How does one spend leisure time when trying to scale back on work responsibilities? I’m working on rebalancing life and realizing that I’m not even sure how to spend my time when I limit work hours. In college and grad school, one could conceivably be working any time. Teaching is similar. What to do with one’s time if you decide no more work after, say, 5 pm except in the busiest of times? I’m trying to remember what I did with myself when I only worked 40 hours a week with minimal out-of-work requirements.
Oh wow, do I have answers for you.
Read books. I will never live long enough to read all the books. I love them so! There is also lots of good TV if you have cable, netflix, youtube, or some other streaming service. Try audio books. Get into podcasts.
Take up hobbies. Things like fencing, horseback riding, and chess will provide literally decades of mental and, in some cases physical, stimulation. Learn to cook Indian food, or French food, or vegan food. Walk to the library.
Take free or inexpensive classes at your local community college. Write your memoirs, pick up a new language, learn to use your digital camera. Book club. Swimming. Embroidery, knitting, quilting. Try different kinds of meditation and see if one works for you.
Volunteer. Somebody needs your help: animals, children, the library. Be an active social justice warrior. Join a dance troupe. Write letters. Look on meetup.com for local groups doing things like hiking, playing board games, or wine-tasting. Foster an animal. Offer to teach the seniors in the retirement home how to use email to see pictures of their grandkids.
Play a lot of solitaire. Make your own clothes. Clean your house and donate stuff you don’t need. Play around with doing your hair and makeup in fancy, ridiculous ways. Sing a lot.
Surf the internet. Read blogs, have conversation, play MMORPGs. Tweet pictures of your dinner. Explore local restaurants. Find a favorite coffee shop. People-watch. Daydream. Write stories. Nap recreationally. Build yourself a new bookshelf. Change your car’s oil. Watch YouTube videos.
Start a blog.
#2 notes that you could have a second kid– that’ll get rid of any unwanted leisure time that was starting to creep up on you, at least for a few years.
Grumpy Nation: How does one spend leisure time?