Veggin out

I have just finished week 5 of my leave of absence without pay.

As expected, I am much less stressed. An interesting side effect (and definite bonus, in my opinion) is that I do not feel the need to veg out. The common state I experience while working. Weekends and holidays were never periods of leisure for me – they were periods of recovery. I have long noticed that it took me 5 to 7 days to fully unwind from work. Only at that point did I start to indulge in leisure.

A key component of vegging out is doing something which requires no user participation - watching TV, endlessly browsing the Internet for mindless diversion, or keeping up on the latest news (political, technological, entertainment, gossip, whatever). So, my ‘Danger Man’ DVD collection goes unwatched – I am certain that had I been working, I would have finished watching it by now.

On the positive side, I spend more time with my family, read more to the kids. It is a nice change to have the kids fighting over me to put them to bed (instead of running screaming to their mother).

Being a stay-at-home parent is not a holiday, but it allows me to enjoy life more. I am glad I have the opportunity to spend time with my son before he heads off to school in September (my daughter has already been in school for two years).

An interesting book on leisure (albeit dry) is "Leisure, the Basis of Culture" by Josef Pieper (here or here).

An interesting insight I gained from the book is that recovery time is not the same as leisure time. I have long know that I spent most (usually all) of my non-work time recovering rather than “playing”.


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