Hopefully, we all have a little bit of free time available every now and then. Free time, no matter how much or how little you have is valuable. For one thing it is the one commodity that is un renewable, it will not come back. Once it is used it is gone. It's important for us to pass that free time wisely.
Passing our free time wisely does not have to mean productively or educationally; it just means passing that free time to your own personal satisfaction. Everybody has different satisfaction levels so no one's list of things to do will ever be precisely the same. Mine is even different than my wife's. I'd like to share with you my ten most favorite ways to pass time, other than watching television. I have listed them in order of least favorite to most favorite.
10) GO SHOPPING: This is my least favorite way to pass time but it happens to be my wife's most favorite. My wife and I especially enjoy doing things together so I had to have this one on my list some place. In fact I do enjoy shopping but I enjoy it so much more when there is money to spend. In today's economy there is not always money to spend so that makes me mad and then I don't want to shop. But for passing time without a television in front of you, this one will work very well. All you have to do is go to one mall with the objective of visiting one fourth of the stores in the mall and you have yourself a full work day of time passing ahead of you.
9) YARD WORK: It's not that I enjoy raking, chopping, digging, cutting and mowing so much it's just that I really like stepping back and admiring the results. Nothing looks quite so beautiful as a freshly worked garden, or a newly mowed lawn, or a just planted flower garden. So I enjoy the results of this one much more than I enjoy the passing of time. I do get so involved though that before I know it, the sun is going down. When the sun sets on a hard day's worth of yard work then I can feel very justified in doing any one of my other nine favorite ways of passing time.
8) WORK IN GARAGE: Somehow, and I don't know how, but a garage always gets dirty. I have a small corner for a work shop and it seems to always be full of other things; bottles, garbage bags, things brought home from yard sales, most anything. Again, mostly for the results, I like to spend time straightening and organizing the garage. It seems whenever I do this it leads right into a related favorite way to pass time and this is to play in my garage workshop. I build birdhouses, fix small appliances, tune up lawn equipment and just do different odd jobs. I'm a jack-of-all-trades but expert at none so this one really does help me pass a lot of that free time.
7) READ: I know reading is seen as an allowable way to pass time where television is not. I don't know why but I'll accept that norm. I like to read things like the Readers Digest or Consumer Reports or one of the weekly news magazines. These are not novels but I still think it passes as reading. I also like to read the newspaper and even the TV Guide. Occasionally I will begin a novel but seldom will I finish it. I included reading on my list even though I don't sit down and read through a full novel but my type of reading I still believe is a very enjoyable way of passing free time.
6) VIDEO GAMES: This is the closest I will come to the television in my list of things to do to pass time instead of watch television. I'm not really watching the television I am only borrowing its screen. Actually, a lot of my game playing is done on the computer anyway. I play on game sites quite a lot and occasionally play Nintendo games. If you feel burdened with far too much free time this is the best way to pass it. Before you know it you have ran through every minute of free time you had, plus some.
5) TAKE A NAP: I love it. I learned years ago, from my Father-in-law to be, to take a nap when you need one. The body demands it. Just get up, go lay down for an hour or so, then come back and start all over. I work hard and long and I do enough to earn a nap every once in a while. If I have a little bit of free time this is one of my most favorite ways to pass it. I feel great when I wake up and I can go for the long run then.
4) PORCH & ICED TEA: This really is one of my all time favorite pass times but I had to keep it down to #4 because where I live I can't do this all the time. This is surely a spring and summer pass time. We have a matched set of over-sized, Amish built, pine gliders on our huge porch with a small table between them. When I get edgy I like to go sit in my glider, put a pitcher of my wife's home-made iced tea on the table, get a tall glass of ice and sit there sipping tea all afternoon. I watch the birds, feed the squirrels, wonder at the rabbits in the woods in front of us and try to catch the hummingbirds zipping around under the porch roof on our camera. This is living!
3) VISIT FAMILY: I don't even like turning the television on if we have people over or are over at someone else's house. It makes it difficult to visit. This is one of my most favorite ways to pass free time. I'm the kind of guy who really doesn't have friends; I have acquaintances and family. I love my family earnestly. Almost nothing is any more enjoyable than spending an afternoon sitting at the dining room table, sucking down cup after cup of hot, steaming coffee and gabbing and laughing with good family.
2) COUNTRY RIDE: We live in a very rural area. If one chooses to live out in this area they quite often either have to be retired or have a home business. Before gas got so expensive this was our most favorite thing to do. We have been all over our part of the country but we still like to drive around and find all those little home based businesses. There are bakeries nestled out in the woods, honey farms back off the main road, old cemeteries peeking out from under the weeds, cooperatives hidden behind the barn and all sorts of little places to go to sample the local wares and discover surprises. We have spent hours just casually driving around and checking things out. I guess you could say we were the classic Sunday drivers.
And the number one way for me to pass my free time?
1) RATE AND WRITE ON HELIUM: I cannot stop. I have been a member since about June of 2007 but I did not participate for some reason until sometime in February of 2008. I just had no idea. Who would ever have thought? I am such an avid writer; I just love it. Here is a site that gives me thousand and thousands of topics to write on and then they actually pay me for it. No, I'm not getting rich but I'm getting paid to do what I need to do anyway. The whole approach of Helium makes me want to become a better writer. On top of that they even show me how to do that. Hands down, my number one way to pass time is to get on Helium, rate articles until I find that one topic or that one article I'm trying to rate that just insists I write on that topic. I go write my thoughts down, publish it, and then get back to rating. What a country!