A few days ago my friends and I were discussing the concept of time. There are many different types of time: work time, sleeping time, and leisure time. The main question that was brought up again and again was: "is my leisure time quality time?"
I had to stop and think about this for awhile. In my opinion, any hours not spent working (for me, teaching or doing school-related things) or sleeping is essentially leisure time because I get to decide how I want to spend it. It is my choice to do what I want. Some activities that occupy my leisure time are running, reading books, reading blogs, hanging out with friends, talking on the phone, driving, and wasting time on facebook. Am I using my free time in a good way? In many ways, I think yes, but then there is always room for improvement.
Running is a very important part of my life. I spend a lot of time working out, stretching, running, or doing other exercise-related things everyday. I spend a lot of time doing it, but I think the return I get from exercising benefits me in all other areas of my life. I've blogged about how running brings me happiness, which flows into the other areas of my life. This part of my leisure time is quality time indeed.
Reading novels and blogs is also quality leisure time in my eyes. Every time I read I learn something new - whether it is something I've never heard of before, or just realizing a different opinion on a topic that makes me analyze how I think about something. Back when blogs started, I was opposed to them, thinking that it was a waste of time to write one or read one. But, my opinion has greatly changed. I have learned so much from other people who blog and have found much of the advice that other people leave for me useful. There are some blogs that I enjoy and learn more from than others, but each blog offers something unique.
The other parts of my leisure time are often spent driving and on other Internet sites, such as facebook. Driving is necessary and can be both quality or a poor use of time. Sometimes I enjoy driving because I get to think about things and just let my mind wander. However, I feel like I drive a fair amount, but this is a choice I made. I decided to live in a different suburb than where I teach, thus making my commute longer to work. However, I love where I live. There are pros and cons to everything. It would be a better use of my time to live in the same suburb, but then I wouldn't get to live where I want to live.
Lastly, I think everyone pretty much has one thing that they do that is not quality leisure time. This could be watching TV, which is true for many people I know. My downfall is facebook. I don't go on the website a ton, but I find it interesting. I like to know what my friends from high school and college are up to since I don't live by the majority of them anymore. However, the problem happens when I get hooked on looking at their photo albums. I think I could spend hours just looking at pictures on facebook, which is not time well spent. However, I think it is important to have some time in my day that I can just do something minimal, like look at facebook. It is part of my life and although it is not quality time, I don't intend to give it up. I could cut back a little, but not totally.
In general, I am happy with how I spend my leisure time. I think it is pretty quality time.
How do you spend your leisure time? Is it quality time?