That Loathsome Phrase

“Someone has too much free time!”

My hackles rise,  my humours boil, and my smile disappears when I hear this.   It is a defense of sloth, a milquetoast reproach of work and effort and love.  But this post isn’t about that horror of a phrase.  It’s about the folks who use their free time.

The world is lucky to have people with hobbies, people with passions and obsessions.  To dismiss their effort instead of appreciating it is an insult.

I have friends who work their day jobs, but also run Etsy stores, or take time to produce art or write frequently updated blogs.  These people enrich the world.

They do not have more free time.  They are just using it differently.  Consider what we do with our free time, consider we are always approaching death, consider our time as a currency of the current – will we  invest it or spend it?

Will you write?  1 Will you code? 2  Will you design? 3 Will you play?  4Will you craft? 5 Will you photograph 6?  Will you volunteer?  7  How will you enrich the world?

Will you produce or will you just consume?

We don’t have to change our whole lives to do a bit more.  Sometimes, all it takes is committing to one weekend.   Constraints mean scaling back to picking a doable task, and then doing it.

I’d love to hear about what you are doing with your free time.

  1. Twanna writes about sexuality in her off time Tove’s fashion analysis blog wasn’t a job requirement, but a work of love. Georgia is writing a book and hopefully I’ll be linking to the amazon page sometime.  (back)
  2. Aaron fights in the courts for software freedom, then finds the time to make free software like identifox, the best identi.ca client.  (back)
  3. Erica’s jewelry is great.  I love her Birdie TV pendant.  (back)
  4. Katie Hasty writes about the music for her day job, but also plays in Numbers and Letters.  (back)
  5. Jess’s craft shop is a side gig, and Michela -how does she come up with all of these amazing quilts!   (back)
  6. Oh, the photo geeks I know… They are so good, it is intimidating.  Chris Restrepo, Darrick Coleman, Michael Mallin, Chris Acton – but you don’t have to be as good as those guys.  My flickr contacts page is full of folks who are just making some art or documenting their lives.   (back)
  7. Katie Schmid worked her ass off as a law student and now a lawyer, but still serves as director of the Newtown Creek Alliance.  (back)

But wait, there's more

4 thoughts on “That Loathsome Phrase

  1. My time is practically all free lately, as in, I’m not making a damn thing for it. At least lately I’m putting it to slightly better use, but prior to that the occasional article probably made me about the equivalent of 0.8 cents an hour over a standard work week. So what I do with a lot of my time is kill it on the internet bouncing from article to article to facebook to blog to article–or I go play outside. Luckily I have once again found another vessel in which to pour my brain. Onward, ho! Which reminds me–you living in NYC?

  2. Reinsulating my attic, it’s gonna be warm this winter…

    And my boss thought I was gonna hate it when he put me on part time…

    And while I’m enjoying the warmth this winter, gonna build me some electronics projects…

    Thank the universe for free time! It gives you time to live…

    Or as it’s been put, “No one on their death bed says, “Man I wish I’d spent another day at the office”.

  3. If you ask my wife, I spend my free time giving up on the previous project just when it was nearly finished, and going and starting another one. This is only half true. As well as the hapless book (which doesn’t really involve a lot of work nowadays) and the failed .coms (working on a mere two currently) I actually spend a remarkable amount of my time drinking and farting around. I attribute the seemingly vast amount of time I therefore have to not owning a television and never tidying the house. I can heartily recommend both of these to anyone else, unless their parents come to visit.

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