Leisure With Measure in Retirement – The Paradox

While some individuals will consume their lives with leisure activities, other maturing adults fail to see that leisure is a valuable human endeavour at all. Either extreme is unhealthy.

We all need to recognize our personal leisure needs and act on them if we hope to achieve maximal health and wellness in our retirement years. When we depreciate our leisure needs we discount our own sense of self. When we depreciate our leisure needs, we lose sight of our true nature and risk falling prey to the attitude that we live to work; that our worth rests in our work alone.

Such an attitude can derail the direction and momentum of any retirement. Leisure reminds us that our sole purpose in life is not simply to do but to be. When we recognize fully that we are first and foremost a human being; when we gradually come to appreciate our essential self, we can begin to move away from a definition of ourselves as an achievement/production machine, and move closer toward a more balanced, and accurate definition of self.

As we transform ourselves away from work as the chief definer of our life, we can come to see our leisure interests and pursuits as part of our life journey. In this sense, leisure helps build in us a sense of wholeness, because we grow to realize that our inner nature is the cohesive and binding force in our lives; that force which gives integrity to our world and balance to our lives.

When the challenge of leisure is not resolved in our maturing years, we face some dismal consequences. We find it almost impossible to reflect on the true meaning of living. Our life degenerates into a shallow routine mechanism for doing things and performing tasks. We find it difficult to truly appreciate the beauty and the loveliness of the present moment.

Leisure is not hobbies! First, retirees Fritid och Hobby may have no work. Second, many retirees may believe that the purpose of retirement is for living a life completely full of diversions, leisure, and hobbies. How can one live a leisure lifestyle without hobbies? This appears to be a grand contradiction in terms. Indeed, here is the paradox: we cannot have true hobbies at all without first discovering our central life purpose, other than our hobbies. Hobbies must always take a secondary position in our life, there must always be some type of work, or what we could call “life cause” activities in our lives to fully appreciate, enjoy, and gain from their hobbies pursuits.

When hobbies become your full-time endeavour, then your hobby becomes your work; it ceases to be your hobby. When this happens, the power of the hobby to provide rejuvenation, stimulation and enrichment is lost. The paradox of hobbies is that in order to enjoy hobbies you must have some type of work in your life, some type of activity from which hobbies can be a diversion.

Hobbies lose their interest when they take the full time centre stage position in your life. Like a vacation spot loses some of its interest when you make it your permanent home because it is no longer an escape or a diversion from your everyday world. So too, the same hobbies that formerly gave pleasure cease to provide the same refreshment, stimulation, and enrichment when hobbies becomes your full time pursuit.

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