Thrown off by free time

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Free time throws me off, and I do not think I am the only one it throws off. You run non-stop, trying to tackle every item on the to-do list. You end the day, frustrated that barely two items were removed from the list, while 16 other items were added. You wake the next morning, stepping onto the same hamster wheel ready to repeat the day, when suddenly, the wheel stops. You have just been given ‘free time’. Yes, the list and obligations still exist, but someone has just handed you a ‘get out of jail, free’ card, entitling you to day of free-time. What on earth do you do with that?! Do you immediately create another list, this one listing things you accomplish with your free time?

I talked with a friend today. Her daughter had an ‘away’ game today, so she would not be home until late. My friend’s husband had plans with people at work, so he was also going to be home late. My friend had the night ‘off’, and she wondered how she was going to spend it. I have found myself in that position several times. And, as silly as it may sound, I find I get a bit stressed when I have free time. What on earth am I suppose to do with free time? It is so easy to get caught up in the ‘do this’/ ‘do that’ kind of lifestyle, and I find an overwhelming sense of guilt comes over me when I have ‘free’ time. Goodness knows, if you go up to someone and say, “Hey, I have some free time today ….”, you may be interrupted with a response similar to, “You have free time?! Oh. I wish I had some free time. I don’t even know what free time is anymore.”

I do not know if this is 100% accurate, but this is a blog – and are blogs suppose to be 100% accurate? Consider this my A Million Little Pieces. (Oh, bad joke.) Anyway, it is as if the world wants to be busy 24/7 and scoff at the idea that someone actually has free time. Someone always has to be busier than the next person. And, if someone dare talk about taking the day off, it’s as if they are lesser of a person, unable to keep up with the proverbial Jones family. Again, I admit that may not be entirely accurate, but I think there is a valid point hidden in my words. Maybe? Perhaps? Or not.

Recently, I wrote about Curious George. The fan mail I received with that post was overwhelming. Really. You fans are truly amazing. I would not be here, if it were not for all of you clicking and reading. Thank you. Ok, so I did not win any followers with my Curious George rant, which means the fact that I am about to make a point by using Curious George may have you leaving this post right about . . . now.

I watched an episode of Curious George where the Genius was overwhelmed with her work. The man in the yellow hat suggested she take a day off on Saturday and join them in the park. The genius agreed, and the three of them met on Saturday morning to spend 4hrs in the park. The man in the yellow hat prepared for this outing, and he had a list of things to do to relax. He also kept checking his watch, to ensure they did not relax more than the 4hr time allotted. As you might imagine, things did not go too smoothly. First, the genius was discombobulated, because she did not know what to do with her free time. Second, the man with the yellow hat was so focused on the list and the ticking clock, that he became flustered and created problems. Well, George created the problems, but the man in the yellow hat opened the door.

I think free time throws people off track, off kilter, etc. And, as I said, I get thrown off with free time. When I know my husband and boys are gone for the day, I tend to spend the time watching the clock tick to the time my family returns home. And eating? Wow. I cannot tell you how much I eat when they are gone. It is as if I have never eaten, and I go hog wild. (Pun intended.) It is truly better for my waistline that the guys do not give me free time. Then again, truth be told, hobbies do a body, mind and spirit good. Which brings me back to my friend.

My friend admitted that she did not know what to do with her free time, because there was not really anything she wanted to do with it. She didn’t really have any hobbies of which to speak. The same holds true for me. I do not have a long (or short) list of hobbies. I enjoy doing some things; but, if I am given free time, I tend to ‘freak out’, for lack of a better term. Hobbies suddenly become chores, and who wants to do chores during their free time? Not me. I suggested to my friend that she head to a coffee shop to sit, sip and surf. I find the ambiance of a coffee shop to be very relaxing. And, since having started blogging, I have made it a point to patronize coffee shops.

I am not sure why I am thrown off by free time, but I am trying to get a handle on it. I hope my friend made it out tonight, and I hope she enjoyed her ‘get out of jail, free’ card. Though, neither she nor I believe we are in any sort of jail. We both like our life, we just do not know what to do with it at times. In any case, I hope you are able to enjoy your free time, too. We all deserve free time. And, we all deserve to enjoy free time without guilt. So, the next time someone hands you a ‘get out of jail, free’ card, take it and walk away happy, leaving the lists and plans behind you. After all, the lists and plans will be there when you return.

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