I recently had a conversation with some one that got me thinking.
This woman was trying to convince me that going back to school would be the right thing to do. She told me that she went to school full time, had 4 kids, and a boyfriend. She said that she did have to give up her leisure time. She told me that if she did school then I could get through school as well. I applaud her for doing all that while going to school.
Without her knowing it, she actually validated my decision not to go to school right now.
The thing that she said that got me thinking was that she had to give up her leisure time.
I looked up the meaning of leisure. Dictionary.com says that leisure is defined as, “freedom from the demands of work or duty, when one can rest and enjoy hobbies or sports”. Reading that definition, it seems to me that leisure time is more important than some people think.
As a nurse, my days away from work are just as important as the days that I work. When I’m at work, I take care of my patients. When I’m not at work, I’m taking care of me.
In the conversation, she told me that going to school I may just have to give up going to the movies once a week. I thought to myself, what if going to the movies once a week makes a person feel good and relaxed. If someone told me that I had to give up whale watching once a week to go to school. I would say no to going to school.
Whale watching relaxes me. I get excited to see whales and dolphins. I do that once a week because I love it. Being around water helps me to meditate and feel relaxed. Whale watching is one of my ways of practicing self care. Some people call it leisure time but it can be interchangeable with self care time.
I recently took a trip up to Monterey Bay and saw killer whales. I just wanted to see killer whales in the wild. I had so much fun. I even extended my trip to see them. I took a week off in between my current travel assignment. I went up to Monterey Bay by train on Wednesday. I went whale watching on Thursday and Friday. I saw a lot of humpback whales. On Friday, I decided to extend my trip. I really wanted to see some killer whales. On Saturday, I saw a lot of killer whales.
Another thing that she said that made me think was, “people make time for what they want to make time for.”
I agree a little bit with her statement. People do make time for the things that they want to but life does happen.
For example, a couple of years ago, when I was working in retail at Goody’s. I remember this mom came in with her son. The son was about 6 or 7 years old. The mother got a call and she let out a little scream. She then yells into the phone, “What hospital is he at?”. She grabs the little boy by the arm and runs to her car. I could only think that her life just changed that day. Some one that she loves is in the hospital and it didn’t look like she had planned that. She came into Goody’s to shop and she ended up not buying anything that day.
I make plans and sometimes I don’t follow through with them. I recently wanted to go to a waffle and beer festival in LA. I made plans but on the day of the festival, I didn’t feel like going. That day I just felt like relaxing at home and that is what I did. I love waffles and pancakes. I was looking forward to the different kinds of waffles that they were going to be selling. The day before I had had a very hard day at work and I just wanted to relax because I was emotionally and physically tired from work. The next day I did go whale watching to relax myself.
To me leisure time is important. Leisure time can be interchangeable with self care time. Leisure time is when you can enjoy your hobbies like fishing, boating, going to sporting events, whale watching, knitting, reading, going to a spa, getting your nails done, or what ever a person enjoys doing.
My leisure time or self care time makes me a more productive person at work. It makes me feel better. I make time for self care every week. Some times I even say no to working extra shifts at work because I need my leisure time.
When I do choose to go to school, I will make time for my self care habits as well.