Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Creating Pleasure from Leisure

Leisure and pleasure are two nouns that sit beautifully together. They even sound 'sensation'-al when you say them. If leisure is the freedom from time-consuming responsibilities, I'm curious as to what people do. What activities or hobbies help us feel refreshed, relaxed, energized, excited or relieved? In this article I offer an attitude to activities for pleasure.

'Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young.' Paul McCartney
Some people and you may know a few, don’t do recreational, leisure activities or hobbies. They have ‘interests,’ ‘pursuits’or ‘occupations’. I don’t share a serious attitude toward my activities. Actually, I do because I believe they are for pleasure and I’m quite ’serious’ about that.

I was chatting to a friend during the weekend and they declared “ I haven’t got time to spend on a hobby ” after telling me all about their busy but incredibly unproductive week. I replied
“ hobbies don’t have to cost anything only a small amount of your time and the value is the pleasure you get.” I thought it was a smart reply. I even gave myself a congratulatory pat on the back.

More importantly, it caused me to reflect upon how I regard exploring new activities for pleasure. In the past, I didn't always indulge in a hobby because I would think “It’ll take ages to learn or be good at that.” That was the simple ‘red light‘ statement that stopped me from discovery. What a good way to deny yourself pleasure from expressing creativity and having little adventures. So I missed the point and pleasure of some things. Thankfully the past is where it should be. Behind me.

‘Any activity first begun has only the value you place upon it.’ Anon
Now, I regard leisure as fun, ‘light’ occassions that express what you desire and how you express yourself in the moment. Some people's hobbies have longevity and aims, some have wide reaching social goals and consequences, others are rewarding for their immediacy and the short term. Some you may even think frivolous.

However you consider hobbies, you’ll find they share this common attribute:
They are play-things for your imagination and an expression for your creativity. They are either immediate for pleasure or later for another profit.

To misquote Napoleon Hill: ‘Do not wait. Start with whatever tools you have at hand.'

The 'tools at hand' are you and your creative imagination. Whatever hobby you have from abseiling to reading and writing, somehow, somewhere you are engaging your mind and body in sensations from which you expect great feelings of well being. That’s the reward you expect from listening to your latest music download to completing your first triathlon.

Many opportunities are at hand to discover pleasures for your leisure.
  • Walking for relaxation and exploring new places.
  • Reading and listening to audio books
  • Singing
  • Meditation
  • Drawing, sketching anything. Doodling.
  • Exercising
  • Blogging
  • Restoring old vehicles
  • Playing an instrument
  • Exploring techniques for your well being
  • Twittering
  • Listening to music
  • Cooking with new ingredients and styles
  • Learning to skate
  • Watching foreign movies
  • Quilt making
  • Learning a second language
  • Living life in whatever way you choose
  • Travelling

For me, it’s all about manifesting my creativity in any way, at any time I choose. I can be inspired and excited by music and I’m sure you know how that feels. Reading a book can be the cause of reflection and the inspiration for a blog article. Walking and exploring new places can bring opportunities to meet new people.

The goals of my leisure are:
1. Pleasure
2. Creativity
3. Benefits to my health

Remind yourself that leisure activities and hobbies can be simple, enjoyable, time-effective, relaxing and fun. Those may be the only goals you need to begin. By changing a routine and doing the simplest activity, can positively alter your mood and change your day for the better.

What are your favourite spare time activities? Do you have the time for leisure?

'Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and follow where they lead.'
Louisa May Alcott

Thank you D for helping inspire this post. What a star!

Thanks for reading


  1. As a freelance writer, I like to emphasize the "free" part! I write for a living, and I write for pleasure, and you can find me doing one or the other at almost any time of day or night.

    I break it up with time out to knit, read a chapter of my current favorite book, go for a walk, have a cuppa coffee on the deck, pet my cat, catch a baseball game on tv, chat with a friend, or cozying up with my hubby on the couch.

    Life couldn't be sweeter.

  2. Great post, Jens. I used to think like you, stopping myself from trying something new just because it looks unfamiliar or daunting. But, I'm glad that I am now more ready and adventurous to try new things!

  3. Adventurous!
    An excellent way to enjoy new experiences. Thanks for that and thanks for commenting.

  4. Hiya Kathryn,
    Sounds like you live a wonderful life with variety and feeling 'free'.

    Thanks for commenting