Thoughtful Thursday: Free Time

February 10, 2011

Thoughtful ThursdayA crisis came up this week with my mother’s health, and for a couple of days it seemed like I might need to get on a plane any minute. (After several hours calling and emailing her medical providers each day, as well as action on their end, it’s now been managed, and I’m staying put for now.)

I was ambivalent about going, particularly since it would require leaving Burrito and Tamale behind. Even missing just a few days would feel like I’d be returning months later, since they’re in a phase where every day brings some new development.

But, at the same time, my mind started racing with all of the possibilities for ways to use the free time I’d have. As I learned a few months ago, having a loved one in the hospital involves waking up at the crack of dawn to wait at the bedside and be sure you don’t miss the attending physician’s 3-minute visit which ends up being at 4:56 p.m.; hand-holding to get them into the MRI machine then thumb-twiddling for the next hour during the scan; frantic action then excessive down time.

Last time, I processed thousands of baby photos while my mother looked on or napped. This time, I started fantasizing about the projects I could complete, the blog posts I could write, the work I could accomplish. And away from the hospital, without toddlers needing my attention, I could go shopping! Get a facial! Go to a movie! Talk on the phone with my husband! Skype with my babies!

How would you spend your time if you (and your laptop) were suddenly transported far from all of your responsibilities?

14 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Free Time”

  1. Elana Kahn Says:

    I would play computer games all day long!! And read books, too. Then again, I do a lot of that when I’m nursing the baby. lol I read books (paper and on my Kindle app), and I play games on my phone. Ohhh I would also sleep…a lot. 🙂

  2. coffeegrl Says:

    Ah. Free time. How elusive! I’d likely tackle a baby album (for the 3 year old – how can I not have started one yet???) or the 8 month old! But I’d also do tons of reading. Reading. Reading! And maybe some crossword puzzles. Oh, and I really want to get sucked into “Plants vs. Zombies”. Saw it briefly and really want to try!!

  3. Rebecca Says:

    I would write a shit ton – letters and fiction.

  4. MeAndBaby Says:

    I would take a shower. No wait- I would eat a meal. No wait!- I would watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy or The Good Wife on TiVo. 🙂

  5. celia Says:

    Ohh man. Free time? I can’t even remember what I used to do with my time. I’d like to say something cool like… go to Chinatown and browse. But in reality I would probably drink a glass of red wine and watch Harry Potter.

  6. Tara (TIMO) Says:

    Ahh, free time. When we went through a similar sounding experience with my Nana in the back of my mind was the thoughts of all the Tara-time I would have without my boys. I’d organize photos and my external & USB drives. Plus write- blog posts and the book I’ve been working off-and-on for 2.5 years. If I was in my childhood home, I’d purge and organize for my parents with hoarding tendencies. And a daily shower and to bed at a decent hour without waking to tend to someone in the middle of the night. Hope your mom is doing okay.

  7. strongblonde Says:

    i have a trip planned in april and have thinking already about this. mostly i am worried and not looking forward to being away for so long. BUT. i am looking forward to dinner out, exploring a new city, catching up on pleasure reading, maybe doing a bit of shopping. i’m betting that what’s going to be best is sleeping in past 6am. 🙂 i think if i HAD to pick, i’d probably rather be at home so i could at least feel like i was getting stuff done around the house!

  8. a Says:

    Sleeeeeping! Uninterrupted sleep. And shopping with no one telling me they want to leave or ask where we’re going next. I guess it would be nice to have the time to form a complete sentence too.

  9. WiseGuy Says:

    Well, if my conscience finally gets the upper hand, I would finish that trailing thesis of mine.

    I would love to read books, watch TV, movies, play Farmville, surf the net and daydream. Maybe that’s what I will do in the first instance. I might actually crunkle and get somewhere for an embroidery class too. Maybe.

  10. Cat Says:

    I would at least start the photo albums for their first year. My dream is to make one for each of them and then one for DH and me to keep with memories of all three. Since I would love to be in possession of my own baby book, I envision them taking their own books with them when they move out someday.

    I would also type up more recipes into my OCD template that makes them all look alike for my recipe binder.

    Activities sans laptop would include a facial, massage, and time to lay around and read.

  11. celia Says:

    I have been thinking this over and still cannot believe that I have no idea what I would do with time to call my own. I think it has been a year and a half since I have done something like that.

  12. Ana Says:

    I get giddy just THINKING about this. I’d catch up on TV shows and reading (like, real BOOK reading even). and sleep. oh lord, how i’d sleep. i’ve been meaning to get my eyebrows done for ages, and i’d throw in a pedi while I was there.

  13. Speaking of laptops, I just wanted to pop over from Stirrup Queens to THANK YOU for the directions to adding the IComLeavWe widget to a wordpress blog. My husband usually comes to my aid when adding widgets or code to my blog (or Dr. Google if he’s not around) but your instructions were easy to follow.

    Thank you!

  14. Catch up on blogs (and have the time to comment, and not just lurk), catch up the New Yorker, organize my photos and do something with them (like make minicards on

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