As we approach once again the holiday season, I would like to share with everyone a tidbit of information I ran across. In a 1965 testimony before a senate sub-committee it was claimed that the future looked bright for free time in America. By 1985, the report predicted Americans would be working a 22 hour work week and be able to retire by age 38. The reason claimed the testimony, was gadgets (gadget is a name for something that a name cannot be readily found or thought of at the moment) i.e.: computers, microwaves, fast food and office equipment. Now nearly 40 years later we have it all, computers, faxes, VCR’s, TIVO. There is a restaurant on every corner and the average work week has increased from 40 to 47 hours a week. For most of us that would be welcome. It is said that leisure time has shrunk 37% since 1973. Time marches on and people keep running. What did that congressional report fail to calculate into their projections? They failed to correctly judge the appetite of the consumer. Gadgets provided more time, but rather than using time for leisure it was viewed as opportunity for potential money. More potential meant more gadgets to provide more time to provide more money for more gadgets and so on and so on.
I share that with you to encourage us all to take a look at our own lives and see if we have lost focus. I often say much of what I do is not for the money, (although it is a very necessary ingredient), but for the challenge and for my family. I wonder how easy it is to get caught up in a similar circle of success brings opportunity, which brings success, which brings opportunity. I looked up leisure in the dictionary and it was described as freedom from occupation or business; idle time; time free from employment. During this holiday season that tends to bring with it even more activity, I think it would be wise for me to take a leisurely (not hasty but deliberate and slow) look at my life and my priorities to remember once again the why in why I do what I do, lest I find myself having arrived somewhere but nobody came along and I am unable to remember why I went. Take care, and have a happy Thanksgiving!