(for details on how to participate please visit: Life with Grace and Beauty)
Prompt 8: 5 THINGS TO PASS THE TIME
We all need a break every now and again. Whether it’s from studying, working, to escape from reality or to cure boredom. What do you do to break up the mundane tasks in your life? Do you play a game, check your Facebook or Twitter account, or check the news? What are five things you do to pass the time?
For the past two-and-a-half months, I am beginning once again to enjoy the luxury of this thing they call spare time. Oh the joy of being able to get out of bed when I feel like it on a Saturday morning, to know that the entire day stretches ahead of me and it is mine, completely mine. All those glorious hours from 7am to 11pm are mine!
Don’t get me wrong – I am not a lazy bones. I don’t spend hours in bed just for the sake of it. In fact I don’t spend hours in bed period (unless I’m not well). That’s just not me.
The thing is, because I am now in the unique position of being able to spend all that time to myself and on myself, I feel I have to use it wisely. I feel I should not squander it. So when scriptures come to mind, such as Ephesians 5:16 about “redeeming the time” and because I know I’ve been guilty of wasting precious time in the past (periods spent in pity-party mode), I feel I need to make up for the time I’ve lost, by using my spare time working on quality activities.
Unfortunately, there is quite often a BIG gap between what I feel I ought to be doing with my spare time and what I actually do.
The following are my spare-time activities:
This is most definitely my number one activity and takes up a significant portion of my spare time. I love to read. However, I don’t read as much as I used to when I was a child and teenager. I recall one of my secondary teachers (Ms Harding) encouraging our class to read more. In order to motivate us (or check that we were actually doing what she asked), we had to record the title of the book we’d finished reading against our names in a special book she’d set aside for the purpose. Each pupil was given a page to themselves and I remember needing more than 1 page for my name, because I’d read so many books. I remember feeling exceedingly proud that by the end of that year, I’d read over 100 books.
So, as I was saying, I like to read. I’m currently on a sabbatical but when I am working, I read during my commute. In the mornings (unless I’m in the middle of a gripping fiction book), I normally read the Word of God. I try to read the Bible from cover to cover within the year. So far, I’ve only managed to do so maybe twice. Every time I start with the best of intentions but somewhere around Deuteronomy or Numbers, I lose momentum.
This year, I’m pretty pleased with myself. I set myself a target of at least 5 chapters per day. And although I’ve not always managed to keep to that target, I have progressed beyond the usual drop-out position. Today, I read 4 of the minor prophet books (Nahum to Haggai) comprising 11 chapters. As each of the books were fairly short, I thought I’d capitalise and try to catch-up. Granted, it’s now unlikely that I’ll complete the entire Bible by the end of this year but at least I’ve already achieved the satisfaction of moving way beyond those early books at which I normally get stuck. Hooray! Hoorah!
My evening commute is usually spent reading either a fiction or motivational book. I’ve now started to read for an hour or so in the evenings, rather than watch TV.
This year I set myself a target of reading at least 15 books (in addition to the 66 books of the Bible). To date I’ve read:
Waiting For An Angel – Helon Habila
Beach Café – Lucy Diamond
Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
Liar – Nora Roberts
Every Day, Every Hour – Nataša Dragnić
Rogue Lawyer – John Grisham
23 Steps to Success And Achievement – R. J. Lumsden (a re-read)
Success Motivation – Charles Capps
Outliers – The Story of Success – Malcolm Gladwell
Short Story Writing – Dilys Gater
The Positive Woman – Gael Lindenfield
Positioning Your Family For Greatness – Bola Ogundeji
Appointment With God – The Navigators (a re-read)
And I’m currently reading: Destined For The Throne – Paul E. Billheimer and Go Set A Watchman – Harper Lee.
I believe my best time for writing is first thing in the morning, so before I go into work, I like to get in 15-20mins of practice (either an exercise or journaling). At the weekends, I’m more likely to stretch the time from between 20mins to an hour or so.
And of course I write posts for my two blogs Purpose-driven Achiever and Women of Warfare!
I’m a slow writer and I’m obsessive about making sure my posts are as perfect as they can be in terms of readability, comprehension, grammar, presentation and clearly getting across what I have to say. Often when I’ve uploaded my prepared text into WordPress Admin, I’m presented with all sorts of problems from the themes I use. They often re-arrange my layout and refuse to toe the line regarding how I want the text to be laid out. Numbered paragraphs, bullet points and line spacing are a particular nightmare.
Why can’t they be as amenable and co-operative as the Word documents my posts were originally created in? Why do they (the themes) keep exercising their own minds and doing their own thing? Why don’t they recognise that I’m supposed to be the boss? I can end up spending a frustrating amount of time trying to format each post in the way I want it to look. I don’t always manage it, perhaps because I am not IT literate. I try my best nevertheless but feel mega-guilty about all the time spent on just 1 post. Oh someone please deliver me from my perfectionist bent!
Other Leisure Activities:
To completely unwind, I like to watch my DVD box set Friends. I’ve probably watched the entire set of 10 seasons (20 discs in total) around half-a-dozen times already, if not more. I love them. They are so funny and I find this is just what I need after a long tiring day, or to get me out of “pity-party” mode.
My husband loves watching action films, so provided they’re not too violent, I’ll watch a movie with him at home, or we’ll go to the cinema. He in turn panders to my tastes and will treat me now and again to a theatre trip.
I do love to cook and entertain but these days my hospitality is confined to having family members over about 2-3 times per year.
When I’m in the mood I’ll go shopping, sometimes for necessities like clothes or new shoes but mostly for home accessories and furnishings. I’m into home make-over shows and these often inspire me.
And so here endeth my epistle on how I spendeth my spare time. Wow! When I began writing this, I didn’t even think I had that much to say!
Did anything in this post resonate with you? How do you like to spend your spare time? Please share your response in the Comment box below and your likes, ratings and shares will also be most appreciated. Thank you for reading.
PHOTO CREDITS: the CC0 images used in this post are from Pixabay.com