Leisure and Entertainment activities are a necessity for a balanced life. They help us explore new frontiers, build new relationships, enhance the variety and spice of life, and enrich our lives. They allow us to create our own delightfully imaginative world with its own innovations. They inspire us on to greater heights by providing us space for ourselves – giving us time to think, time to be different, time to be ourselves.
In the world of leisure and entertainment, perhaps nothing is looked forward to as much as a Sunday. Wake up late, have an extended reading of the morning newspapers with all their supplements, a special brunch, spend time with the family, catch up with some TV and sleep, read the latest thriller, or just meet up friends. Sundays have that magical quality which makes them so special and eagerly awaited. It is a day which separates the work week just gone by and the one coming, a day with leisure and entertainment at its heart.
However, for many of us, due to a mix of technology and the increasing pressures of work, Sundays are gradually mixing with the rest of the week. Work becomes the central focus of all that we do, with dwindling time for everything else. Time for ourselves, and friends and family is decreasing and becoming increasingly fragmented. In all of this, it is all the more important that we make time for ourselves, for our leisure activities.
So, here are some ways to begin to do something different. This Sunday, pick an activity which you have long wanted to, but “never could find the time for”, or perhaps, do something you did when you are younger. Either way, make a beginning and watch the extra dimension it will add to your life and personality. Buy a shortwave radio and explore the airwaves. Watch a great movie. Go for a long walk. Meet some friends. Listen to music. Write a Diary.
Or (and this is what I intend to do), you could start by Reading a book – a particularly good one (given that it is so much in the news now) is Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”. The essence of the book (and of life) is captured in this quote from a review by W.H. Auden (January 22, 1956 in the New York Times):
Life, as I experience it in my own person, is primarily a continuous succession of choices between alternatives, made for a short-term or long-term purpose; the actions I take, that is to say, are less significant to me than the conflicts of motives, temptations, doubts in which they originate. Further, my subjective experience of time is not of a cyclical motion outside myself but of an irreversible history of unique moments which are made by my decisions.
For objectifying this experience, the natural image is that of a journey with a purpose, beset by dangerous hazards and obstacles, some merely difficult, others actively hostile. But when I observe my fellow-men, such an image seems false. I can see, for example, that only the rich and those on vacation can take journeys; most men, most of the time must work in one place.
Mr. Tolkien has succeeded more completely than any previous writer in this genre in using the traditional properties of the Quest, the heroic journey, the Numinous Object, the conflict between Good and Evil while at the same time satisfying our sense of historical and social reality.
So, hobbits of the world, this Sunday, let us embark on a different Journey, one with its own Quest.