On Free Time

Chinese New Year is a time where we spend a lot free time eating and being social.

Every age has a different meaning to being social. Now, being social means occasionally looking up from our phones to take pictures of ourselves, our eating. 20 years ago, being social means occasionally looking up from the television to eat or to coo or badger little children depending on age. Even further back, it means being breaking the silence to talk about how delicious the food is. New Year goodies also mean different things during different times. In the past, it means home made. Now, it means buying home made. Or pretending to be home made.

Children or adults have a fantasy of having no work at all. Or perhaps this is me. I find this fantasy comes out in full force during Chinese New Year. My idea of having no work at all is mainly to cook, eat, bake and watch TV. Husband’s idea of having no work at all is to spend every waking moment sleeping. Kid 1 wants to enter the magical world behind the screens. Kid 2 messes about with tidying up. She likes organising toys or bed.

I imagine that we enjoy doing what we love all the time. I discover it is not so. Kids will get bored doing only the things they love. The boredom is expressed in a funny way. They are stuck in a loop with that thing they enjoy (tidying, cooking, screen). The joy has evapourated, leaving annoyance and irritation. And yet they cannot leave that thing they do. The act has imprisoned them. I think it happens to adults too.

There has been a lot of talk about the wonder that is early retirement. If the joy of doing whatever one pleases evaporates in a short time, early retirement probably require a high level of discipline.