“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”Annie Dillard
Now that OG is almost 18 months old I’ve been thinking about how much my life has changed since becoming a parent. It’s so wonderful to watch our little girl grow and learn about the world around her.
I’m so blessed to be her mama (and I really try to remember that even in the tough times) but having children is definitely exhausting.
Lately I find myself using my OG free time to zone out to the TV or Internet instead of something that’s more enjoyable. I mean, I do enjoy watching certain TV shows or browsing blogs but there is a certain point where I’ve seen everything that interests me but I keep going. Why do I do that? I wouldn’t keep reading a book that didn’t hold my interest.
When I am 80 years old and I look back on my life I know I won’t be particularly proud that I beat a computer game or watched the entire series of a TV show.
I will be glad that I spent time writing, that I raised/grew my own food, that I followed through on whatever other goals I decide to pursue. I will also be glad that I spent some time indulging in entertainment from time to time.
I know that I feel much happier when I spend some of my free time working towards my goals even though in the short term it’s work (although, it must be fun too or it wouldn’t be my goal). But if I spend all of my free time being entertained I am not happy. I feel blah. I feel like I’m wasting my time.
So I guess it’s about balance. I guess it comes down to deciphering between things that create short term pleasure (TV, browsing the web, etc) and things that contribute to a happier life (taking steps towards completing a goal, spending time outside, etc) and choosing to do both within the small amount of free time I have.
I think it’s especially hard because I’m a stay at home mom and my brain has to be on
All. The. Time.
Except for the tiny bit of time that she is sleeping and I’m not (in which case I’m still listening for her).
(I don’t mean to say that being a working mom is easier because I’m sure that it’s not, but the challenges are different ones.)
But then again, I wonder if that’s just an excuse. I mean sitting outside isn’t any more work than sitting at the computer, right?
But it’s really hard to choose fun activities that promote how I want to live my life over the ones that just entertainment me.
So maybe I should write down some fun activities that support my ideal lifestyle and what I want for myself so I can reference it when I find myself being sucked into the TV or internet during my precious free time.
- Sew, paint, or do other crafty things
- Sit outside
- Learn a new skill
- Read a book
- Think about and plan out my goals
- Research a blog post
After writing this list I realize that some of the things I feel are “work” are also leisure activities (like Pilates). I guess I need to remind myself that these are not just work but are also fun and make me feel happy.
Do you ever find yourself getting sucked into the TV or Internet? How do you deal with it?