This article really spoke to me and my wife. A year ago I probably wouldn't have understood what it was talking about, but when my daughter was born somehow I began to realize how sick I had become, how I was valuing things that didn't make me happy. An excerpt:
What I am suggesting is that just as the marketplace has co-opted rebellion by subordinating politics to fashion, by making anger chic, so it has quietly underwritten the idea of leisure, in part by separating it from idleness. Open almost any magazine in America today and there they are: The ubiquitous tanned-and-toned twenty-somethings driving the $70,000 fruits of their labor; the moneyed-looking men and women in their healthy sixties (to give the young something to aspire to) tossing Frisbees to Irish setters or tying on flies in midstream or watching sunsets from their Adirondack chairs.
Leisure is permissible, we understand, because it costs money; idleness is not, because it doesn't. Leisure is focused; whatever thinking it requires is absorbed by a certain task: sinking that putt, making that cast, watching that flat-screen TV. Idleness is unconstrained, anarchic. Leisure - particularly if it involves some kind of high-priced technology - is as American as a Fourth of July barbecue. Idleness, on the other hand, has a bad attitude. It doesn't shave; it's not a member of the team; it doesn't play well with others. It thinks too much, as my high school coach used to say. So it has to be ostracized.