Tag Archives: work

The Future of Leisure

Hello, and welcome to Comparative Geeks! Another month in and another holiday, and the new site is going well. It’s been a real joy to bring you new content, like the podcast and my webcomic. It’s also been great to bring you opinion and fandom pieces from a variety of writers!

fallout-birthday-meme

Today is my birthday, and if you’ve been following us a while you know that I like to write an opinion piece on my birthday, on a topic important to me. Which brings me to my topic, although to be fair I’ve already been on topic here the whole time: the future of leisure.

All this, here, on Comparative Geeks: both the things we’re talking about, and the writing itself, can be considered leisure activities. I wrestled recently with the definition of “hobby,” because I think that there’s a difference between a hobby and doing a leisure activity. I’ve recently been hearing the phrase “side hustle” and that seems like a closer definition for what this site is, which still gets us into the territory of having three defined sets of activities – outside of other categories like work, family time, religious activities, education, social activities, food, sleep… Oh, and travel time between it all.

Wow, there’s a lot of things we do to fill our time!

People who have a problem specifically with leisure activities think more time should be spent on some of these other categories of activities. Think of the stereotype of the asocial geek who just needs to get out and be more social, right? But more, it seems like people have trouble with what kinds of leisure activities people pursue, whether they are “practical” or not.

But I titled this about the future of leisure, and that’s more where things are now. People are all over the place balancing their time now, and we have to be. People have always needed to be balancing their time, but over the decades, over the generations, the balance has shifted. Work plateauing at lower levels, travel getting faster. More families without children or having children later. Two-earner households. Fewer people involved in religious activities. The Internet and other technologies allowing us to change how we do a lot of things, how long they take.

There are present trends that I see moving into the future. A big one is the move towards a Living Wage, as opposed to Minimum Wage. That’s going to do a lot to make it so that some jobs become technological instead of employees (well, more than now) – and will change the sort of work people are doing as well. And it will also hopefully make it so that fewer people are working multiple jobs. And projections that more and more jobs are going to require at least some college education. All that taken together, to me, means that people are going to have more time and maybe a little more money on their hands.

For me to say that leisure is going to change, however, I think there’s also a change in priorities that have to change. After all, with so many things calling for our time, there’s always something else we could be doing. But I think that the opportunity for more leisure will be there, and I think that there are also compelling reasons for leisure to be a choice.

You see, as the population, the number of people working, and the effects of globalization all increase, I also see another effect coming to the fore. And that is that there are going to be people doing all sorts of work. Some of that will be as a main job, some of that as a side hustle perhaps. To the extent that, if we’re all doing both work and practical activities with the rest of our time, we’re stepping on people’s toes – people who do those things for a living.

I’m not sure how far I think it might go, but we might reach a point where we should be paying someone to do our yards, to do work on our houses, to do everything to our cars… to clean our houses? To do all these things that we could be putting our off-time into, but which are also ways that people make their livelihoods. I mean, it’s already true now – but as it becomes more and more of the economy, I think it’s going to matter more and more.

And I see such interesting things, as we travel. Uber and ride-sharing. Air BnB and home-sharing. And things like ordering your groceries to be delivered to your home. Changes in work. Changes in how we approach life. Side-hustles and making money to do other things with. Transitions, I think, to a future we might not completely recognize. And in that future, I think that we are going to have leisure time – and I think that we need to embrace this fact, not mock the people that decide to pursue leisure.

avengers-birthday-meme

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What Is A Hobby?

What is a Hobby? This is a question I’ve been toying with a lot lately, and as you can see in the video above, it came up for Rhett and Link as well.

There’s a really obvious way that the question “what is a hobby?” comes up for me, and that’s with my Warmachine and Hordes tabletop wargaming. In wargaming in general, there’s the game aspect of actually playing… and there’s the so-called “hobby” aspect of the building, painting, and basing of the models. I mean, there’s other aspects I suppose, like the worldbuilding lore (“fluff”) that you can read, or the list-building strategizing that is one of my favorite parts, there’s competitive versus casual approaches, there’s podcasts and YouTube videos and…

There’s a lot. But a big, big piece is the Hobby aspect. And sure, the whole thing – the whole game – could be called a hobby. Heck, gaming in general is, I’m sure, considered a hobby by some. But even if we just consider the painting as the Hobby… I am not doing much of it. I listen to podcasts, I dojo new army lists, I enjoy playing and get to most weeks. But I have models I’ve bought that I haven’t even built yet, and I’ve still just painted the one troll.

