I know I said I was done with the series, but as I predicted, I have a few more thoughts to share.
Mostly, I want to make some clarifications, because it was obvious from the comments on last week’s post (Don’t Waste Your Leisure) that I was unclear on a few things, and managed to give you a completely wrong idea about how I feel regarding “me” time, and TV, and some other stuff.
So, this will be sort of like a productivity version of the miscellany posts I do. Ready?
Do we have to think about leisure?
One reader wondered if trying to not waste leisure time sort of defeated the whole purpose (“Isn’t leisure time about not thinking, and just relaxing?”, she wondered.)
I don’t think that thinking about this defeats the point, obviously (or I wouldn’t have written the post!).
I think the point of leisure is to be refreshed, and I know when I “waste” my leisure time, I am not nearly as refreshed as I am when I engage in leisure activities that are not a waste of time for me.
When I spend two hours aimlessly surfing around on the web, I don’t feel particularly refreshed afterwards. When I spend two hours scrapbooking, playing games with my family, sledding with my family, or doing some other such activity, I DO feel refreshed.
So, the point is not so much usefulness and productiveness as it is refreshment. Leisure that is truly refreshing will leave us more ready to face our work than we were without it.
And because of that, we do ourselves (and other people in our lives!) a disservice if we waste our leisure time.
One reader pointed out that there is some good stuff on TV, and I totally agree with that. Mr. FG and Joshua enjoy watching hockey games together, my kids enjoy MythBusters episodes, and they also enjoy IMAX and National Geographic shows.
Care needs to be exercised with TV, though…it’s designed to suck you in and keep you in your spot on the couch (that’s why they roll out the first part of the next show on the heels of the previous one!), and because of that, it’s really, really easy to watch more of it than is good for us.
So, don’t necessarily write TV-watching out of your leisure time, but do give some thought to how much you’re watching and what you’re watching.
One of the points I made that a few people seemed to miss is that good and bad leisure activities will vary from person to person. One person might be refreshed by spending a few hours doing garden work. Another (like, um, me) wouldn’t find that refreshing at all! One person might feel fabulous after spending an hour flipping channels, whereas I just do not find that to be refreshing.
So, don’t get stuck on the particulars of what constitutes wasted or valuable leisure time for me. The point is that you should make sure that you are spending your leisure time in ways that refresh you.
A number of people seemed to get the impression that I am opposed to what we tend to call “me” time, and that’s definitely not true. As I shared in my sleep post, leisure and rest are necessary for productivity because a properly rested person will be better equipped to be productive than a person who has been run ragged. And sometimes, it’s good to have leisure time alone.
In order to keep myself in optimum shape for serving God and taking care of my family, I need to be responsible and take care of myself too. This is why I go to bed on time, why I try to eat properly, and why I joined the gym.
And it’s also why I make time to do things that are fun and relaxing to me. Each morning after Mr. FG goes to work, I have a couple of hours all by myself…I shower, read my Bible, pray, read blogs, and read email all in complete peace and quiet. I also go to the gym all by myself 3 times a week. And though I’m not by myself when I take pictures, photography is definitely a fun hobby for me, and I derive great joy from it. Also, now that the kids are older and the days of nursing babies are gone, I often get to go out and run errands by myself, which is delightful.
Along those same lines, in my post I was not saying that women and mothers need to solely identify as wives and mothers. Being a wife and a mother is exceedingly important to me, but I don’t at all feel like that is the sum of who I am. I’m also a photographer, a pianist, a piano teacher, an optimist, a scrapbooker, a blogger (duh!), a baker, a friend, and a sister, among other things.
And all of THAT falls under my top identity, which is that I am a child of God, loved unconditionally because of what Jesus did for me on the cross.
All of that stuff is are part of who I am, and it colors, enhances and infuses my mothering and wifing with a flavor that is uniquely me.
Okee-doke! I hope that cleared up any misunderstandings about last week’s post. Of course, if it didn’t, you should leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to respond.
Today’s 365 post: Blog Post Planning (the low-tech way)