When you are working it’s easy to assume that time is something that the working world consumes, only releasing it’s grasp on those long awaited weekends or authorised holidays away from work. With the age of retirement slowly creeping up as humans stick around for longer on this earth work can start to feel like an endless cycle. You get up, go to work, come home from work where you then spend the evening catching up on all the things you need to do before you finally retire to bed; all this for the cycle to continue again the next day.
Somewhere mixed into life there is time, I’m not talking about all twenty four hours of the day time but instead your own personal free time. From listening to others it seems that we in general blame work for the lack of free time in our lives, but I’d argue that whatever amount of free time we happen to have we would fill it with things we have to do.
Once you fill your time with things you have to do like work, chores, child care then it suddenly loses that label free time. Those who are retired will tell you they have less free time now than when they were working, how can that be?
I think this happens because when you work you are given a routine, let’s say for example you work Monday – Friday with the weekend and evenings as “free time”. Your week is very defined, you might choose to take some of your free time and make it into things you need to do. For example lots of people have a cleaning day, or they have to look after their children during certain times. But once this is done you have the rest of your time defined as free.
This routine I think allows you to relax, you’ve worked really hard the rest of the day so you feel no guilt in spending your free time watching TV or reading a book it’s deserved. Those who do not have such a structured routine, they don’t have specific times to move into the relaxation phase and switch off.
Take for example a house wife, if you are cleaning, cooking, looking after children when do you actually get that break off point? You work every day of the week including evenings and you don’t have that same guilt free “that’s it my hours are up time to clock off” moment. Of course throughout the day you do have down time but it’s usually very disjointed and fits in between other tasks.
There is always a silver lining though, if you don’t work and you still keep structure in your life then I think you can have the best of both worlds. I’m slowly moving into this, I now only clean on certain days and make sure I have plenty of time each day just to myself – bliss!
Hats off to mothers with young babies that work, I imagine that would be the most demanding routine! Of course none of this applies if you enjoy your job so much that it’s your hobby, although I haven’t met anyone who wouldn’t prefer to be on a beach sipping a cocktail rather than at work just yet.