to be me always putting myself out to fit in with others – my own fault. But now that I am unable to work, I have a lot of time on my hands – time to do things like cook, visit family, go to the theatre etc but now I also leave time just for me to simply ‘be’. I use that time to reflect, practise mindfulness and sometimes just to laze around. Over the years, I’ve let ‘friends’ go and I find I am much happier now.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Along with what Ashley said of changing interests, I notice that I’m probably more introverted now and I appreciate rest. I don’t worrying about missing out on what others doing because I’m not all that interested. Laying on my couch and watching the same episode of Two and a Half men while playing with my phone sounds like the most wonderful way to unwind for an hour at the end of the day. I thought when I quit drinking, I’d really miss it, and did for a while, but now, I mostly just remember how bad it made me feel and prefer my low-key life. Nobody is keeping score but me, so I’ve changed the rules.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. As you might imagine, I have lots more “free time” since the stroke, and spend it in quite different ways. At least some of what I do now is geared toward keeping my “work” skills sharp, but it is true to say that I was one of those people who enjoyed work, I did something I really enjoyed and was lucky enough to be paid for it.
    Your early question, if I won the lottery, to some extent at least, the answer would be “the same as now”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Being able and smart enough to do more or less what you like given the situation life gives you, sounds like a golden recipe to me. We always need to adapt to the environment but also stay true to ourselves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There were pressures, like clients were assholes, but the stuff I actually did, I enjoyed. Actually I became worse *after* I’d inherited some money, just because I was less prepared to put up with the nonsense.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a wonderful post and so timely. The winning the lotto analogy is spot on and really opened my eyes. I had never thought of it like that. I fantasise sometimes about winning the lotto and being able to have a stress free life. Perhaps ai just need a different perspective. Thank you 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooo you’re so welcome! ❤ I also think the Lottery question is a good one. I can write nice posts, but sometimes I have troubles following my own advice! Knowing that someone is with me, will make it easy to follow through 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s so easy being kind and gentle to others but when it’s towards ourselves we put ourselves on the back burner. I am going to commit to going to sit out in nature this afternoon and just breath.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your metaphor about needing to work on roots before growing branches. It really hits home for me. I’m not sure if I’ve grown strong roots or just dug myself a rut, but I’ve been moving from a time when I had more free time to one where I’m trying to work more on those branches. Even when I had more free time, though, I’m not always sure I made the most of it. I do like reading a lot, but I also wish I’d spent more time really noticing the flow of the seasons around me. It always seems like I look out the window one day and it’s autumn, all the leaves already changed. Someday I’d like to have a year where I could focus enough on the “now” to notice the very beginning of that change. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is good challenge, it will become a skill since global warming doesn’t make it predictable anymore.
      I love hiking in autumn and I wait until the leaves change color and before you know it it’s all over. I start watching when the pumpkins come out. Then it takes a while but for me it marks a change from summer to late summer and autumn. For winter we’re still waiting here. Very strange!

      Liked by 1 person

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