Food & Fitness

What do you do when you’re not at work?

After spending 17 years of my life in academic programs (wow 17 years seems like a long time to be in school!), it’s very strange to no longer be taking classes.

I never took a gap year between finishing high school and starting university. I jumped right into it. I wanted to learn and I didn’t feel as though I needed to take any time off. I loved every minute of university, but I was also incredibly pleased to be done when I graduated from the University of Winnipeg last April. The rhetoric program was honestly one of the best things that ever happened to me (yes I really do love editing that much). Within my last few months of university, however, it was time to be done. I completed my last exam gleefully and immediately set out to research companies in Winnipeg that offered the kinds of jobs that I had the skills for and had worked so hard to get.

It’s a slow process, but I’m getting there. The other day I realized that I am now making more money from being a freelance writer/editor/communications specialist than I am from working at my vet clinic receptionist job (the one that put me through all those years of university). I’m not 100% a freelancer, but I’m more than 50%, and that’s awesome.

But it’s also weird. It’s weird because in the evenings, I might do freelance work – but I don’t have to do it every evening. Most evenings, I can do whatever I like. I don’t have homework to do.

During all those 17 years at school and especially during university, there were always papers to write, presentations to prepare for, books to read, articles to research… sure, I took evenings off on occasion, but it was often with an added bit of guilt. I knew that I should be doing something for school. Taking an evening off was truly a guilty pleasure.

It’s not like that anymore. Now I can come home at the end of the day and the most I have to do is write a blog post, prepare my lunch for the following day, and… that’s it. I can do whatever I please!

And then I wonder to myself – what is it that I want to do? Exercising at night isn’t my favourite thing in the world, and when it’s this cold outside I much prefer to stay in. I automatically gravitate towards things I ought to do. I look at my To Do lists. I make a batch of homemade crackers. I gather up my receipts from the past few days and copy them into my accounting notebook. I write blog posts, a couple of them, so that I have some on hand (such as this one. It was originally written about a month ago. I actually have time to write blog posts in advance!). I tidy my condo.

pencil and paper

Image borrowed from Google.

All of this really frustrated me at first. It frustrated me that I couldn’t relax and take my mind off of the idea of doing jobs and tasks.

But I’ve started to realize that I’m not necessarily doing these things because I “feel I ought to”. I’m doing them because, most of the time, I really do want to be doing these things. It’s something of a relief to be able to do what I like in the evening, and that those things are often related to organizing myself or writing and such – or the occasional bath, which I have discovered I really enjoy. And it’s nice to know that I’ll be doing this for much of the rest of my life (the joys of not wanting kids so not dealing with looking after them every evening ;)).

If you’re out of school, what do you do when you’re not at work? How do you like to spend your evenings? What relaxes you? Are you happy at the end of the day with what you’re doing? Do you take the time to invest in your hobbies?

If you are in school, what do you like to do when you take an evening off? What would you do if you no longer had homework to do virtually every evening? Do you enjoy school? Do you think you’ll feel a little lost when you’ve completed your education?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below! I’ll meet you down there.

Giveaway winner for my Tropical Traditions Antioxidant Natural Greens powder giveaway: Holly! Her comment:

It’s interesting you posted this….I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately! I’ve been getting sick a LOT more lately, and I wondered if something like this or Amazing Grass would help. Admittedly, I get a lot less greens in the winter. Last summer I ate probably 4 spinach salads a week!

I agree with you, though, that these types of things (and protein powders, too?) are a great addition but should not take the place of “real” foods. This is inspiring me to start making my green smoothies, again!

Congratulations! E-mail me your mailing address and I’ll ensure that you get your winnings.

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8 Comments

    1. Sagan Morrow

      “What you can expect with our house of tomorrow: to stop truly LIVING!”

      Since when do we need a built-in LED TV for cooking?

      Scary indeed! I think the scarier part is that I can’t tell if this video is a joke or if it’s serious…

  1. sophia

    Ah, that’s an interesting question, Sagan…well, I’m a student so my work is really 24/7 and more…I really don’t get much of a break. But between the tight schedules, I try to squeeze in some blogging…which is really leisurely and fun for me. I wish blogging paid well, but unfortunately, it doesn’t….T__T

  2. Valerie

    I know how you feel. I’ve been out of college for nearly 10 years (whoa!) and don’t have kids, but I’ve always played competitive volleyball in leagues around the city in the evenings after work (usually 3-4 times per week, plus some weekend tournaments) and I would usually take 1 or 2 fitness classes in the evenings (TRX). In November, I injured my elbow to the point that I can’t play or do upper body workouts for at least 6 more months and I’m still trying to figure out what people do in the evenings after work! I love to cook so we’ve been eating great meals made from scratch, but I still have extra hours that I feel like I need to fill. I can usually write blog posts through the day, so I post them at night while watching tv, but still feel like now I’m just watching a ton of tv (even if it’s while I’m “working”). I work out on my lunch hour and can really only bike, run, or do other aerobic activities since I can’t use my arm, so I can’t really do another workout in the evening or I’ll end up with an overuse injury from constantly doing the same things. I will have kids someday, so I suppose I should be grateful that I have all of this free time now, but I definitely feel out of sorts about it!

  3. JavaChick

    Evenings during the week tend to feel busy, but they are busy with things I choose to do. I aim to get in 3 evening workouts during the week (mornings just don’t work for me and I’m at work during the day), then there’s making dinner & cleaning up and trying to get in a little bit of piano practice. What I really look forward to at the end of my evening busy-work, is having a shower then crawling into bed with a book. That’s my relaxation time.

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