25 February 2005

Budgeting leisure time

I'm blogging from work while I wait for my ride, which fits in perfectly with today's subject. While I work, I listen to podcasts (we'll talk about my new obsession with them at a later date). Today I found a discussion about budgeting your media time. Basically the two gentlemen were saying that the market for streaming content to mobile devices is never going to take off because the empty pockets of time that the advertisers say we have don't actually exist. It occurred to me after listening to them that I have never fully considered the idea of budgeting my leisure time.

I have never believed that women (or men for that matter) could have it all in terms of working and being a good wife and being a good parent and keeping a nice house -- something's gotta give! Subconciously, however, I think I have bought into the idea that I should be able to sample everything entertainment-wise. Why can't I write witty daily entries to my weblog, knit sweaters, learn Spanish, read the latest novels, watch my favorite TV shoes, teach myself to dance, and a host of other things? Perhaps that is why I struggle with working outside the home so much. Not only does it sap the energy I need to be a good parent and housekeeper, but it also keeps me from pursuing things that I really find interesting. Of course, when I start thinking along those lines I realize how selfish I am and rein myself in.

Speaking of work, shouldn't it be a law that your job is rewarding one way or the other? If you get to act or sing for a living and wear free designer clothes and jewelry to awards shows, then you shouldn't get paid millions of dollars because you are already having fun. The people who have to do miserable work and be away from their family for 10-12 hours a day should make the big bucks.

Anyway, back to our subject: how do you budget your leisure time? Do you even give that much thought to it? The most I do is think, "Gee, I am really jonesin' to play a video game. I wish I had time." Truth be told, though, time isn't as much of an a issue as I say it is. On most days, I don't want to invest the energy it would take to do XYZ. Every decision is based on the question, "Do I have to go to work tomorrow?" If the answer is "yes", then all I want to do is veg out tonight. If I put in that game disc, I know I will get involved and play until midnight or later and then be mad at myself for doing it. I have episodes of Gilmore Girls, Joan of Arcadia, and Everwood from the past three weeks sitting on my TiVo because I don't even want to invest the emotional energy to get involved in the plot right now. Instead, I flip on something light like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. As far as projects go, I gravitate toward whatever is the most mindless to work on at that moment. That's why Isaac's tennis vest is still sitting in a bag, waiting for a big block of time so that I can work on the neckline.

I guess I want these experiences in my life without having to worry about how I'm going to squeeze everything in. When I was unemployed, none of this bothered me. I could spend a whole morning focused on just cleaning the closet or finishing a pair of socks and I was happy to do it because I knew that I had another free day tomorrow. I told you I was selfish, didn't I?
Post a Comment