Hobbies, full-time jobs, and the cycle of life-A A +A
Saturday, February 2, 2013
FULL-TIME jobs are not called that for nothing. Thus, having a full-time job becomes a challenge to sustain all other interests you may have, whether related or unrelated, like maintaining a blog, maintaining a journal, writing the stories you really want to write, and yes, hobbies.
Hobbies, they're the activities that put your mind to rest after a hard day's work. But then, if you have a full-time job that means hobbies are pushed back toward what should be your sleeping hours. You console yourself by saying, it’s also my television viewing hours, so I might just as well do both. Let the television play in the background, much like you’d listen to a radio drama and just look up to see what’s happening when you hear something of interest.
So, when will the writing for other things come in, like blogs, journal, and short stories that you love to write? Ermmmm…. There lies the challenge. How to find time to squeeze into waking hours squeezed to their last second?
Yes, escape. You grab invitations that will bring you far away from the office on official time and spend the sleeping hours listening to television and writing. That means you transport yourself far from where your hobbies are. Tough.
In between, there are your tweets and your Facebook updates and responding to friends.
Busy. Very busy.
No wonder studies are saying that children nowadays are having shorter and shorter attention span. Lucky us, we are still aware that there are certain time frames we have to hold ourselves down to one activity. Not that it's easy, but at least we are aware because we lived a life where when we make our assignments, we did nothing but make assignments, and when we need to research, we go to libraries where we are not even allowed to talk beyond a whisper. Now we all hunker down to a computer where we are connected to vast resources for research, all the news and videos we want to read and watch, and an unimaginable number of music we can listen to.
By this time you already know how many minutes are used just to choose which playlist you’d want to play. Add to that the number of minutes used to scroll down and read status updates and video and photo shares and how many comments we want to respond. We spend more minutes because one thread is turning up a lot of comments and we’re enjoying ourselves.
We look up to notice that an hour had already ticked past. We panic, try to focus on work, but still take a peek every once in a while. At the last stretch, we rush, and pat ourselves for having finished yet another day of our full-time job.
How about children who were born with all these in their fingertips?
If you think your attention span is now so short, how much more someone whose whole existence revolves around skipping from one interest to another within a click of a mouse?
Indeed, parenting these days is more challenging. We’re not allowed to use corporal punishments, there’s the DSWD and the Bantay Bata to contend with if we do, but parents are required to be just as tough in imposing discipline; the toughness no longer with the use of the rod but with the use of the will.
How will today's children turn out to be? We still have to discover, because they are all trekking unfamiliar grounds, as unfamiliar as that newest android phone, which they instinctively know how to operate the moment you took it out from the box. While you are nothing but big clumsy thumbs that can barely hit the button, much less understand how to turn it on.
We can console ourselves with the fact that we too lived dangerous lives when we were kids. We shot each other with slingshots and threw stones in fits of anger. We escaped from our parents and dove into the deepest river with no care in the world.
We stampeded through thick grasses, and yet escaped being bitten by snakes. We survived all these, not knowing that those were dangerous times. We just thought of it as childhood.
They will too, and will also most likely look back in awe with how they survived as their children's children explore yet a far different world from what they are exploring now; and clucking in dismay, thinking of their own good old days when they played rough with their iPad Minis, their iPhone5s, and their Samsung S3s. By then, we would all be gone and the idea of slingshots will be like something we now know as the stone age. That's the cycle of life.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 03, 2013.