Type of Leisure I want in Life + What’s Holding me Back

My Secret Notebook
2 min readApr 8, 2023


I was reading summaries of Oliver Burkeman’s book “Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management For Mortals” lol. And he emphasized how spare time should be spent for leisure (super paraphrased).

It got me thinking about what I want to do for leisure, and I want to list those out:

  1. Travel: Exploration is the key here. See new things, try new things, get out and explore the great beautiful world.
  2. Experimental creations: I want to experiment with making different food, ceramics, crafts, paintings, etc. It’s not just a “creative outlet” but more of trying something, another vein of exploration.
  3. Improv/Games: Do fun improv with people of the same mind; this can include improv games, musical improv, role playing games, etc. There’s a careful balance here for me because I don’t want to be stuck inside too long.
  4. Nature: I want to see and explore more nature: animals, plants, landscapes, naturally occuring phenomenon. Similar to #1 travel, but travel is more of city/culture exploration imo.
  5. Fooding: Goes hand in hand with other exploration items. But trying new and nice foods; traveling/exploring with my taste buds. It’s a bit hedonistic, but I want to embrace it.

I think meeting new people can be fun/great too, and I end up craving that connection, but people are also so transitory — as in relationships with them — and people suck. They’re usually annoying, flakey, and flighty. Not really a priority since I have a guy I’m seeing seriously.

Which brings me to “what holds me back”:

  1. My guy: I don’t want to make it sound bad, because it isn’t necessarily bad, but I do feel like since Roy is just getting started in career and not much time off or disposable income, I can’t do much of the above with him. And he may feel left out/”jealous” if I do it with other or just by myself. More hard to trust me when I’m off alone out there. Which is why I’ve been putting it off.
  2. Future children: Wanting to have surrogate children has also made me rethink saving up more and focusing on making money. This has a synergistic effect with #1 (My guy) because it may be our future children, and me staying put for him for now gives me time for this.
  3. Desire to retire early: Similar to #2, it’s future oriented. I fantasize of retiring early, and that means money. Focusing on making some more money has synergies with #1 and #2.

I think the synergies for what happen to also hold me back right now are really what have convinced me to do what I’m doing now: focusing more on some more income, thinking of a settled-down future.

Settling down is great, but I don’t think it must mean that I give up the above. I think balance is in the works, and perhaps it may start after the new year, but it is something a-brewing in me.

Overall, I just need to get out more.



My Secret Notebook

Quirky, curious, and philosophical Asian American gay Ivy League grad living in Southern California.