I thought it was appropriate to base the first Do-Vember post on a pin from my Frugal board: 107 Productive Things to do Instead of Spending Money, at Tay Talks Money.
Out of 107 suggestions, what am I actually going to do instead of just acting like a "serial pinner?" Tay divides her post into categories, beginning with one of the most obvious, doh-face-palm ideas: things to do with actual money. Working on a budget, rounding up spare change, improving your credit or finding out about investments. Then there are suggested ways to earn money (which veers off into emailing old friends), and some general good things to do that are way better than playing cards online or watching too many BBC dramas.
After ruling out some impractical ideas (for me) like jumping jacks and swimming laps, and things I already do all the time like crossword puzzles, reading and laundry, I've narrowed it down to these things that I am going to try to do over the next week or two (after the fridge gets cleaned. I do clean the fridge too, it just happens to be needing attention right now):
62. Sit and talk with your spouse, roommate, friend, or child.
63. Count your blessings.
70. Go to a free museum, art show, or art festival. (If I can find one.)
71. Go to a book signing or book reading. (If I can find one.)
75. Clean your fridge.
82. Shop your own closet – pair new things together or hack it up to make something new entirely. (I was going to do that anyway.)
104. Listen to a TedTalk.
(One of my own). Pull out a board game and find someone to play it with.
(One of my own). Read one of the library books that I downloaded to OverDrive, before it disappears back into cyberspace.
But really, the whole point is that whether you decide to swim laps, write your life goals, or clean the fridge, you're making choices about how to use the time that you're given. If you're busy with a lot of other things and people, you might not have that much "discretionary" time, but then it's even more important to use what you do have carefully. The point, as I see Tay making it, is that T.V.-type entertainment is, most often, a non-choice: we turn it on, it's there. It's not that we're not allowed to rest, not allowed to just be; but that we have the choice to learn new things, to do what we've been putting off, to create something or make a memory with somebody else, that will have more lasting significance than just the plot of a T.V. episode. I think Charlotte Mason would agree with that.