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Living in the Workaday Planetary World Is A "Whirlagig". On This Earth, You Must Be Employed!
The Sense of Busyness Syndrome
The SBS is a modern phenomenon and because of the word we call “stress”,
the SBS will plague most active Americans who are pre-retirement.
It gives us Citizenship Papers in the conflict of economic and social survival.
This Sense, When you think of Spare Time, it should be for your Soul and your Heart.
This is a soft recommendation; that you come up with yourself.
It will probably be most helpful to your Health and Vitality,
Neolithic and Edenic, Hunter Gatherer, Age of Agriculture, Overwork, Stress & Spare
Neolithic man actually worked at hunting only a few hours a week. Other duties fell to the tribal units as meals, clothing making, tool and weapon construction and other essential functions. They were at their lives all the time and they were at life all the time. They relaxed when they relaxed. They worked and laughed and loved and defended themselves, betimes, and probably would not even understand the phrase, “spare time” or “over work”.
The “Edenic”state is a “looking back”. What does it look back to? Religious discussion aside, it moves mankind forward into a new “work style”. When we look at the “hunter gatherer” life, it is a wistful memory as we leaned on our plows and lived with the Age of Agriculture that came to us with its intensive labor requirements. Hard work, overwork and the binding nature of labor has indeed become a “curse” to mankind, but also the avenue to prosperity and the growth of civilization.
And oh yes, “spare time”, it became an alternative state to be considered after formal work. I remember reading about medieval farmers in Europe, who during winter had almost nothing to do. Sure there were chores, but the guys were “in the way”. They would peer down the gray cold days of February and say. “Wow, I love this spare time.”
The Liturgy of Modernity and the Working World
We can probably agree that the idea of “spare time” became official with the advent of the “work week”. but not more subtly; all of these things connect us at the level of the generally disquieted soul, and the troubled and overworked heart.
Parkinson’s Law and the Classification of Spare Time
C. Northcote Parkinson became a famous writer and thinker on the topic of time management and bureaucratic action.
The 120-page book explained the inevitability of bureaucratic expansion, arguing that 'work expands to fill the time available for its completion'.
“Spare Time” actually says so much! In its global apprehension, it is actually a Yearning for Rest, a Desire for Artistic Ease or a Diversion in a Nest of Non Concern. Spare Time has an implicit wish with it.
SPARE TIME has 2 senses:
1. time available for hobbies and other activities that you enjoy
2. time that is free from duties or responsibilities
The Spare Time Corollary: Spare Time shrinks so as to make allowances for the “Expanded Work” that naturally occurs because of Parkinson’s Law and the lack of true Time Management.
The Spare Time Shrinkage causes an inner Sense of Urgency and Lack of Ease. But there are psychological benefits and drawbacks. The sense that you have no spare time allows you to explain why you have not accomplished certain tasks or duties that you SAY you want to get done. It is a Tepee of Protection that we give ourselves so that when the winds pick up and the storms make noises over head. We are OK.
The Long Term Answer for No Spare Time. Do not think that because you are simply who you are that your Spare Time and Self Analysis will give you an explanation for the totality of your life. DO NOT USE THE SPARE TIME SHRINKAGE TO BE YOUR EXPLANATION FOR YOUR CURRENT LACK OF OR SURGE IN PRODUCTIVITY.
A Longing for Shangri La
And so, because of Spare Time Shrinkage brought on by Parkinsonian Work Expansion we develop a Longing for Shangri La. Oh, we have am embedded DNA yearning for an Edenic place of comfort and solace, but modernity adds naturally to this inner urge. That special Las Vegas Vacation, that Hideaway in Aspen, the Cruise in the Caribbean, that longing to just disappear.
All of these things are natural to us as humans, but the dealing with modernity and the demands of urban life make us truly develop hopes and dreams that we either schedule and go do, or we do not make time for. But in these cases the Spare Time Shrinkage tends to build our angst and our longing in a very concrete way.
There is something about “adrenaline” as a kind of internally produced drug that makes us successful at our overwork, and yet regretful that we seem to be required to live on our adrenaline. And alas, we do not want to be laid off or fired. Women and men line up each day to declare that they have the “adrenaline” and they can endure the “stress” of overwork.
Retirement Spare and Work Time Flipping
The word “retirement” does not necessarily indicate that there will be less Spare Time Busyness Syndrome, however, it could mean that the Spare Time Corollary and Parkinson’s Law work in a kind of dualistic opposition to each other. That being that Retirement Duties can still be structured, formal and important and therefore important to the individual, as if the level of busyness was the same as in pre-retirement, only the character and nature of those duties changes.
Adrenaline, Workaholism and Modernity
Those who tend by their nature to thrive on the adrenaline secretions and talk about the “hundreds of things they have to do” can control their retirement lives so that the Spare Time Busyness Syndrome continues. We are a hard working and busy people, and thanks to many religious and philosophic points of view, most of us still praise the person who works hard.
Don’t let yourself be an automaton of this Complexity of Modernity. Perhaps a good, really in shape “workaholic” would be offended to be called an automaton. The awakened soul who embraces their challenges with perspective and a sense of Purposeful Intention can handle both the “Parkinsonian World of Expanding Work” and the true search for Liberating Spare Time.
Work and Unemployment in a Post-COVID Reality
Don’t let yourself be whipped by work. Or be whipped by the complex problem of the Pandemic. A multitude of Challenges face many. Spare Time is that lingering remembrance of an “Edenic” state. It is there to tell us something about ourselves and our work. We would not be reminded about Eden or Shangri La were it not for our busy hectic cloudy pall of the plague, that we face these days.
The very idea of Retirement may be changing for many of us. Redesigning that goal may be a super challenge. After all, when we talk about work and retirement spare time and part time --- we are talking about our careers and perhaps our survival. In a final sense, it behooves us to stay in health, which of course is another grandly important topic.
© 2012 Christofer French