Leisure is defined as freedom from the demands of work or duty. Everybody
needs leisure in their lives, to balance the stress of work and life. Leisure helps
re-energize and relax people, so they can perform activities well in their lives. People
use their free time (leisure time) in a variety of different ways; engaging in outdoor
activities, entertainment like watching movies or television, or just having time to
themselves.. Another activity people enjoy doing is just socializing with family and
friends. Leisure is an essential part of our lives, and the only problem with leisure is
when can we enjoy it? In our society we have a hard time finding time to relax and take
The amount of leisure time a person has can be related to the type of person that
certain individual is. There are many factors in which you can take in account: age,
marital status, gender, families, etc. These factors figure into the certain stage of a
persons life. There are three stages, beginning, mid-career, and near-retirement. The
beginning stage involves people from the ages ranging from 19-30 years old. These
individuals are just beginning their careers and are striving to be successful. They spend
more time focusing on their job, trying to find ways to advance, and less time relaxing
and enjoying leisure time. They compensate their leisure time for their careers.
Mid-career stage includes individuals ranging from 30-50 years old. In this stage people
have been in their field for some years and are settled down with families. In this time of
their lives they will be looking for more leisure time, because they are going to want time
away from work and time to be with their families. They basically know what their
status is at their job and now find time to slow down and start focusing on other aspects
in their lives. They might do this by cutting back on the hours they work a week. The
near-retirement stage are individuals ranging from the ages of 50 and up. These people
are on the verge of retirement and are planning what to do with the rest of their lives.
After their careers are over they are going to have nothing but time on they hands. At this
point of there careers they are working lesser hours and responsibility at their job is
decreasing. This helps make the transition from working to retirement much easier.
I made a survey and issued it to three people who fall into the three stages. The
survey consisted of a variety of question like age, gender, occupation, wages, leisure
time, and activities. The first individual who took the survey fell into the beginning stage.
This person is a twenty one year old black male. He is a full time student at Illinois State
and workers part time as a life guard at a indoor pool. He is not married and has no
children. He works twenty plus hours a week and only makes $6.30 a hour. He works
five days a week, but sometimes takes morning shifts on Saturdays. He considered
leisure as any time away from work and school. He said he does not get a lot of leisure
time, because he does not have any time to just relax. He has class all morning then in
the evening he works and comes home and studies. The only leisure time he has is over
the weekends.That time does not compensate for the stressful hours of work and school
during the week. The survey of this individual from the beginning stage has shown me
that being a full time study and working part time, leaves basically no leisure time. Also,
shows how people in the beginning stage have no time to relax, because their schedules
Next I gave a survey to an individual in the mid-career stage. This individual was
a forty year old Black male. He is married and has four children who ages range from
nineteen to twenty six years old. He works construction and earns $40 plus an hour and
works 30 hours a week. He said he has leisure and he uses it. He goes to bars with
CO-workers after work some days, or comes home and socializes with his family. He
said his leisure time is any time with family and friends and away from work. He said he
probably spends three days during the week doing leisure activities for a few hours. He
works to provide for his family so that they can enjoy life. He values his leisure time,
because it take his mind away from all his responsibilities.

The final stage is the near-retirement stage. In this stage an individual is just
about to call their career quits. The individual who took the survey is a white sixty year
old female, married with three children. She is a nurse and only works twenty five hours
a week. when she not working she is working in her garden, or doing things around her
house. She considers that her leisure time and she says she has a lot of it. She said she
has leisure time everyday to either kick back and read a book, or just relax. She said she
cannot wait to retire and go done to Florida and live on the beach. The main thing she
said about retirement will be not having anymore stressful responsibilities she got from
Out of the three stages I have found out that the beginning stage is the most
stressful and takes up a lot of your time. There is a positive, because it seems to get
better over the years. During the mid-career stage peoples focuses change, because
work is not the focal point of their lives. Families are getting started and that now shifts
a persons focus. During this stage, like I said before work is not the only priority, now
people are looking to take that vacation and taking shorter hours to be able to relax and
spend time with their family. The near retirement stage is the best time to catch up on
your leisure time. People are not working long hours, they spending more time doing
other activities. In this stage of a persons life they are trying to finalize what they are
going to do with all their free time. The stages basically go from no time to a whole lot
of free time. Leisure is important in our society, because it helps people escape from their
responsibilities of work or other stressful things.

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