The sentence 'I am bored' is outlawed in my house. We do not need to be entertained to have fun. It is quite possible to have fun without looking at a screen. Or going to a show. Or being at a party. Or jumping out of a plane.
We have become a society that craves entertainment and we get that desperate druggy-needing-a-fix look in our eyes when something is not happening. The work week is something that we tolerate and need to survive in order to get to the weekend. And the weekend is planned in advance to ensure boredom will not find us. You see, boredom is a skulking monster hiding in the shadows, stalking us. And when it attacks we are in big trouble. It will capture us and take us to its lair where it will devour us piece by piece. Every precaution needs to be taken to avoid such a fate.
These precautions take the form of frantic activity that will keep this monster in the shadows hiding away. Friendships are evaluated and ruthlessly eliminated if there is any chance that boredom might slip in somewhere. No cost is spared. Retirement savings is secondary to the desperate need to find something exciting to do this weekend. Something that will keep the monster away.
I think we need to realise
- busy is not necessarily fun
- frantic is often not fun
- the unknown can be just as boring as the known
- going out can get stale after a while
- new places are mostly just like the old places
Boredom is not really a monster. What we call boredom can give your mind an opportunity to catch up or even get ahead. In its embrace, you may find creative solutions and perspectives that you also avoided as you ran from this non-monster.
Silences do not need to be broken all the time. It is okay to listen to your own thoughts. You are not as predictable as you think you are. You may surprise yourself more often than you think possible. And you may discover what entertaining company you are!
Inactivity is not the end of the world. When your screens are dark and your calendar empty you are not doomed. You may see what you have been missing while running past it. You may notice what has been there while you were glued to a screen.
It is fun to go out with friends. It is fun to go the newest fad in town. It is fun to jump out of a plane (so they say). It is fun to...
But is also fun to spend time with you. To be with you. To think. To ponder. To listen. To see.
It is not fun to run all the time. To feel frantic. To watch the shadows for a monster called boredom.
A job well-done is also fun. Learning a new skill is great fun. Practising a skill until you excel at it is awesome. Planning can be fulfilling. Dreaming before doing is pure pleasure.
When you feel bored the monster did not catch you. An opportunity has arrived!
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