Leisure commitment isn't leisurely

posted by Jeff | Sunday, September 20, 2020, 1:28 PM | comments: 0

I've managed to create 21 radio shows since late spring, and I've really enjoyed making them. For an hour, I just lose myself in the process. But in recent weeks, I haven't been feeling it as much, and I've skipped a few. Why do I feel terrible about that?

In these weird times when we can't (shouldn't) have parties, go to concerts, travel and such, I think we've all looked for other ways to occupy our time, find meaning and otherwise keep busy. For me, I've wanted to create things and have something to show for it. I've tried to create a rhythm and routine for this, and the weekly radio show is one example of that. I've also continued to contribute to open source software at least once every week, and I'm closing in on almost 100 straight weeks. I've been slowly collecting video for a video project. I've tried to write more.

So what exactly are the icky feelings when I want to not do that stuff? I think the feeling is that if I do not continue these commitments that I'm somehow a defective person or something. (Although seriously, I've been maintaining these dumb web sites for over two decades, so on the spectrum of committing to hobbies, I'm a fucking Nobel Peace Olympic gold medalist Super Bowl champ.) I think this is part of the ridiculous American domestication process that explains how we should go to college, think of something clever to do for the rest of our lives, get married, procreate, buy a house and all of that. The thing is, I'm really against all of that box-checking bullshit, because I derailed that plan pretty hard when I changed careers and got divorced. It's bad enough if society gives you a blueprint for what a proper life looks like, but it's worse when you hold yourself to standards you had no part in creating.

It's pretty messed up that I don't give myself the room to decide that it's OK if I don't want to do something in my free time anymore. If I take leisure activities that seriously, I'm doomed in other aspects of my life.


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