Making Our Lives Golden: The Choices We Have

Now that our last child has left home, K and I are talking about getting television service. For about 20 years, we have been without it. The idea was that our children would become better readers without the distraction – and that objective was achieved. All three of our boys are voracious and skillful readers.

But now, as empty nesters, we are thinking that it would be kind of fun to watch some shows together – to spend an hour after dinner, sitting next to one another, laughing at the same things.

To test this hypothesis, we rigged an antenna connection for the set that we’ve been using to play DVDs.

The results of the experiment were mixed. There was something wonderful about watching those programs together – the double pleasure of the experience itself and knowing that your mate is “getting it” too. But when it was over, we found ourselves feeling like we used to when we watched television – a little sad and empty inside. As if we were mourning the time we’d lost.

That got me thinking about how people spend their recreational time – the things they do, and whether that time is spent wisely.

Broadly speaking, you fill your day with four kinds of activities: working, sleeping, eating, and relaxing. And it seems logical to assert that – up to the point of mental or physical exhaustion – the more hours you spend working, the more successful you’ll be.

That said, we must acknowledge that all work and no play makes Jack a dull… or cranky… boy.

You do need some recreation. The question is: How much?

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