I often catch myself trying to figure out how to jam everything I want to do in a space of time which is amazingly inadequate. “Tisk, Tisk- How to use my time today. . . ?” Yep. Where does it all go? What should I do with my limited “free time?”
Hum . . . do I actually have free time? This is my current question. And the debate begins: If the kids’ nap time actually is when I am paying bills, shopping for things online and making household phone calls to the Dr. or county who screwed up the last tax payment…..is that really free time? Or when the kids go to bed at night, and I realize my husband and I need to spend time together . . . is that free time or is that time investing in the most important relationship I have with another human? And the same question applies to the time I use to write in my journal or read my Bible. Is that free time? Its my choice to use the time that way, but its something I need or I become empty and can’t do the rest of my job. What about reading? I don’t have to spend time reading a book. But I must stimulate my mind or I go crazy. I don’t need to do anything creative like painting, writing or playing music. But maybe I do, because without that I am not my healthy self. These things make me come alive and an alive Elisa is much better than an internally dead one. Therefore that can easily affect everything and everyone in my world. Not only are others effected by time I spend improving myself, but obviously by the time I actually am spending with them (or not spending with them). So, although eating dinner with my friends might be fun, it is also time I am also investing into their lives, and time they are investing in mine. That sometimes that is not fun at all, and I might not have much of a choice about it. When is time with people free time and when is it not? And I don’t need to watch a movies, but sometimes I need to be still and have mindless activity when I am so tired. But as that can be enjoyable, is it therefore free time? And is it my “job” or fun free time when I go to the park or pool or picnic with my kids? My job is to teach and lead them in the way they should go, and love them. Sometimes that also includes “fun” for me. Other times it is anything but fun, even if it at a fun place. I could go to the park with her in the morning and consider it work. I could go with her on a Saturday night, and as it is not the work week, is it then free time?
So, my question really is “What is free time?” A time where I don’t have to do anything? Or is it a time when I am enjoying what I am doing? Maybe I just have time in general. Time that I have to use wisely. I have times where I have the chance to invest in myself or others that are not my kids. Not being responsible for children currently tends to define my free time. But free time is not a time void of responsibility. Time is responsibility on its own. My “free time” might end up be fun or not fun. Somewhere in me I believe I have the right to time free of responsibility in which I get to have fun. Yet reality is leading me to look at life differently. Instead of wondering when I can be free of responsibility and trying to decide how I can make myself the most happy during that time, maybe I should ask myself how I can have a best attitude with whatever amount of responsibilities I have at the moment. And I’d like to become better at knowing how to use the time I do have; focusing on others or spending time rejuvenating myself. The notion of free time is slowly fading. As it does I hope I become a better person as I don’t delusionally cling to something I never had in the first place. Because, when it comes down to it, free time is an illusion.