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Planned vs Spontaneous lifestyle


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I'm asking especially those who are in careers or are typically very busy and organize their daily lives with schedules. Preferably, I would appreciate the opinion of people in corporate environments but not only.

 

Do you ever feel as if you lack the freedom of discovering new things (passions, opportunities, artistic and cultural interests) spontaneously, i.e. "by chance"... since you always have to follow a routine, have to be on time, and have no liberty to "look around"?

 

Do you sometimes feel as if your personal interests (in arts/culture/entertainment) slowly become obsolescent as you climb your career ladder?

 

Last question:

Is anyone of you in a job and engages in free-time activities that are entirely different from those typically done by your colleagues?

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My job is pretty sweet...I get every 2nd Friday off, TOWP plus vacation...wow. That really encourages personal time!!!

 

In my free time I bake, read, walk, exercise, have friends over, watch movies, visualize my perfect life, talk to family, etc. I always say I would be the happiest housewife on Earth, I always have something I'd like to do.

 

But I also take online university and engage in other activities.

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You might have to ask the question a different way - it might be that people who choose corporate careers that are very time consuming don't feel the need to have active hobbies or interests outside - meaning, scheduled hobbies or interests. Not everyone defines "freedom" as having endless free time - for some too much free time makes them lazy/passive or takes away certain freedoms that come from having a stable or better financial situation. it doesn't mean they are boring people, just means they don't define structures activities/hobbies as "fun."

 

Having said that, most of my friends are in very busy corporate careers (me too!) and it amazes me how much they pack in as far as keeping up with things like playing tennis, taking cooking classes, working on theatrical performances (volunteer) going to the opera, theater, seeing friends, etc etc. Some of it is routine/timed (lessons, etc) but some of it is spontaneous.

 

For me, I was willing to take the trade-off of not being able to schedule structured hobbies or outside interests -- or a lot of unstructured free time - in exchange for taking a job where I was expected to be available 98% of the time (with the exception that if I had a planned vacation, typically after the first few years that time was mostly "off limits" as far as making me come into work.

 

At this point in my career, while I still have to work numerous evenings and on weekends, I have achieved more of a balance. I do volunteer work about three times a month at a local homeless shelter, I attend a women's networking/support group once a month, I typically go to at least 3-4 events during the week per month - usually a small-ish cocktail or dinner party or once in awhile a large benefit. On weekend nights, I see friends and we go to dinner, to the theater, to other arts and cultural performances and event. I also participate in some religious activities. I go to the gym at least three times a week. Spontaneously, I live near a gorgeoous park where when it's nice out I like to wander around, stop and listen to music, etc.

 

If I had a more predictable schedule I would like to learn tennis and French perhaps and take acting classes. I found though that even when I had this time I didn't do it - laziness? lack of interest? After college, I had a predictable schedule (9 to 5, no weekends) for 3 years and I spent my free time taking a graduate level class, seeing my boyfriend, etc.

 

The way I was able to do this was by living in one of the largest most diverse cities in the world (so thereforeeee all the culture and arts are here and right outside my door practically), living walking distance from work, and putting in the effort to make friends and network/get out there so that if I want to be busy (which I don't always!) I can be.

 

The other advantage is that I've been able to save money/build a nest egg so that I have the freedom if I want to slow down at some point and I can afford to take those classes/do those activities that interest me.

 

Finally, having this kind of schedule actually made it easier for me to meet people and sustain long term relationships. It meant that I could meet people with lifestyles/schedules like mine, who would relate and understand some of the time constraints that meant. Once I was in a serious relationship, we found it easier to schedule time together because of being on the same wavelength as far as scheduling.

 

When I tried to date men who had a far more lenient schedule they "said" they totally understood, but if I had to cancel or delay plans more than once or twice for work they were history. Which is fine, better to know early on. In contrast, those men who had busy schedules like mine did not take it personally when that happened.

 

My boyfriend now has the best of both worlds - he is passionate about what he does for a living and so the extra hours he works beyond 9 to 5 do not concern him because he would be doing what he does as a hobby, just happens to be that he gets paid for it.

 

I like order and structure - within order and structure I can feel comfortable and free - so it doesn't bother me to have to make plans in advance and schedule time with friends. My friends have similar schedules/lives. I feel I do get enough structured time and I know when I'm feeling too structured and how to remedy that. If I had too much unstructured time I might get too sluggish and that wouldn't feel "free."

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Yes - or related interests. For example, I used to work with children so my volunteer work with children is somewhat related. I became far more interested in theater - including backstage theater design, photography, and widened my reading interests. I also travelled a bit more, went to the opera many more times, many more art galleries, wine tastings, etc. I am far more interested in people than activities.

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Do you ever feel as if you lack the freedom of discovering new things (passions, opportunities, artistic and cultural interests) spontaneously, i.e. "by chance"... since you always have to follow a routine, have to be on time, and have no liberty to "look around"?

 

Maybe not due to a lack of time or too much structure. But the office lifestyle is quite restrictive as compared with the college lifestyle. College is about meeting new a different people, learning new things, trying new things, living with crazy roommates... The office lifestyle means that you can afford to live alone (thus not meeting all those nutty roommates and their cuckoo friends). And you do the same thing every day. clearly you have less exposure to new things.

 

Do you sometimes feel as if your personal interests (in arts/culture/entertainment) slowly become obsolescent as you climb your career ladder?

 

Haven't climbed much. But being more focused on the future means that, although I make much more money than I used to, I feel obligated to put it toward savings and investments and grown-up stuff instead of blowing it all on passing endeavors. When you're broke, you don't mind blowing your last $20. When you have lots of $20's, you can't justify blowing them because they accumulate to a house or a car.

 

Last question:

Is anyone of you in a job and engages in free-time activities that are entirely different from those typically done by your colleagues?

 

Absolutely. My colleagues are old.

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