I’ve noticed a recurring pattern at the end of each school year. During the week following the end of school, we tend to indulge in laziness.
I don’t impose reading books or practicing math and other skills on my children, nor do I burden them with excessive chores. I thought I was being a “nice mom” by letting them do basically whatever they wanted the first week of summer. However, just a few days after school ended on Friday this year, my daughter came to me asking for things to do, and I received the first “I’m bored” complaint on Tuesday, just four days after school was out!
My Aha Moment!
Aha! Wake up call! This interaction reminded me and reinforced what I know to be true. Happiness is not synonymous with laziness or unrestricted freedom. True happiness stems from utilizing our time constructively and engaging in activities that create fulfillment.
We experience the greatest happiness when we keep ourselves occupied, challenging our minds, bodies, and souls. Accomplishing complex tasks and pushing through challenges boost our self-confidence. Inner contentment, joy, and peace arise when we help and serve others.
I am devoted to raising my family, but I often dream about the future when I’ll have spare time to read books or participate in activities I can’t fully pursue due to my parental responsibilities. I hope my inclination towards exploring new ways of learning, taking classes, and acquiring new skills and hobbies will continue growing as my children grow and I eventually retire. During that phase of my life, I aspire to utilize my time to continue learning, growing, and making a positive difference in my community.
I yearn to enroll in a pottery class and try my hand at clay sculpting on a wheel, witnessing how it flies off when it’s not perfectly balanced in the center. Learning photography and bird identification also captivate my interest. Additionally, I would love to expand my knowledge of natural plants and herbs and venture into the forest to forage them. My desires are plentiful, and I’m aware that utilizing our time wisely leads to lasting happiness.
Relax and Recharge
Of course, occasional vacations serve as a much-needed respite from the pressures of daily life and can offer a temporary escape from stress and routine. They provide an opportunity to recharge, relax, and explore new places. However, it is important to recognize that true and lasting happiness doesn’t solely rely on these fleeting leisure moments.
“Active leisure” like hobbies, games, and sports enhance our concentration, engagement, motivation, and sense of enjoyment. Studies have found that American teenagers are two and half times more likely to experience elevated enjoyment when engages in a hobby than when watching TV, and three times more likely when playing a sport. And yet here’s the paradox: These same teenagers spend four times as many hours watching TV as the do engaging in sports or hobbies.
Although the quote above shares research about teens, I know it’s true for everyone! Engaging in activities that challenge and stimulate us, whether pursuing personal interests, learning new skills, or positively impacting our communities, contributes to a deeper sense of fulfillment. These endeavors provide a sense of purpose, growth, and achievement, enhancing our overall well-being.
I’d love to hear how you avoid laziness and instead make the most of your spare time and what you’re learning or exploring. Share your experiences and thoughts by commenting below.
Wishing you a purposeful and fulfilling summer!