Free time, what free time

University finished at the end of may, and I got my results recently to find I had passed which is good and I felt I had a lot of free time suddenly. After months of university and blocking out time to do all the work, I now have all these extra time blocks to do something.

I have evenings from 5pm on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday that used to be filled with time for tutorials, and classes that are now free, a sunday afternoon free that I used for reading and trampolining with the university. In all, I have gained around 20 or so hours each week to do things again.

I’ve taken on more hours at work, just a couple on the end of each day and taken to go swimming after work Tuesday to Friday now. I’ve restarted my trampoline coaching on a Monday night to help out at Billingham Trampoline Club. I passed the exams years ago, and been on the refresher courses but not really used them as never had time.

I’ve now blocked a monday evening out to do that and when uni starts again can still do the tutorial time again after. We have been given the timetable for next years classes already so can prepare time management.

I don’t know if I would have got back to trampoline coaching without the constant contact from the club. I was included in the coaching meetings even though I’d not coached in years and was a part of the running even if not active. But being included made me feel a part and I wanted to help out more. Such a little action on their part really got me to feel for the club.

This extra time, I see it as an opertunity to do things I’ve wanted to do all year but not got around too. I’ve worked on some projects and completed ideas that I never thought I would. I often think up things and they never get past the design stage and live within the piles of paper that grow and duplicate. I often have the same idea about 5 times before its put into a complete action. So far this break, I’ve completed about 5 of them including updating a lot of my Websites.

I’ve taken up reading for leisure, previously I would maybe get through a fiction book maybe once or twice a year, now its been closer to a week per book. I got a kindle with vouchers I got from a program named “Better than Banners” – Years ago, they asked you to put some code on 3 static webpages and they would pay you £5 of amazon vouchers per website and £10 per referral. We of course referred each other and setup lots of websites. Some sites have died and we lost the income but a couple of us still get £5 every month or so from them. We joined in 2006 so thats been a lot of free vouchers. Shame they do not accept new registrations, it would be easy to setup a lot more sites now and gain the vouchers.

Anyhow, I’ve got a kindle with the vouchers I saved up from them and have been reading many books it feels like. I really enjoyed The Hunger Games series and for the next week or so after felt in my dreams I was running around the forests and game lands. I’ve worked through a few books now and look forward to the next ones in their series, but some are not published so I’ll enjoy that when they are.

For the first month after my exams, I wanted to relax. Release myself from all studying and just stop but couldn’t completly – I had my job to do and got on with it. It came to evenings and I felt lost, and empty for a while. I watched a lot of DVDs – I managed over the course of a month to watch the entire series of Firefly (+ movie serenity) and Stargate SG1 and movies along with many other ones that had been on sky. I thought about how people could just sit and watch and it felt like a waste of time although I enjoyed them, at the end of it all, I felt I got nothing worthwhile out of it.

While studying, I felt I got a lot out of many classes, from friendships to education and challenges. I feel I need challenges in life and thats where my projects come in.

So, two months to go before university starts again. Maybe it will soom be time to find books for pre-preparation for the course of the next year – some reading to understand the topics a little ahead of time. It would be good to find the books I require before the rush at the start of the year and while I have some time, to actually read them.

I’ve a few trips planned over the next month or so to see friends and visit London. I am not sure why, but disappearing to London for a few days allows me to totally relax. I think its to do with a totally different life style – I relax anyhow, this time going with more friends. I’ve not got a holiday of going away planned but love seeing people around the country and taking time out from my normal stuff – that in itself is a perfect idea of a holiday.

so… that free time I thought I had. Easy gone, but at the same time, I’ve filled it with things that can be put aside when university starts again. Most things will be put aside, but I am hoping to keep on with the trampolining coaching. After a few more months of experience, I’d like to train for my level 2 qualification in it and see how I go from there.