All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and hard work done well makes play guilt free.
Do you feel like a boat tossed in a storm of committments and tasks? Is there a way to direct life where you actually want to go to find the fun, the enjoyment, the purpose, and peace that you crave? What if I told you there was a way for you to make life what you want it to be? Well I’m here to say it’s possible, and it’s closer than you think. It all comes down to priorities.
Priority Number Five: Free Time
For the past couple of weeks we’ve been talking about your life, why it’s driving you crazy, and how to reign that sucker back in so you can direct it where you want it to go and get the most out of your life. We’ve talked about your spiritual life (read Priority Number One here), your marriage (read Priority Number Two here), your kids (read Priority Number Three here), and your work (read Priority Number Four here). But now it’s time for the grand finale, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, priority number five: free time!
We’ve come a long way on our journey together on priorities, and after all the hard work you’ve put into cutting out the unnecessary stuff and looking after what really matters it’s time to look at everything you’ve overcome, all the challenges you’ve faced, all the clutter you’ve cleared, give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy the fruit of your labour!
Yes, go ahead and do whatever it is you want!
Free time may be the last on the priority list, but it’s still there. Priority number five: free time. There you go. As Pope Francis said, “Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.”
I don’t know about you my dear, but I’ve found in my own life that I can work and work and work from sun up to sun down if I don’t just draw a line and allow myself to do something for fun. Work and free time need balance. The reality is that life without work is purposeless, but work without play is like staring at the ground and focusing on the pebbles at your feet without ever lifting your face to behold the Grand Canyon.
Those pebbles have their place, but if they’re the only thing you focus on the true beauty of life will be missed.
What Does “Free Time” Look Like?
Each person will spend their free time differently, it all comes down to what you personally enjoy doing and what you personally find refreshing and fun. For some it will be baking cookies with their kids, for others it’ll be curling up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee and a book, while others will take that time to go sing for the elderly, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or learn a new skill.
Believe me, free time can be almost anything! Here are a few more ideas:
- Go and visit with a friend
- Watch a movie
- Research something on the internet
- Browse Pinterest and make a craft
- Play music
- Read a book or learn something new
- Go for a walk
- Plan a trip or fun thing to do with your family
- Decorate your house
- Play with your dog
- Do something fun with your kids
- Write an email to an old friend
Free time is literally anything and everything that you enjoy doing that isn’t expressly necessary to fulfill your spiritual life, marriage, kids, or work responsibilities.
When Is It Time For Free Time?
This one can be a toughie and I’ve come to the conclusion that to have free time, you need to make free time. Maybe you have your life totally figured out, you’re able to kick back and relax on a regular basis and your task list is always checked off at the end of the day. That may be you, but it’s certainly not me! There will always be things vying for your time, so you have to decide when to take a break.
And it’s important to have free time!
It’s important to give yourself the freedom to enjoy life, enjoy yourself, and work on your own interests. So the time for that would be whenever you set the time for it.
That may sound ambiguous, but it’s true. You have to set a time when you’ll put away your work and do something you enjoy. Why? Because you can’t pour anything out of an empty pitcher. So take some time, whether it’s in the morning or the evening, to do something you enjoy, something that fulfills you. Then you’ll really be able to take on your role as a wife and mom with a determination and flourish in that role.
What If I Have Too Much Free Time?
I understand you may be thinking right now, “Well Jessica, I’m a stay at home wife, I already have a ton of free time and I don’t know what to do with it!” If this is you then there’s one of two things happening. 1) you’re super efficient and focused, or 2) you’re could use a bigger vision for the other priorities in your life.
What I’d reccommend to you is this: take a look at your life, take a look at your marriage, your family, your work, and ask yourself, “What is my vision for all this?”
The wisest man who ever lived once said that a man, or woman in our case, without a vision will perish, and that a person should work diligently and find satisfaction in the things they did. If you find yourself with boatloads of free time chances are life is also kind of dull. The cure? Create a vision for your life and aspire for greatness in everything you do.
Priority Number Five: Free time
It may be the last on the list, but free time is essential to you getting the most out of life and really enjoying this wild adventure you’ve been given. Love your husband, love your kids, work with a passion, enjoy yourself, and do something fun every once in a while, and above all, do everything for the glory of God.
Because that is how you truly get the most out of life.