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Work or Pleasure


In sticking with the spirit of this morning’s post of feeling overwhelmed, I have determined that I need to give myself a break. On the way to gymnastics practice this week my son was mad at me for making him leave playing with the neighborhood boys to go to practice and he angrily spit out at me “Do you want me to just work all the time? Don’t you want me to have fun?” Now as a logical adult I see the ridiculousness of that statement…he goes to practice 3 days a week, 4 hours a day. With our summer schedule, he is pretty much free any time he likes to play. The math states that the choice between working all the time and playing is not an accurate assessment.
However, as a parent, I recognize that even just a few short hours feels like an eternity, especially when playmates are involved. I responded to him that he had chosen to join a competitive team and as a result he was committed to practicing for both himself and his teammates, and that if he ever chose that this was not what he wanted to do, I would support it, but he could not be wishy washy, he’s either on the team or not on the team. I’m not sure he followed my words in total but I think he got the point and did come out of practice that night smiling.
The conversation has brought up multiple thoughts on my own work life and how I am so blessed to love the work I do. Having worked jobs out of necessity for most of my life and then working as I do now not just out of necessity but because I truly love what I do has made a big difference in my quality of life.
With that being said though, I find myself ALWAYS working. When the kids were little, I hired a sitter once a week to give me a break. I felt silly having a sitter here and not going to do something so I would get out and go to a movie or dinner or something. Now that I no longer need a sitter, I don’t do that, and I think between My Cluttered Life and this fact, I am floundering. So my question is…what are something I can do as an adult, single woman that don’t cost money that will give me the “break” I need from both work and my kids. (I do not drink and I have absolutely no interest in dating.) Everything I think of…well, costs money, and I look forward to when I am debt free.


  • Reply Kari Echols |

    Hope – I love the library and walking at a local park for my free get away activities. I think you need to have a little you time every week! Best of luck on your debt free journey. You are doing great :)!

  • Reply Den |

    LIBRARY! I love going to the reading room in our library, getting a big pile of magazines and slowly reading through them for a few hours……we don’t have any magazine subscriptions at home because we’re paying off debt, so this is a real treat. And it’s free!

  • Reply Sue |

    It isn’t totally free, but I like going to Barnes and Noble and getting a coffee at their Starbucks and sitting and reading books or magazines or just people watching. Home Depot also has “She Builds” workshops once a month where they do a DIY project for women – I did it last month and it was pretty fun. They supply everything unless you want upgrades and then it was only a few dollars. Our teacher even brought fruit salad and lemonade. We have a nice park in town with lots of trails for walking or biking – that might be fun. Also, check out Meetup.com for your area. Our area has a number of groups for adults that are designed to get people out but not for dating – outdoors, social groups, moms groups, etc.
    Those are my best ideas! Good luck! It definitely is necessary for one’s sanity to get away every once in a while!

  • Reply Deeanna |

    I agree with library although I do it differently. I use the library for their e-books and audiobooks. I can check out and download the book for a limited amount of time and it automatically returns. I listen to audiobooks alot during my commute. I used to pay for Audible but the same books are free through the library.

  • Reply Susan |

    Ha, ha it looks like great minds think alike!!!! Our library has several reading clubs that meet once or twice a month. I would love to do that! The book is always available at the library (free) and people take turns bringing refreshments. Are you interested in reading?

  • Reply debtor |

    Wow, we must have a lot of readers (pun intended) here. I too am going to suggest reading. I would get a book from the library (or check out CL too, sometimes people give away boxes of books for $1 or free). I wouldn’t read in the library – but maybe now that it’s summer – go to a park and read.

    If you are not out doorsy, I’m not sure if you are in a major city or not but if you have some big hotels, you can always go to the lobby and chill out there. I love to do that, it’s a great spot for people watching and it’s comfy.

    I also 2nd meetups. They have meetups for EVERYTHING! Just look for the ones that don’t have any fees or make you pay for events (or start one).

    Are you sporty? Going for walks in new areas is also good for alone time and discovering your neighborhood and beyond.

    What else? knitting and beading are cool and the supplies are not that expensive. Also, you could volunteer (just look for something fun that won’t seem like work)

  • Reply Kim |

    Check out meetup.com. It has a list of local groups you can join based on shared interests. Some things cost money, but not all do. I was surprised at the selection of different groups and activities.

  • Reply Theresa |

    I was going to say a book club too. But maybe justa friend for tea or coffee? My mom’s group does a bunco (low skill dice game) that is fun but takes planning and coordination. How about a walk? Maybe ask on Facebook to your friends who wants to walk weekly?

  • Reply Judi |

    Do you have a group of friends? With different groups of friends I do a book club, cooking club, and clothing swap once every few months. The clothing swap is really fun, it almost feels like a shopping party with everyone trying on different things and you get new to you cloths.

    Alternatively hiking is always fun or walking at a park. Or you could look for a new hobby that you ve always wanted to try and find a group in your area. I meet with several avid bird watchers during the migratory season and we walk around doing bed counts or just observing. Things like this seem intimidating to just jump into but you would be surprise how supportive everyone is to newbies!

    • Reply Judi |

      Hmm maybe I should proofread my comments or at least not type in my tiny phone screen I meant to say “bird counts”

  • Reply Jean |

    Others have posted some really good suggestions, but to add to the mix… Do you like music? Are there free concerts in your area? We have two places nearby that do free concerts during the summer. If you like the arts (theater, ballet, etc) and live in a city where there are professional troupes, check to see if you can go to dress rehearsals. I have a friend who’s gone to theater dress rehearsals and all she had to do was bring a canned good. You could also check out the local coffee shops to see if they have open mic nights for local musicians. Those aren’t all free things, but the ones that aren’t are still pretty cheap.

  • Reply Louise |

    I’m a single mum and I know how you feel. A creative pursuit can be good ‘me time’. I spent $50 to aquire everything I need to do watercolour painting – I decided to use watercolour pencils that I got for cheap on ebay, a water brush, and good quality watercolour notebook (moleskine). If you buy second hand on eBay or have someone in your circles who has watercolours to donate then it could be even cheaper. There are local groups that run cheap sessions, but I follow tutorials and work my way through books and videos. I also enjoy Project Life, modern scrap booking documenting our days via photo & journaling. This can get more expensive, however I have spent $150 over 12 months to document the current year and backtrack the previous 5 years, and technically I could have gotten away with only $60.

  • Reply Ashley |

    Lots of good suggestions here (I must admit, my first was also going to be library/reading). Do you have any hobbies? If so, take some time to devote to those activities. I enjoy scrapbooking, jogging, and playing guitar. Other things you could do might include photography, gardening, playing music/listening to music, writing (for fun, not work), or do research into a topic you would like to learn more about. I find that most of my hobbies are free/cheap because I already have the equipment (e.g., already own a guitar to play music, already own running shoes to go on a walk/jog, already own scrapbook stuff). Maybe you can find an old hobby buried in your closet (like my old guitar) that you can dig out and dust off (that can be literal or figurative, depending on your hobbies and interests).

  • Reply Diana Quin |

    A big part of my life is spent driving my kids around to their activities. We have a Whole Foods here that has a cooking school. I have been volunteering at the cooking school for classes for about 2 yrs now. I get paid in gift cards, get to take home good leftovers, get to attend free classes by using my points I get for helping, and i get out to do something that is for just me. And it is tapping into a “foodie” part of me I didn’t know existed.

So, what do you think ?