Leisure Connections, Stats and Stories

Delta Windsurf Girls. Image by fellow windsurfer Meiry Hayes
Delta Windsurf Girls. Image by fellow windsurfer Meiry Hayes

Connections. This word can conjure many meanings. In the blog world it means making and cultivating our connections with other bloggers, with which we have a connected community. We have work connections, family connections, and of course, our connections in leisure. I want to focus on the value of leisure.

A previous daily prompt challenged us to look at our stats and determine which were our best posts and to find a connection between them. This shall serve as a kick-start to the launch of my new bi-monthly feature, called Leisurely Thursdays, where I discuss leisure and all its trappings. The Stat Connection

My top posts were: Why Play Is Important: Connecting the Dots in Leisure, Four New Year’s Resolutions to Forget, and On Being a Disappointed Daughter. They all have the value of leisure in common.

Most of you know my long time history as a recreation and leisure practitioner, now just retired. This blog, Perspectives on…Life, Work and Leisure, helps serves as my entry into my Second Act in my life, that of a consultant. After 35 years of working as a leisure practitioner and leisure educator, I want to offer those skills and advice to people who may be questioning what they can do with their lives.

So many Baby Boomers are retiring now. As one of them, I understand the trait of workaholism and how years of constantly working can have a huge negative impact when one retires. What does one do with all this TIME? So many people have great intentions when they retire: making travel plans, starting a new hobby, visiting friends and family, etc. Sadly, most of those intentions turn into marathon TV sessions and potential loneliness for many retirees. As a consultant, I will work with retired individuals to identify their new leisure goals and set them on that important path for the next phase of their life.

To kick off Leisurely Thursdays, let us take a look at this hard-to-define notion of leisure.

Dumazedier (1974) described leisure in American society as not just time spent in contrast to one’s job, but as defined by contrast to all of the trappings of everyday living with all of its obligations and necessities.

Dumazedier outlined the three functions of leisure: relaxation, entertainment, and personal development. Relaxation provides recovery from fatigue, entertainment provides deliverance from boredom, while development of the personality provides the liberation of new ideas, avenues for learning and cultivation of new attitudes. Another definition that really made sense to me from Dumazedier is:

“Leisure is activity—apart from the obligation of work, family, and society—to which the individual turns at will, for either relaxation, diversion, or broadening his knowledge and his spontaneous social participation, the free exercise of his creative capacity”

As we are firmly planted in the second decade of the 21st century, recreation and leisure comes much closer to this definition now and probably has for the last 30-40 years.

Guard your leisure time jealously. As we multi-task everything to get through our days, use leisure as your time to get away from the vexing problems we encounter daily. Regardless of how you spend your leisure time, continue to make those connections. Even if you have simply chosen some quiet time for contemplation, be sure to connect with yourself.

You deserve it.

Reference: Dumazedier, J. (1974). Leisure and the social system. In J.F. Murphy, (Ed.) Concepts of leisure: Philosophical implications (pp. 129-150). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

8 thoughts on “Leisure Connections, Stats and Stories

  1. Great point about guarding our leisure time. We all get too caught up in the day to day activities of our lives. We need to step back and have some rest and recreation time. Thanks for sharing with us at #AnythingGoes Link Up

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  2. I always thought of leisure as “non-work”. The idea of leisure functions as relaxation, entertainment, and personal development makes a lot of sense. Of course, now that I’m retired too, leisure influences much of my life. So I need to think about it differently. Blogging has also started me thinking more about what I want to spend my time doing.

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  3. the topic of your blog interests me. I used to have a career that ate my time away. I stepped down to do less, and in the process, am doing what I always wanted to do. Funny how that works, right…..?!

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