Friday, April 18, 2008

Leisure Time by Nannette Croce

Leisure time. It used to be what people aspired to. It was the last rung of the ladder. The “leisured” class.

When did it change?

Now the measure of success is how “busy” you are. How many cell phone calls you need to squeeze in before the plane takes off. How many times you need to check your Blackberry while on vacation. People complain about new technology putting them constantly on call, but I have often suspected that if silence were to break out, panic would set in. Am I not indispensable? Am I no longer important?

In support of this I can state, unequivocally, that it did not begin with the tech boom. A couple of decades ago I learned the hard way that when the manager said, “Don't call unless the building’s on fire” one should not ignore the wink and nod. Being constantly interrupted with "important" business matters lent a certain cachet. I even fell prey to it myself once or twice, making “You forgot to leave me those spreadsheets to type” into "another fire to put out" in the eyes of my traveling companions.

Not anymore. Call me crazy, but I appreciate my leisure time. At my last job, contacts wanted my cell number and personal e-mail to access me 24/7. Yes, I could have seemed very important, taking calls at my kid’s school play, but I wasn’t important. I had a part-time slightly above minimum wage job, and nothing really mattered so much it couldn’t wait one more day. Amazingly, my contacts learned to accept that. No one’s world fell apart, and I hung onto my now much appreciated leisure time.


Barbara Quinn said...

It's so important to get yourself some "me" time and that's much harder to do in this age of constant connection.

Meredith said...

Nannette, I fully agree 100% with everything you said. I feel so many people like to act as if the fate of the Universe hangs on their shoulders!

Kathryn Magendie said...

Working at home creates the problem of never taking time off...I mean REAL time off, where you are completely away from the computer...however, the good thing is, when I do want some leisure time, I take it - I take a drive in the mountains, or go hiking, or maybe just sit on my porch in nice weather and look at the awesome view.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Down time is a MUST if we want to stay healthy and sane. I hope to have more of it myself soon. ;) Good post, Nannette.

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