As a 27 year old, employed, married, father of one (soon to be two) I find my free time to be very limiting. Not limited, but limiting. I DO have several hours to myself each day, however they only come late at night, in a house with two other people in it, one of whom is a terror when they’re woken up. And Noah can be pretty bad too.
These hours tend to mostly be spent sitting at my computer. Occasionally I’ll work on some music, quietly strumming my electric guitar, amplified to mega-metal volumes in my headphones. I’ll avoid my drums, because even thought their electric too, the “thwack thwack” of my sticks hitting the pads is enough to bother “the others.” (LOST reference FTW.) This is why I never finish any songs. The drums get put off until people are conscious, and when the rest of the house is conscious, I have things to do besides drumming.
Volume issues aside, the bigger problem with these free hours is their place in the day. Being so late at night, it’s kinda pointless to try and go out and do something, as by the time you get where you’re going, it’s practically the next day. And while I can manage just fine with only 6 hours a sleep, I still need those 6.
So my social life is extremely limited. This issue is exacerbated by the fact that Tree works Fridays and Saturdays, leaving me alone with the boy on Saturdays, and our only day to do something as a family on Sundays. I imagine most people in my situation manage to get some free time on Saturdays to hang out with friends or pursue hobbies. They probably have unlimited IBC root beer in their fridges too. And they ride unicorns to work.
So what’s a guy to do? I grew up a social butterfly. Just ask anyone I went to school with. A combination of loving to make people laugh and ADD made my high school lunch period into a giant pinball game, be bouncing from one group of people to the next, looking for another giggle fix. Wow, that got kinda dark.
So alas, my last bastion of social interaction is the internet. You know those trolls who comment on various blogs and forums etc. with the cliche “Why don’t you get a REAL social life?” every time someone mentions social networking sites? Yeah, to those people I say, “If only I could!” My responsibilities prevent me from having time to go out with friends often, so I’m left to live vicariously through photo albums and status updates. I’ll stare at Facebook for way too long multiple times a day. I’ll read through the entire live feed, and then refresh to see if anyone has done anything new. There are days where I’ll complain to myself that no one is doing anything interesting. And by “not doing anything” I mean “not posting it to Facebook.”
I’m not writing this to whine or drum up sympathy. But maybe by reading this you’ll realize that you too have spent to much time online, reading what other people are doing. Maybe you’ll stand up from your chair, call up that friend you haven’t talked to in a while, and make some plans for a wild night on the town. Maybe you’ll see parts of your city you’ve never seen before and meet interesting people outside your social circle. Maybe you’ll try a food you’ve never eaten before. Maybe you’ll have the confidence to overcome a personal fear. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll find the love of your life, your new best friend, a new business partner, the possibilities are truly endless!
All I ask is that you document it well via Facebook so I have something to do tonight.