Sleeping, Working, and Leisuring

Shaun Emerson Blog Leave a Comment

Every year, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics surveys how Americans spend their time. The latest results are from the 2019 study. The chart below depicts average hours per day spent in selected activities in total and then for men per day on average and on weekdays and weekends. According to the survey results, men spend 20ish hours a day sleeping, working and leisuring (which is mostly watch tv). Do these results resonate with you? Are you thinking, “that’s about right.” Sleeping, Working and Leisuring! Life is good! Or is it? 

For a variety of reasons, I have been spending a bit of my time recently thinking about the specific meaning of words. Tonight, I am stuck on the idea of “spending” time.

As I write this, I am thinking about my time as a bank account: years, months, hours, minutes. Not a unique analogy. I do feel as though I have been encouraged from birth to believe I am a time millionaire. The riches are endless. I have bought in. I have spent mindlessly. Unintentionally. A lot less sleep and leisure than the average and much more “work” (we’ll come back to the exploration of “work” in a future piece). I have spent out of duty and fear. Without a doubt, I have pissed a bunch of my “fortune” away. But, I have also spent out of love and compassion. So, where does that put me tonight?

First, wondering if this post is getting a little dark! Second, oh well. Third, the bank account doesn’t really exist, does it (still dark!)? The truth is time is really like a loan that can be called at any time. Fourth, I am really behind the notion that I must live in the moment. What am I getting out of this moment? 

In this moment, I write this piece. I consider this work a good investment. The “book” says content is good for MenLiving marketing and I definitely regard anytime spent on MenLiving time well spent. And I feel this way because MenLiving is about connection, and without a doubt, I consider connecting with other human beings to be the best use of my time capital.

Last thought, I hope that the time I have spent creating this piece and the time you have invested in reading it will cause both of us to be mindful and intentional about our time. 

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