Krogel: Slow down for free time

If all of us were making the most of life, each of our lives would probably look very different.

Having completed my last exam to mark the end of my second year of university, I was expecting to be flooded with an intense feeling of freedom and accomplishment.

That didn’t happen.

Instead, what I had begun to think was just a myth— free time—my mind immediately went to the giant to-do list I have for this summer.

This is both a helpful and dangerous way of thinking, for which I assign credit and/or blame to university.

On one hand, university has done a great job of teaching me the value of time. I don’t have the luxury of spending hours in front of the TV anymore, so when I do have free time, I want to spend it in the richest way possible.

On the other hand, university has created in me a compulsive need to always be doing something productive.

During reading break, I tried to relax with one of my favourite pastimes—Mario Kart. Except I couldn’t just play it, I had to turn it into another to-do list item, where my mission was to unlock every single car, character and track in the game.

Needless to say, I spent a lot of time in front of the Wii and it was much more stressful than enjoyable.

But I didn’t describe aiming for productivity as a necessarily bad way of thinking, because it’s good to work hard at worthwhile pursuits. I call it dangerous, because when we put too much weight on productivity, we create the potential for making life too busy and routine for us to enjoy its rich and subtle pleasures.

University has also taught me not to make huge generalizations about people, but I’m going to defy that lesson for a moment to tell you there are basically two kinds of people in this world: People who know how to make the most of each day, and everyone else.

And most of us land in the second category. We’ve made our lives so busy that we don’t even have time to stop and think about what carpeing the diem might look like because we’ll be late for work.

But it doesn’t have to mean climbing mountains with National Geographic, abandoning all routine, or taking spontaneous road trips in vans filled with an unnecessary number of dreamcatchers.

If all of us were making the most of life, each of our lives would probably look very different. But they would have one commonality—being purposeful with our time.

Sometimes, this means being busy and productive. Other times, it means making time to enjoy the wonderful things life has to offer that don’t have anything to do with productivity, which can be as simple as closing your eyes and soaking in the feeling of the sun shining on your face, or really looking at the blossoming trees, as if you were seeing them for the very first time.

Maybe carpeing the diem simply means taking Tolstoy’s advice when he said, “Stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”

Just Posted

Work continuing on new Kelowna visitor centre

Crews working through winter on downtown lakeshore site to have building ready for this summer

Pizza delivery car stolen during Kelowna delivery

While delivering a late night pizza, man has car stolen, then runs to recover it

Kelowna’s Serwa named to Olympic team

Kelsey Serwa is one of eight Canadian ski cross athletes headed to PyeongChang

Vernon Search & Rescue find lost snowmobiler

Male, 19, went missing in Hunter’s Range area near Enderby

Kelowna attraction set to re-open after 2017 floods

Scandia’s popular Jungle Golf, downstairs, has been closed since being damaged in Kelowna floods

Testing the Google Arts & Culture app

Going face to face with art

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Angels at The Mule

Penticton nightclub introduces angel shots for safety

Dryer explosion at Teck Elkview Operations

Locals report hearing loud bang

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Most Read