Time Out


The “tyranny of time.” That was the subject of last week’s lecture in my university classroom.

I teach a general education class called “Leisure Lifestyle Development.”

To introduce The Leisure Link link-up, I would like to start by discussing time as it relates to leisure.

“Time is not only a container for leisure, but also what makes leisure possible and impossible.”

“People take the idea of time very seriously. We ascribe countless actions to it. For example:
We make time, save time, waste time, take time, and even, kill time! At a party we have a good time or a bad time. Then there is suppertime, summertime, naptime and of course, Miller time!” (Ruth Russell, Pastimes, 2013)

It is hard to get away from time.

Time urgency is a tyranny. This can manifest in the need to rush, to be in a hurry, the quickening of the pace of life.

In class, my students took a quick assessment to gauge their view of time. Some of the statements included:

“I’m frustrated by the slowness of people around me.
I feel I am often racing against time.
I am always rushing between places, projects, and events.
I eat lunch or other meals while I work or study.”

Out of ten statements like these, I scored about as high as one can…in fact, the results suggest I need to slow the heck down. Many of my students found they had scored very high, too. We discussed these implications as they relate to technology and the high expectations of getting work done and experiencing leisure in a 24-hour day.

The other day, I posted a photo called “Hurry Up Autumn!” My impatience knows no bounds. –sigh –

A fellow blogger, Michele at Life Redesign 101, posted this gem: Why is everyone in such a hurry? She talks about living in the moment and to stop yearning for the next season, or the next “time” for something. Well worth your time to read!

Does the tyranny of time affect the way you experience leisure? Are you in such a hurry that you cannot just stop and smell the roses without checking the time on your wrist or your phone?

Take a time out and for a few moments today, and without looking at a clock or worrying about your schedule, just sit (or stand) and breathe. Unplug from technology. Let your mind wander and think of nothing in particular. If you can do this outdoors for a few minutes, all the better.

Let me know how this felt.

Rethink your leisure times if you are a highly scheduled person.

You have the time.

The Leisure Link starts now.

26 thoughts on “Time Out

  1. The most peaceful time I’ve had in a long time is when I called in sick to work in May (cough cough…) and sat in the heat of the sun with nothing but time on my hands. I looked out at the wind weaving through the leaves in the trees and I felt a tremendous sense of calm. I tried it again at a later date, but the kids were running around and asking for lunch, and so…yeah…that didn’t quite work out…

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  2. I loved Michele’s post and am also learning how to slow down. Ever goal oriented, I had originally planned to do my circumnavigation in 15 months. 4 years in with a 160 degrees of longitude still remaining and now regrets. Enjoying every step of the journey!

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  3. katykozee

    Hi Terri – I feel like you’re my #midlifeluv buddy – I think you were ahead of me last week! I love the idea of a Leisure link and I added a post of mine to it. However, I’m a huge fraud because I’m doing this while I’m sitting at the desk of my full-time job, eating my lunch at my desk and promoting my own blog. So I know all about leisure, right? Such a timely post for me, obviously. I think I’ll stop and take a 10 minute walk at least 🙂

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    1. Oh, Katy, you’re so cute!! I saw that you added it and I will be checking it out soon! I’m guilty as charged, here reading blogs, eating breakfast, (just came back from the gym), looking for a photo for the weekly photo challenge and checking for any student e-mails. Yikes! What is leisure today? Enjoy your walk!


  4. Hi Terri, thanks for the shout out! I know that time is something I am going to struggle with for a long time. Since leaving my full time job at the college, at least I now SEE how much I was rushing, and how impatient I was about time. I am still guilty of eating at my desk, but I find my patience with others moving too slowly has increased greatly.

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  5. estelea

    I can totally relate. It is been pretty challenging to lget ride of my obsession for productivity and learn to take the time.. In our society, it is not as natural as it should be..

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  6. Time marches on. Thank God, I took back control of my blogging life. I was feeling so harried, and anxious, my sweet friend was beginning to worry about me having another breakdown. I’m not kidding. Finally got that all sorted, and loving blogging, and life again.

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  7. I vacillate between fast and slow/scheduled and leisure… I think that might mean I’m fairly balanced. I have a lot of free time to read or garden but I have also signed up for classes and other time-sensitive activities.

    I’m so happy to see the Leisure Link is back! I’ve linked to my recent post about a class that I’ve been attending (scheduled) that – I hope – will lead to a lot of wonderful leisure time in the future.

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  8. emilia m.

    time is something that always goes too fast when things are great and too slow when there are problems… how it stretches when one waits for anything (be it even something as trivial as traffic light…)

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  9. While traveling in the past, time affected every activity I would do, every site I would see. I would be up first thing in the morning so I can fit everything in according to the tightly packed itinerary. My last trip to Spain I relaxed into it deciding that my time spent with my daughter was most important. And, with relaxing into it, sans a tightly packed itinerary, we were able to stroll as we please, discovering unique things that we wouldn’t have had we had everything scheduled. It made this trip far more leasurily than any other. I’m posting Part One of our trip to Spain to the Leisure Link.

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  10. So excited to be the FIRST to post on The Leisure Link! And looking forward to contributing regularly! As for time…leisure…I am a tyrant of time. Sigh. A super-planner (which is both a blessing and a curse). I like things in tidy boxes and life planned well in advance. I do still manage to enjoy leisure (as you’ll see in my post), but my kind of leisure doesn’t usually involve sitting. Maybe it should once-in-a-while….

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