When I’ve been thinking about it, I think there’s a few things. The painting is an artistic outlet – and right now, I have one of those. I have my webcomic. So I’m putting time, thought, and effort into that, but there’s also the element where I’m doing that for me. You could maybe consider it a hobby. Painting for me, I think, would feel more like work. The building the models is worthwhile work (so I can play with them!) but the painting…

Thinking of the webcomic as possibly a hobby, that widens the question to this website as a whole, doesn’t it? Is this a hobby? We’ve kept at it day-in and day-out for over three-and-a-half years now. And with more contributors, with the hope of moving towards advertising, of growing and expanding… a lot more of what I’m doing with it is work now, too. Scheduling posts. Organizing the week. Editing together podcasts. I partially need the webcomic just to make sure I keep having fun with this!

And it is fun, we enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong! That’s why we do it, and how we’ve kept doing it. Is that what’s needed for something to be a hobby? There’s work, and there’s enjoyment? I don’t know that I accept that as a definition either.

I mean, what’s the definition if we Google it?

an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure

Oh. Well maybe all of this is a hobby. Maybe none of it. Is it about my own definition? About others’? Because it means something very different for me to say “this is my hobby” than for you to say “oh, that thing you do, it’s just a hobby.”

So now, I open it up to you – what do you think of as a hobby? And what transcends that definition? And have you ever had trouble with that distinction? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Life, With Rush Lyrics

This is a bit later than we like to be finishing up our week of blogging. I had the idea for this all the other day… but have been busy. Happily, I got it together! As I’ve said before, I really like Rush, and listening to the 40th Anniversary Tour (R40) album on Apple Music, I thought of these.

So here are some things from our life lately, in pictures and with lyrics by Rush.

Work, Work, Working Man

Yep, back at work… I’m the “Working Man.”

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The Muppets, a Reaction

I don’t know about you, but I was super excited about The Muppets coming back to television. They are a part of my childhood and I love them. I even own the first season of the old Muppets variety show. I have seen all the old movies and the recent resurgence of the Muppets in the movies was fabulous. It was such a fun re-introduction to these characters that we know and love. The Muppet characters are something that I want to introduce to Geek Baby some day.

So we sat down tonight excited to watch the first episode of The Muppets, but in the end we were disappointed. Instead of getting something whimsical and fun, it ended up just blah.

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Weekend Coffee Share – Mom Problems

Votes for Women

Votes for Women mug, from the Molly Brown House.

So first off I know this is coffee share, but as a non-coffee drinker then for me it is if we were having tea; Early Grey, hot. Basically, this week has kind of been a bit of a bump in the road with Geek Baby. David and I have been so lucky because Geek Baby early on was sleeping mostly through the night and then started sleeping through the night pretty consistently. Then she got sick, I got sick, and now she seems to be going through a growth spurt, and the past three nights has been waking up two to three times a night. Now this is to be expected, but it does have David and I questioning everything.

If this is a growth spurt then it tends to be only like a week, but if it is a sleep regression then what do we do to try and get her to sleep again? So then I do the stupid thing and start looking up baby advice online and that is possibly one of the stupidest things because really all you find are completely different ideas professing to be the way to get a baby to sleep through the night. This same idea can apply to almost any topic that you might explore when discussing baby. Honestly reading the ideas just makes me depressed and wonder if we are not doing enough. At the same time with me being back at work there is only so much I can do.

Also, a lot of the advice I read did not seem to take into account families where both parents work. They usually have a 7am wake up time for baby and that does not work for me who has to be at work by 7:30am. Then everything is based on that time and has you put them down about 6pm, which is ridiculous if you don’t get home until 5pm. I personally do not see how that is tenable or how anyone who works for a living gets to spend any time during the week with their baby.

The thing that I am trying to remember is that Geek Baby is happy during the day. I mean she is like super happy during the day, goes out to restaurants pretty well, lets us do the shopping, loves going on walks, etc. She is active, engaged, and I mean smiling happy. If it seems like she is getting grouchy or upset then maybe there would be more to worry about, but right now the only thing is that David and I are getting disturbed more than she seems to be. I feel like there are so many things out there trying to tell parents that they are doing it wrong and it can be helpful, but it is also a bit overwhelming.

Join the Coffee Tea Share at the linkup on Part-Time Monster!