I have “free” time these days. That’s a new concept the last three years. No it’s not coincidence that my lack of free time coincides with my last long-term relationship. Life was complicated for a long time. First there was the economy crashing and my lack of employment. Then there was the pregnancy thing. Then there was my job, school, and my son. I still have a job, school, and my son (most of the time). The only variable that changed was the end of the relationship. That is not to say that it was his fault I didn’t spend more time doing things I enjoy.
(Off topic musing: You’ve been warned)
See here’s where the female and male mind tends to differ on the topic.
He would say: “You do more things you enjoy now that I’m gone, so you must be happier without me.”
She would say: “I no longer feel so guilty for you being at home with our child while I’m at work, plus taking up the slack while I’m studying, that feel I inclined to give up my activities so that you/we can pursue yours.”
See, a woman who feels that she is “burdening” her partner with a heavy workload feels that he is sacrificing for her. So in turn, she’ll sacrifice things for him. Since responsibilities cannot be sacrificed this means that she tends to give up things she enjoys instead. The relationship ended and my responsibilities are no longer a burden that he must sacrifice for. So I am free to enjoy my free time any way I please.
One of those ways is putting my totally random thoughts into this blog. Not that I expect anyone to read it. But, if anyone ever does, here’s my disclaimer:
Statements here are completely random, tend to deal with the little musings of life and relationships, and take a fairly no-nonsense view of both the writer and the differences in male/female ways of thinking. Input is always welcome, but keep it friendly or I’ll punt you’re a$$ into oblivion. I don’t tolerate outright rudeness and while I enjoy debating differences of opinion, if you can’t have a logical debate, you’re not welcome here. I tend to go off in many different directions and I make no apologies. If you want more structure, start your own blog. I reserve the right to change my opinion and the disclaimer without notice or input from anyone (I am a woman, after all).
(Off topic musing concluded, let’s return to the show.)
Now that that’s been said, let’s get back to the subject of free time.
How does one, having not had free time in over three years, decide how to spend this newfound time?
Being the optimistic person I happen to be, I’ve come up with a few ideas.
1.) When someone asks you to go out and do something, say yes if at all possible.
2.) Return to your roots. I like to write and be creative. This will manifest here on the blog, in knitting projects I never finished, and through making more jewelry than I could ever possibly wear.
3.) Plan fun things to do. Since I still have homework, work and my son. I’m penciling into my schedule all the wonderful summer events held in my area so that I can work my responsibilities around my desire to have fun in the sun.
4.) Reach out to people. So far I’ve made some new mommy friends and found a person in my network that was able to recommend a crossfit gym. Which leads me to #5..
5.) Get active. I lost a lot of weight due to stress the last three months and now, sadly, I feel skinny fat. Since my schedule is (mostly) my own again, I’m looking forward to getting back to the gym. I am, for the first time ever, actually excited about it. I have a bikini waiting and this summer I will be confident enough to wear it in public. I’m joining that crossfit gym my acquaintance goes to, I’m returning to the YMCA to get back to my water baby roots, and I’ve picked out a child seat for my bicycle.
Of course, there are still responsibilities that have to be worked into my schedule – house cleaning, organizing, etc… So it’s going to be a balancing act, but I’m not worried. The optimist in me knows everything will work out and that this summer is going to be one to go down in the record books.
So the closing thought for this post will be: There is no such thing as Free. No free lunch, no free time. Time costs us minutes of our lives and while we have to spend time handling our responsibilities, it will only make us bitter if we don’t use some of those life draining minutes doing things that make us smile. Smile more, people!!!
1. a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome.
2. the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.
I’m an optimist. I’m a big believer in the power of positive thinking. I may get stressed and tired and frustrated, but I always know that it will work out. That these feelings will pass. I’m stubborn in the way that I don’t give up on people, challenges, or the world. There is always a bright side, there is always a solution, and there is always hope.
Optimists have the power to change the world. Because we are always looking for ways to make the better futures that we see. We look for color in the darkness and we see the true beauty in everything. We tend to not be shallow or superficial and sometimes we’re too honest, open, and vulnerable.
This means that we get hurt deeply when the people or things that we believe in fail us. We open our hearts in the hopes that others will do the same. We share our deepest secrets and speak from the heart. We are also thoughtful and tend to look for ways to improve ourselves.
Even when everything seems to have gone wrong for others, when I look back I remember the good things more sharply than the bad. I’ll remember the happiness and smiles and laughter. The successes and triumphs as opposed to the heartaches and pains. I see the way negatives can affect people, the way situations can make life difficult, but I always believe there can be a resolution.
So – When we’re hurt deeply, shattered to our core, do we give up trusting and having faith that things will work out? Absolutely not.
We retreat, we lick our wounds, and we focus on a better tomorrow.
But why would we continue to leave ourselves open to pain and hurt, you might ask?
Because a true optimist believes that it is better to suffer an occasional hurt (or even an earth shattering agony) than to walk through life believing in the bad, ultimately turning cynical and, in turn, miserable. I don’t know about you, but I’ve yet to meet a cynical, jaded person who is truly happy with themselves or the world.
I choose to be an optimist. I choose not to let events of circumstance or other people get me down for long. When I get knocked down, I get back up. And I’m damn proud of it.