A recent blog post brought a visitor from Down Under (welcome, David to the Brave Astronaut orbit). He has a rich blog wherein he reports on a variety of things. Today (yesterday for him), he posted the following question: Do you get enough leisure time? Given that today is America's homage to "leisure time," the Super Bowl, it's a fine question to answer.
As many of you know, my father is visiting this weekend. However, as a relatively new federal employee and one who burned most of their leave to take time off to be with my newborn last month, I had no time to spend with him during the work day. So he planned his visit to be here primarily on the weekend. He arrived on Thursday and on Friday, Mrs. Brave Astronaut drove my father in to have lunch with me. After lunch I sent him in the direction of one of the Smithsonian museums for him to kill some time and then I went and got him and brought him back to my place of work so he could look around there.
Then yesterday, we decided to go to the new National Museum of the Marine Corps. I must admit that is was very well done. Of course the Marines can be very much in your face, OOH-RAH and all that. But the museum was very subtle, sort of like, here we are, this is what we do, thanks for coming by. I am happy to report that, among other things, LBA and I stormed the beaches at Iwo Jima, twice.
But to the question at hand. I have reported here before about vacation, missing it, weekend getaways, longer beach vacations, and not expecting to ever take a vacation again. But this of course, is different than leisure time, or at least how I would define it. I believe partly that my recent bout with insomnia has been due to my belief that nothing was getting done around the house. Much of this was my own making, the siren call of this blog and getting trapped in the Interwebs. It is also a factor of having two small children around, one of whom is three and requires a level of interaction that is higher than normal.
When we arrive home, many of us can relax for a bit, maybe read the paper, sit down for a leisurely dinner, and then watch some TV. With a three-year old, routine is key. You walk through the door and dinner needs to be in process, followed by a bath (most days), then pajamas and a show before bed (which encompasses, teeth brushing, face washing, and then stories before bed). Maybe Mrs. BA and I have eaten dinner with LBA, more often than not, we haven't. So it is now pushing past 8:30, heading for 9:00, and we have to think about dinner? Or clean up the dinner dishes?
Life is very much about priorities. I wouldn't trade my life now for anything. I love my wife, I love my children. Do I have enough leisure time? No. Do I want more? Yes. Am I OK if I don't get it for a few more years? Sure. Lives today are infinitely more complicated. Weekends used to be the time to decompress and do some things for yourself. Things change when you have two small children depending on you. Insomnia seems to be a small price to pay. I can actually get some things done while everybody else is sleeping.
So what about you? Do you have enough leisure time? Oh, and GO GIANTS!