In your working career you see leisure as something to enjoy doing when you are not at work. A time away from work for doing whatever you like – even doing nothing. Long-service leave is seen as a long leisure break from work.
One of the factors causing working people to fear the prospect of no longer being engaged in a full-time job is the perception of spending all your time doing things you used to call leisure. This fear is even greater if, during your working life, you had little time for or interest in leisure activities. Thirty years or more of nothing but the ‘leisure interests’ you have pursued to take your mind away from your work can be a pretty depressing thought.
It’s a perception of leisure that has existed since the 19th century Industrial Revolution. Interestingly it is historically a wrong perception. The Latin derivation of the word ‘recreation’ is recreare – to create anew...to re-create yourself.
I have long advocated that leisure in the 21st century is not ‘free time’ but rather an experience of the mind and recreation as the creative expression of your natural talents and passionate interests, for its intrinsic enjoyment. Add to this the potential to use those talents to contribute meaningfully to something bigger than you (with or without payment) that you freely choose to do. Now you have the basics of a much more acceptable vision of the potential those many years left can offer if and when you decide to quit full-time work.
From today I am pouring all of my professional knowledge, experiences and insights of the past 40 years into the theme of “Don’t just retire….re-invent your life…re-create your true self”. I am preparing a range of services around that theme. It is my way of giving back.