I have been reading a book called “Overwhelmed – How to work, love, and play when no one has the time” by Brigid Schulte. By reading, I mean maybe a chapter a week but you know, I’m TRYING to make time to read. Slowly but surely, I will finish it!
Today, I wanted to talk to you about the meaning of leisure time because I’m a bit confused (as is Brigid in the beginning of this book). Brigid is a journalist, that is conducting a research about why is it that men and women, women in particular, feel like time is eating them alive. Why do we, women, feel so crunched by time? Why is it that we feel like there no “me time” or “leisure time” to just do whatever we want??? WHYY??!
According to John Robinson, a professor and author from University of Maryland, people have around 30 to 40 hours of leisure time every week. WHAT?? Exactly. This is why Brigid is confused, and so am I. I mean, between work, the commute, taking care of our homes and running errands, how do we have left 30-40 hours of leisure time every week?
Here’s what John says. Pay close attention: “Although most Americans feel they’re working harder than ever, they aren’t. The time diaries (he studies time diaries from people that feel too overwhelmed with time, to help them figure out how to live better lives) he studies show that average hours on the job, not only in the Unites States, have actually been holding steady or going down in the last forty years… we “exaggerate” our work hours to show how important we are. We sleep more than we think. We watch too much TV. If we don’t feel like we have leisure, it’s entirely our fault.” You see, according to Robinson, leisure time includes our commute to work because we are not really working so we could be listening to a TED Talk or talking to your friend on the phone. Going to the gym is leisure as well, you are working on yourself. Getting home to take a shower, make dinner and drink wine? Leisure as well! Our daily lives are filled with leisure; the problem is how we look at the activities we are conducting. Working on your passion project on a Sunday? LEIUSRE, LEISURE, LEISURE!
Leisure time is something I’m very interested in, as it shapes your life, your happiness. This next statement by Kimberly Fisher from Oxford is totally true and this is the reason why technology scares me a little bit. “So even though checking your smartphone and other gadgets at 11:00pm doesn’t take up that much actual time, you feel you’ve never quite gotten away from work and had a chance to wind down.” This happens to me a lot. I love working but sometimes I take it in so much into my life that after a couple of weeks, I feel trapped. We have to remember that work is work and life is life. Although you want to succeed at work, and be the best kind of employee, you have to respect yourself, respect your family and friends. At the end of the day, no matter how much you love your job, everything can change in a blink of an eye and all you have left is yourself and your family; take time to nourish your relationship with yourself and your loved ones.
So, what do you think about this LEISURE TIME lecture? Do you agree that our daily lives are filled with leisure time? Our feeling of being overwhelmed is simply a matter of how we view our lives?
Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below! Thank you so much for coming back! – Belen