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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Journey into a Leisure World

         Last August 31st I formally retired from Kwantlen Polytech University.  My life has taken a different turn. Even though I was only teaching two courses per term over the last several years I have, during the past two months, begun to explore the “real” meaning of leisure activities’
         If you look back over my blog entries you will see one of my new activities, acrylic painting. Recently I have been struggling with painting a picture of my mother, who’s now 95, in her earlier years.
What a task; maybe I need to stick with landscape pictures. In any case another of my “leisure” activities is creating entries onto my blogspot.
         Last Monday night I had the honor of stepping in for the person who is currently teaching the ageing class. What a joy it was to return to the classroom! It was leisure for sure, In any case, I d decided to look around in my personal library to see what I could find and I found some material in the book cited at the bottom of this post,[i]
         There is a small section in the book that focuses on Retirement Leisure.  The author asserts, “Individuals select leisure activities to fit their personal identity (how they define themselves) and their social identity (how they believe they are defined by others)
         When I was teaching I saw myself as a type of “independent contractor.” There are rules but there is a lot of freedom in decision-making. I decided what I would say and the structure of the evening, which included student group presentations.
         But now back to the bigger picture, my teaching is concentrated on the creation of blog entries. I now have 148 posts.
         “There is no universally accepted definition of leisure, partly because experiences and meanings are extremely personal and diverse.”    The author provides 18 elements that help define leisure. Take a look at them and decide which ones work best for you.
·      A social context for establishing and developing primary social relationships.
·      A state of mind, attitude or being
·      Non-work
·      Freedom of choice in selecting activities
·      Free or discretionary time
·      Relaxation and diversion from work and personal maintenance activities.
·      Playfulness or play
·      Voluntary activity
·      Expressive activities, in which there is internal satisfaction and an emphasis on the process rather than on the end result or product.
·      Instrumental activities, which offer external rewards and which have an end product or outcome as a goal.
·      Spontaneity
·      Utilitarian and meaningful activities.
·      Active and passive activities
·      Social (group) or individual (solitary) activities
·      Expensive or inexpensive activities
·      Intellectual (that is cognitive), social, or physical activities
·      Intrinsic or extrinsic rewards
·      Creativity
·      High culture or mass culture

         I must stop here because I need to take a shower and get ready from my visit to local Chamber of Commerce dinner as a representative of the Langley Seniors Centre Board.

[i] B.D. McPherson,(2004). Aging as a Social Process: Canadian Perspectives, Oxford             University Press

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