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Arts & Culture

What Do You Do with the Gift of Free Time?

Jlhopgood/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: At any age, life can surprise you with the gift of a lot of free time. How do you have a sense of meaning and purpose after you try out travel, sports, reading, and watching TV?

Free time can appear because of job loss, making or inheriting lots of money, marrying someone wealthy, or retirement. We all fantasize about the luxury and joy of having nothing to do. But ask people what happens with the gift of free time, and it could surprise you. There comes a day when you wake up, they say, and feel something’s out of balance. That “something” can be a call for a sense of purpose or meaning along with the fun.

On a recent show we talked about the book Smarter and the large number of products that improve fluid intelligence. Studies show a significant number of them work. But we also learned that intelligence, and meaning, increase as a result of trying new things, keeping social connection in your life, and helping others.

What have you done, or imagine you would do, with the gift of free time? And what would you like to do? What’s stopping you? Please call and tell us: 203 776-9677 (203 776-WNPR)

Join the conversation by email, on Twitter, or on Facebook.


  • Gina Barreca is professor of literature at The University of Connecticut and author or editor of twenty-six books including It's Not That I'm Bitter… Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Visible Panty Lines and Conquered the World.
  • Marian Roy volunteers on the show.


  • “Gne Gne,” Montefiori Cocktail
  • “Do You Feel Loved?” U2
  • “This Is the Picture (Excellent Birds),” Peter Gabriel featuring Laurie Anderson
  • “Take Me to the River,” Talking Heads

Arts & Culture
Lori Connecticut Public's Morning Edition host.
Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident. Jonathan can be reached at jmcnicol@ctpublic.org.
For more than 25 years, the two-time Peabody Award-winning Faith Middleton Show has been widely recognized for fostering insightful, thought-provoking conversation. Faith Middleton offers her listeners some of the world's most fascinating people and subjects. The show has been inducted into the Connecticut Magazine Hall of Fame as "Best Local Talk Show".

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