8/10/2010

Are you Bored?


When I was in college, I recall walking in for a final in Composition class and being handed the classic ‘blue book.’ Four or five topics were on the board to select from and we were to pick one topic from the list to write about. For some strange reason, I picked the topic boredom.

Maybe I selected it because it was a foreign concept to my life, at the time. I was a single mother of two school aged children, home owner, and working 30 hours a week. When I was not working at a book publishing company as an assistant editor, I was either attending college or studying for classes as I carried 18 credit hours to ensure a quick graduation. I had active children also that played soccer year round. I had a calendar that had more arrows on it to fit all activities on it that is looked more like an illegible city map!

To this day, I wish I had a copy of that term paper to read! I thought of it the other day, as I lay in the pool on a float just relaxing. I remember thinking to myself, ‘If someone would just pay me to do this, I would be eternally grateful and happy as can be!” I wondered then why I am never really bored.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word bore as “to weary with tedious dullness.” Maybe therein lays the issue because I find life exhilarating. Signs of life are miracles, God’s little whispers to us that all is as it should be. So I am not sure I have ever found myself in too many situations that are innately blah, e.g. boring.

Given my age, I thought back to younger days in my life. In particular, long summer breaks from school spent for days on end at the local pool recreational center. Many a day I was there from dawn to dusk, swimming, playing ‘keep a way’ and flirting with the boys. And yet, as fun as it was, by the end of July, I did not want to admit it but I was ready for school to start. Seeing day after day the limited number of kids that came to that particular pool was getting monotonous. Soaking in the sun was getting, boring! That word was applicable at that point in my life. I think I am representative of most at that age, our youthful years, we are always wanting to run away from boredom. We thrive on excitement and drama!

When I look at the time period of my twenties and thirties, there was no time to schedule boredom. Too little time and too much to do with it! My career, my marriage, parenthood and just facing the adult world was time consuming . When I was not on the go, I was sleeping out of exhaustion. And the sleeping came in short supply.

About the age of mid forties, I begun to get a life that was not spiraling with a constant influx of new stimuli to adjust to and I was slowly down. I begun to see that stillness can be healing, and soothing to the soul. I realized that now I run more to that state I use to call boredom instead of away from it! I cherish serenity in a way in my youth, I simply could not. I rejoice in that which is stable, an d steer clear of chaos and drama. Funny how time changes one’s perspectives. I would much rather be bored yet happy than not bored and over stimulated.

As I look to the future, approaching old age, I wonder how my views will change towards having empty hours on my hands. It is hard to predict. Time changes all of us. It is hard to walk by the elderly, as a child, and even contemplate ourselves being, one day, that image. But we will, most certainly, God willing.

In a world of changes and noise, dull moments should be embraced and rejoiced. These are the times we can reflect and grow. Boredom is a temporary state if you find the fine line, the balance, between living and just being.

*** Don Bergfors once said, “ I do not consider myself old. Old age is anyone that is ten years older than me, at any given age!”
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