Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Blessings of Leisure Time

Tonight, I have just done with my final paper for this long, tedious, busy semester. Well, it is indeed a hard time for me... working and taking overload hours at the same time and somehow I feel that the burden is overbearing for my shoulders of responsibility. Alhamdulillah, it is done now and how relieved I am to treasure this moment of leisure. And yes, at this moment, I would like to talk about the bliss of leisure, in commemoration of my "liberation" from the arduous semester that basically drains my physical energy and mental vigor.

When talking about leisure, one may not miss to talk about free-time. And yea, I believe the theory of scarcity stands true here, when we talk about the value of free time: it is much more valuable to you when it is scarce. Have we ever pondered about boredom? Well, boredom can mean two things... either one has too much free-time until he/she does no longer treasure the leisure time he/she has, or has too few free-time until he feels tired of everything he/she is working on with.

The symptom for the former is because either one is too lazy, to complacent in his dwelling in time, because of it is too plentiful. Like a tap water, we often ignore valuable time passes over with little regards of its value because it is 'cheap' and 'easy to get'.
If we look at the diametrical opposite, the all-time busy schedule, we get the same result, I think. That result is laggardness, too, as the outcome from the exhaustion from the relentless work.

This is easy to tell for students who had been studying nights and days, especially for the "cramming ritual" that they usually have near the end of the semester - they have these sort of rebellious feeling against the tenacity of work as compared to the opposites of 'having fun'.
But, is 'having fun' really have to do with 'leisure time?'. For me right now, yes! Because the leisure time itself is like a relieving release from the chains of chores and business. The feeling is that as if I am free to decide what I want to do with my own time instead of what my schedule dictates me to do with the time I have. Hmm... sounds rebellious to the order of schedule? Sure, especially when the schedule is 'cruel', too demanding, like a tyrant, coveting his servants' properties like his own.

But will this notion of freedom last? Of course not because it is the tendency of human being to forget things that are plentiful to him/her (for this, just observe the food on the table, and compare how we disgust the food and waste them, seldom to pause a second to think about the less-fortunate in Palestine or Africa). That is where I think that the best means to maintain 'fun' of having the leisure time itself is to make a 'just schedule'. Like a just ruler, it will give some sort of meaningfulness and direction to the life of its follower and so the well-balanced schedule. I think, if I were to list what do I learn most this semester, that is to teach myself to treasure the value of making a fair schedule for myself - not pushing myself to the brink of madness.

So, let's recap. The equation of blessings in leisure time is simple. Keep some of the leisure time for yourself, do whatever you like with it. Make sure that its not too much until you feel that that the things that you are supposed to like turns out to be a chore already, and not too few that you crave for the next 'leisure time' like a thirsty man in a blazing desert. Just like making a tea, good to have it sweet, but not too sweet, neither too bland. ;)


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