Prioritizing Leisure as a Life Value

Hiking this weekend, Orcas Island - WashingtonMB (co-founder) pictured hiking - Orca Island, Washington - July 22nd, 2017

I used to think that prioritizing leisure was for the unmotivated. If you weren’t achieving, what was the point? Sure, I consumed the occasional mind-numbing TV show when it felt like my gas tank was so empty I needed to be on auto pilot. But I still felt guilty, restless, and unsettled. It wasn’t until recently, when I read the book “Overwhelmed” by Brigid Schulte, that I realized it was counter-productive and even foolish not to fully engage in leisure.

Schulte notes leisure can be especially tough for women. Have you ever noticed that guys seem to have no issues going off with their friends for a weekend excursion, or spending hours at the golf course — guilt free? As women, we bear the majority of what is called the “mental load” which is our metaphorical list of to-do’s that never seem to go away, preventing us from giving ourselves permission to just be and fully immerse ourselves in leisure of the present moment. To be clear, leisure is not being lazy, idle, or frivolous. It is, as Brigid puts it, “simply being open to the wonder and marvel of the present…to just be and feel fully alive.”

When we built Persist, we knew we needed a value dedicated to leisure. We wanted to generate discussions about how, since the dawn of time, gender roles have defined what is and isn’t acceptable for women to participate in when it comes to leisure. These formative norms still plague our society today (boys will be boys while we prep, plan, and clean). If you can relate and feel like you aren’t giving yourself permission to just be, you’re not alone. Pick up “Overwhelm” and I promise this will be a read that changes your outlook on life. You will have an amazing set of insights to add to your discussions with friends on the topic of leisure the next time you play Persist. And, you will feel more empowered to let the to-do list go, and immerse yourself in the magic of the present.

- MB (Persist the Game, Co-founder)