How much leisure time do you have?

Perhaps the most valued time in our modern world is our “leisure time.” Everyone wants more leisure time. Few of us have enough of it or think we do. But do you know what the word leisure means? Without a dictionary, we would all define it very differently. For what is one person’s leisure (working in a garden) is another’s tedium. My best friend loves to work on cars, while I hate the task and will bring mine into a shop. Another friend loves to work on his house, while I am forever looking for handymen to take care of odd jobs. I spend a great deal of leisure time on my computer.

Dictionary.com defines leisure as: “Freedom from time-consuming duties, responsibilities, or activities.” This definition does not make sense if you think about it. Since everything takes time, how can we ever really be free from “time-consuming” activities? Do you know anything that can be done that will not involve an expenditure of time? Whether I go on vacation, play or go to work, I will consume time. Even prayer and meditation consume time. Leisure time has more to do with being free from goals and obligations than it does with not consuming time. Thus, freedom from duties and responsibilities is more germane to our concept of leisure time than simply not spending time. Leisure time is time when I do not have to be goal oriented or time that is not driven by some overarching responsibility. There are precious few of these moments for many of us. Even recreation and play can seem like responsibilities or work generating teaks. How many of us go on vacation and need one when we get back? Playing can be hard work for many of us if we turn it into the inevitable competition that exists in our world today.

How much leisure time do you have in your day, in your week, in your life? Is it time that is truly free of goals and responsibilities? Do you get enough of this time? If not, how could you have more leisure time in your life? What is one thing you could do today to give yourself some more “leisure time.” What would your life be like if you had more leisure time each day to just do what you want to do?

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