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Friday, August 19, 2011

I don't believe in boredom

On Facebook, one of the people on my newsfeed just complained that she was unbelievably bored. I replied that boredom is a choice. She said not always.

And now I'm feeling ranty, not fun. Usually I'm a very happy person.

Is boredom always a choice? No. I have a friend who was in an immobilization rack sort of thing in the hospital for a couple months after a car accident. At that point, unless someone was there to turn the pages, he couldn't read a book, couldn't write, it was before computers that did almost everything and I know that some days he was very, very bored.

If you're in reasonably good health and it's a nice day outside you can..
fly a kite
walk until you find a garage sale
go to a park and pretend your a spy, write cover stories for the people you see. Refer to them by letters.
if you don't have a garden but have a yard overrun with weeds, see if you can find out which ones are edible
pretend your a tourist in your hometown- always so much fun to do those things "nobody" does.

If the weather is lousy and you have internet you can:
Go to Project Gutenberg and learn a new (old) skill.
Also on Project Gutenberg- re-read, or read for the first time, classics
Google Books has scads of old issues of Popular Science. I recommend the early 20th century issues
try a new crochet pattern or learn to crochet
finger knit or toe knit (my daughter sometimes uses her toes as a knitting loom that's 10 stitches wide) a scarf
make yourself a pair of knitting needles
learn to whittle
learn to do almost anything. Seriously.
Play with online graphic applications
Write a Kindle cookbook using old family recipes (Writing for Kindle in HTML)

You can try figuring out a way to fold a newspaper origami case for your phone, you can fold origami cranes from old magazines, practice simple quilled shapes using junk mail. Check out Ann Martin's All Things Paper for lots of great ideas.

It doesn't have to cost much to craft, to learn, to do. And there are so many things out there to learn and do. So yes. Boredom is a choice. If you choose to spend your time waiting for the universe to entertain you, it's saying to you "Hey, I'm the Universe. There are lots of entertaining things going on all the time with me."

When my kids were little, they complained about being bored once. They wound up scrubbing out my shower. If they really can't find something to do, I will. Then they will be annoyed. Not bored. Since then, if my daughter says she's bored, she quickly follows it with "But I choose to be and I'm enjoying it." Which is okay too. Sometimes you don't want to do anything, and it's okay to just do nothing. Just enjoy it, enjoy the moment.

Another boredom buster my friend Rebecca suggested once was working on something in one stitch, in one color. She suggested for beads, but it works for all sorts of things you stitch. After you do enough of that, you'll find ideas coming to you because in effect, it's a blank canvas and you start to realize all the things you can do with it.

That's life. This great big beautiful canvas that's just *waiting* for us to put down our reactions, our experiences, what we've learned, what we've done. Being bored is a time waster, and time is precious. Once it's spent, it's gone. Whatever we have done to that part of the canvas is done with no undos or erasers to re-draw, re-create that part, so we should be creating it as we go so that maybe we might have regrets and mistakes, but at least we have something in that spot, which is much better than nothing. In the end, it will all make up one life that will be yours.


  1. I so agree! When I was little if I complained of being bored my mom or dad gave me a chore too. I tried to teach my kids that there's always something to do, to learn, to Give! Good thoughts!!

  2. True words... Embrace the time you have on this earth. Since I left the corporate world, I find that there are NOT enough hours in a day!

  3. Six Directions Traders- I agree. More ideas than time to do them and more books than time to read them!

    Suesueb- *grins* it's a good thing to teach kids, and to let them learn how to entertain themselves without all the gadgets.

  4. Great post! My mum always used to tell us that "only boring people are bored" boys very rarely complain of boredom, but I have also turned to giving them a chore if they do!!

  5. So true! My father used to tell me that boredom was a sign of a weak mind, and that always inspires me to go do something instead of complaining about it.

  6. I completely agree...I don't know how anybody can be bored. I have so many things that I like to do that most of minutes are full of stuff to do! And I do the same thing to my kids when they say they are bored. They tend for find something to do rather quickly. :)


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