How We Spend Our Downtime

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That's not long after the T.V. Hand held games came out, But kids still played with Stars Wars items and Barbie dolls. Kids played outside a lot more back then, riding bikes and just playing with their friends. No one had cell phones and kids weren't allowed to spend a lot of time on the home phones with their friends, usually about 15 min. Kids didn't go to the movie theaters either like they do now, and if they did it was usually to the Drive-In theatre with their family. Dairy Queen was a big spot to go to for a special treat. Most families went to Church together every Sunday and sometimes on Wednesday too. Kids did not go to the mall alone - only with parents and only to buy something, not just to walk around it with friends. Kids were also WAY more disciplined back then. You didn't hear and see kids screaming and throwing fits in public like you do now. Parents cared how their children acted back then, not like parents today. Kids weren't in trouble with the law as much as they are today either and drugs weren't as easy to get. Oh they could still get it back then, but not as easy and not as many kids did it. Life was easier and simpler and in a way - better.

If life seems more rushed than ever, you might be surprised to learn that we Americans don't have less leisure time than we did 40 years ago. We actually have more leisure time, and quite a bit more. What counts as leisure is up for argument, but under every definition the numbers have gone up. We get about 45 minutes a day of extra leisure.

Then why does it feel like we have so much less? It might be because we waste half of all our leisure time watching television. The average American adult devotes 2.5 hours a day to this hobby. And for every additional hour we get free, another 30 minutes goes into that boob tube. So if you want more free time, I recommend one thing: turn it off. This is easier said than done, especially during the world series.

When I was growing up, my mom had one...
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