I think it’s time we buried the word “leisure” once and for all. The death knell began ringing some time ago and is finally in its last stages. It was once the promise given to my peers who followed in their parents footsteps. My mothers’ words are embedded in my brain,” work hard, and save your money so you can enjoy retirement with a few bills and more time to enjoy the remainder of your life”. There was even talk during my years as a young married women with kids, that we would live to see a 40 hour work week and have lots of time for fun and frolic.
Lots of luck. Those words have been lost on a society that is focused on making every minute filled with something to do. The ability or the need to stop and smell the roses has been replaced with the need to plant the roses, look up the names of the roses, and who their named after, why they’re called roses and if there might be a way to make a gourmet dish out of the petals. That could be called a hobby, but I use it as a metaphor for a culture that has to engage in every aspect of life to extremes in order to be able to say their “busy”.
Children used to have a lot of leisure time. They came home from school went out to play, did their homework ate dinner, watched a little TV and went to bed. Not anymore! They need to be involved in a myriad of organized activities and tons of homework. Then there’s the addition of technology so that they can text, take selfies of themselves doing “whatever” play video games and a host of other techie activities. Stress has grown exponentially in children and more and more of them are on antidepressants along with their stressed out parents.
The senior set that I’ve chatted with about all the above say they often feel despair that their kids and grandchildren don’t take the time to pick up a phone and have a chat. Many are relegated to texts and to responding to texts with arthritic fingers.Yes, they want to stay relevant but perhaps we need to consider a blending of our worlds.
Does the meaning of time have to be so loaded with a sense of doom? The language attached to it reeks of urgency. Everyone acts as if every moment has a “deadline”. Let’s try to incorporate more leisure into our lives. Begin by not telling everyone how busy you are. No one cares! Pick up your phone when you’re not in your car and chat with someone you care about. Try to make time your friend, not your foe. And keep in mind that life has a deadline, so make sure you enjoy it whenever you can.