Even for a seasoned professional like me (well, seasoned amateur technically because I don't get paid for it.)
Point is, having more free time is something that many people aspire to, but when you have a lot of it, you realise that it is not the answer to everything and that having free time in itself does not necessarily bring happiness or relief from the struggle that is (life).
I was always annoyed when I read mega wealthy people say in interviews how having a lot of money does not bring them happiness.
Fuck you, I would think. It would bring me fucking happiness. Pity it's wasted on you.
As is not uncommon for an artist, I have for much of my life I have been what you would call poor. Some might call it struggling (sounds semi-heroic) or impoverished (sounds like you are a small person that has been buried or something.)
Povo - is one of my preferred descriptive terms. It's Aussie slang and any Aussie slang has a good feel about it - whatever the term or meaning. Fair dinkum.
Anyway, so them rich people complaining about being rich. What cunts. Fucking give it away and be poor then, I would yell at the magazine or screen, unless I was in a cafe or somewhere public and then I would just THINK IT VERY LOUDLY.
But now that I consider this issue - about being 'free time wealthy'... (humble feelings, slight embarrassment for past outbursts and inbursts against the elite).. I kind of get what they are saying and it is kind of true.
Free time is good in certain amounts but too much and it brings with it certain complications. You don't want to waste it but sometimes it is a challenge to find the best way to spend it. When you have a creative mind and spirit there is no telling how and when brilliant ideas are going to manifest. You might be on a long walk, having a long shower, taking a long nap, watching a downloaded, long TV series in sequence, sipping on a long drink or two or just sitting around having a long think. You have to be on perpetual alert (passive alert, non-stressed alert) for when inspiration strikes. Sometimes you miss it and have to start the leisure cycle all over again. The whole process can take weeks, sometimes months.
I am joking but there is some truth there. It is often the case that I have so many ideas, so many projects at different stages of development that when I am at the start of a completely schedule free day that I will flitter and flutter between them without ever charging forward (as one would with time pressures) and end up not getting anything chunky completed. Other times I might have an internal rebellion against doing anything productive at all, a form of artistic self sabotage (brought on no doubt by a self esteem gland that has long ago been damaged by waves of sucker punches from high school bullies, unwarranted and unjust punishments from overly authoritative and underhandedly sadistic teachers and heart breaking early failures and discouragement in artistic endeavors.) In these low times, it is so easy to squander the time; making love to girlfriends if one is around or imagining making love to girlfriends of girlfriends if one isn't.
As I get older, I should note, I am more aware of these pitfalls and tend to cut off the urge to time waste at the early stages. It becomes apparent, I'd say post-fifty that time wasted is never coming back, that actual years left on the planet are limited and decreasing at a steady rate and that the best outcomes are achieved by not thinking too much and just throwing ones self into whatever creative task is at hand, knuckle down and be carried along by it.
I was imagining last night how I would instruct a group of younger people, starters, about how it works.
Picture a number of jars on a long table.
One holds time. Another money. Another hard work. And others: thinking, feeling, traveling, physical enjoyment, caring for others, etc, etc
Let's say they are fluids. You have your own container and you can choose to go and scoop cup fulls of each into your own container until it is full.
Generally speaking, if you put a lot of free time in your container it will displace the money. If you want to put a lot of money in there, for it to be activated you will have to add in an equal amount of hard work. I could go on with this analogy but I won't. The basic point is that everything is a trade off. You cannot have it all. It's about choice and sacrifice. Of course, you can change things up. Sometimes you will be forced to by circumstance. Some people are good at getting a workable and rewarding balance, others get it wrong. The important thing is to take a look at your ratios and try to find a balance that works for you. Some of the stuff in your containers may have been poured in there by society or misguided friends or family. Sometimes you need to empty it all out and start again. The whole mixture takes on a flavour as well, and that flavour is your personality. You want it to taste good. You want to be able to own the flavour, be confident in it's representation of you. Like the flavour. Sometimes you might want to empty the vessel out a little bit. Lighten it. Less is more kind of thing. There are all kinds of processes that can help you with this. Meditation. Self awareness practices. Getting counseling, formal or informal, from a mentor or a shrink. Even things like getting away for a while - camping in nature, trekking or a retreat can assist.
Know your vessel. Balance it's contents. Monitor it's efficiency and relevance to your current needs and situation.
I have been rambling, I know. It's something I do. Especially when I've got lots of time and no agenda. Rambling is not a bad thing, per say. It is on par with speed dating, binge eating icecream and going again when it's not your turn yet on those soapy water long plastic bag slides in someone's garden.