We agreed that my first few days of freedom would be ‘holiday’.  By this we meant that my time was entirely free to do as I wished.  It’s actually, oddly, one of the biggest challenges of what I have decided to do with my future.  Thinking through something as simple as what do I wish to do with my time?

Many of the choices that we make about our free time are compelled by how we are left feeling after our work time.  If work leaves us feeling drained and unfulfilled we spend our free time doing as little as possible.  Recharging our batteries.  We watch TV, maybe we read, maybe we sleep longer.  We indulge in food and in wine and other pleasurable pursuits.  All of which become very old when they are all that you have to think about.  If your mind were free to wander where it would, if there were no constraints over money or duty or opportunity, what would you do with your time?

I think many of us say that we would continue at work even if we won the lottery for simple reason that we know self-indulgence is not a sustainable lifestyle but we equally have no clue what else we would do with our minds if they were released from toil.  We are simply not educated to think about what we want.

Today I got up late.  This was in part due to the fact that came back from my indulgence weekend away with an upset stomach.  Had it been a hangover I would not be complaining but I’ve been experiencing stomach cramps and other associated issues since Sunday morning and last night they disturbed my sleep until after  3am.  Once my stomach settled down I realised that now everything else hurt.  I’d wrapped myself around a hot waterbottle with such tension that my back, shoulders, arms and neck were aching.  I didn’t get much meaningful sleep until after 5am when I took a painkiller which knocked me out until after 1030am.

Once I was up the day was mine so what did I do?  Well first off I did some chores.  I don’t like an untidy kitchen.  Then I fed the dogs and then I grabbed a little something for myself (a dessert spoon of natural yoghurt) and sat down to watch ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’.  I have to say I loved the movie, one I wouldn’t usually get to see and I felt at that stage that the day was going well.

After the movie I did some more housework.  Putting away washing and changing the bed, jobs I didn’t do over the weekend while my stomach was bad.  Then I took a shower, got dressed and settled down to watch another movie.  This time it was ‘The Silver Linings Playbook’, another film that I wouldn’t usually get to see but this time I can’t get into it.  There is nothing wrong with the film that I can see.  The cast all perform well,  the story holds together,  I just can’t engage with it.  So now I’m restless and by the end of the film I’m starting to wonder if I can do this.  This being at home thing.

I try to listen to music but I’m not into it.  I apply for a presenters training course at Black Cat Radio.  I light a fire.  I listen to my stomach rumble.  I consider reading a book.

And then I remember the thing I always like to do.  This.  The writing thing.  And I do it.  I don’t think about it impotently, questioning my ideas and doubting my skills.  I just do it.  Because I want to.

Oh yeah…that’s what I want to do with my time.

 

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