Heavier days at work mean less time and energy spent paying attention to my inner domestic world. Then the pendulum swings back the other way, the day job eases up a little, and I put more effort into mindfulness and developing good personal habits and all that.
Here are a few steps I’ve taken recently in my quest to reclaim my free-time:
- Read a good book. Not one of my usual nonfiction self-improvement sort, but a smart, intriguing thriller that held my attention captive for many days. Afterward, I was inspired to read more about the author (whom I probably should have known of already, but didn’t), PD James. This is a great interview. I mean, so rich and inspiring I had to pace myself, I couldn’t take it all in at once. Here’s a sample: “[…]it occurred to James that a convenient moment to start her writing career would never present itself and that if she didn’t hurry, she would wind up ‘unfulfilled as a human being.’ At 35, she began her early morning regime.”
- Make an effort to take my dog out earlier in the mornings when possible, rather than saving it for the last thing I do before I leave. That way I’m not in a rush and we can both enjoy ourselves more.
- Watch a film I’ve always wanted to see on a weeknight. For some reason, I always view watching movies as this big event, a luxury that can only be enjoyed over the course of a weekend with ample free time. One night I decided to watch Before Sunrise after work instead of doing the usual lounging/goofing off/browsing the web. It felt like such a treat. There’s no reason I can’t step up the quality of my evening entertainment from time-to-time.
- Start calling the people I always mean to call, but don’t. I’ve had great conversations with my little brother and one of my oldest friends in the past week or so. In fact, my friend and I spoke for three and a half hours or something crazy. I never do that! Nor can I afford to regularly…but it felt great to catch up.
- Attend a social function alone, forcing myself to introduce myself to others. I’ve avoided this scenario for months and finally faced up to it, and I was glad I did.