I haven’t received my diploma yet, but I am officially done. That makes me the proud new owner of a Masters degree in Engineering Management.
More importantly, however, this makes me the extremely excited owner of infinite free time. Or so I tell myself. Realistically, I still have a full-time job and spend 2-4 hours at aerials classes every day…
BUT GUYS. I HAVE MY WEEKENDS BACK.
So that means I suddenly have time to cook all my meals, keep my apartment clean, hang out with friends, train for a marathon, AND still have time to binge watch Netflix every once in a while… right? 🙂
Living alone can get pretty boring sometimes. Work takes up a good portion of my day, and runs use a decent amount of time as well, but even once I’ve done both those things I generally still have several hours of my evening left before I need to go to bed. I often spend that time cooking or baking, but you really only get one chance at cooking an evening (dinner) and I’m trying to cut back on the baking at least until I’ve gotten through all the leftovers from previous baking adventures that are still sitting in my freezer. In other words, I’ve had a lot of free time lately and haven’t really known what exactly I should be doing with it.
There’s one thing I’ve noticed about my coworkers: they have meetings. A lot of them. Like, spend almost their entire day in them a lot of meetings. While I also have some meetings, I don’t have anywhere near as many; I consider it a great day if I have three. And there’s always at least one day a week where I have none.
Aside from the fact that I enjoy meetings because they’re usually a good chance to learn something new and because they’re a great way to break up my day, there’s a pretty big consequence to my relatively empty schedule and that’s free time. A lot of it. Like 35 hours a week of it, compared to my average coworker’s *maybe* ten, but probably closer to seven.
While there are certainly some perks to the free time – I’ve been able to do a lot of research to catch myself up to everyone else, I have the time to actually get my work done because I’m not in meetings all day, I have the ability to stay on top of my email, etc. – there’s also a really huge downside. Namely, I spend the majority of my week having nothing to do.
Many of my friends and family members, or really anyone who knows how often and how far I run, insist that I’m a runner. So when I talk about not having hobbies, it’s not uncommon for someone to say “of course you have a hobby; you run!” And that’s all well and good, except that I do not consider myself to be a runner. I don’t know why that is – it doesn’t matter how far or fast I go, how many days a week, or how I place in races, I just don’t feel like a runner.
Although I still have no idea why I don’t feel like a runner, I did recently figure out why I don’t consider it a hobby. To me, a hobby is something you choose to do in your free time for your own enjoyment. And while I do choose to run in my free time, it’s not like I’m ever in a situation where I’m sitting around my apartment thinking “hm… I don’t have anything to do right now. I’ll go for a run!” It’s much more “ok, training plans says five miles today; let’s go!”
So that got me thinking – what do I do when I find myself sitting around with nothing to get done? Well for starters I rarely find myself sitting around with truly nothing to do. But. One thing I have noticed lately is that I frequently choose to go out of my way to make things at home that I could more easily have bought from a store.