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Zero Tolerance for Boredom
What's Your Excuse for being Bored?
To the best of my recollection, the very first time I heard the expression, "I'm bored," uttered by an adult, I still recall wondering what was really meant by that claim. Seriously my friends, I was sure I had misunderstood. No doubt, I was fully aware of the definition of the term bored but I truly had no current personal experience with it. I'd simply not experienced boredom, within the previous four or five decades. That, I think was when I was an antsy 6 year-old being forced to sit still for an hour in church.
Unpleasant as my childhood experiences with boredom were, I outgrew the struggle and finally faced the reality that being bored shouldn't even be an option.
Let's Take a Closer Look. The truth behind the words
Although children can be excused for whining the words, "I'm bored," which can account for a good deal of parental frustration, it should be clear that it's said in place of what's really going on. An attentive parent has figured out this routine.
What our precious darlings are really saying might be a choice of, or combination of the following:
1. "I need more attention from you, Mom and Dad."
2. "These toys are two weeks old. It's time for a ride to Toys R Us."
3. "I'm hungry and tired. It's lunch time and I need a nap."
4. "Can we go to the park or the zoo or a circus or something?!"
This is fine and we deal with it, because....well, they're just kids and it's perfectly normal behavior. As they mature and their talents improve, they learn to use their own ideas to keep busy and be happy. Before we know it, they're students, athletes and artists, with schedules & activities only a juggler can handle. Boredom takes a hike.
Bored? I'm afraid I don't understand
Getting back to that adult who actually spoke the words, "I'm bored," let me share what went through my mind. I tried to respond with empathy. I think I may have smiled and more than likely, attempted to use my best, "I understand," facial expression. Truth was, I didn't understand.
I speculated as to whether there may have been an underlying reason, perhaps merely a lack of motivation or energy. I wondered, "Is she serious? She's BORED? She really has NOTHING to do? This is amazing actually because it doesn't strike me as healthy for a young, adult woman to be lost for ideas in activities.
I resisted the urge to ask if she'd like me to jot down a list of possible activities both productive and just-for-fun. It did occur to me that she'd reverted to childhood and her real issue was something else entirely. I was speculating. And although this is always a possibility, somehow I could sense this wasn't the case. This adult woman whom I'd always known to be intelligent and sensible, found herself in the state of boredom. I tried to help a little but I got the impression we may not have shared the same interests.
At some point, I realized I was losing valuable time of my own. This is not wise of me, as I continually find myself wishing for more hours in a day, I was truly curious how some one could be sitting still, struggling with boredom.
While You're Sitting There Doing Nothing...
So your body is locked into the idle position and you're sitting on your duff, bored to death. Tell me please, that at least the mind is still in gear and willing to conjure up the pitfalls of doing ...nothing.
All sorts of unpleasant, unacceptable temptations take over when we have no direction ..no goals in mind. This is true no matter what our age, sex or status. Do we not see the ugly ramifications of teens who drop out of school or of men and women without motivation, employment, or hobbies? The result is boredom and from that tree, grow many branches. It's no secret that so many turn to alcohol and drugs, blindly groping to fill the void. Where addiction exists, crime and devastation follow closely behind. The road to nowhere? Not exactly. This road does lead to one of two realities; prison or death.
I will agree this may be an extreme result of inactivity of course, but not the least likely. The slow but steady deterioration of both physical and mental health is a fairly sure result of embracing the demon called boredom. Our bodies and minds are meant to move, grow, improve, participate in all of life's competitions, and stay afloat with the ebb and flow of the Universe. We are not built to be useless, immobile or sedentary and clueless.
People with time on their hands, who lack the creativity to come up with productive activities, have a tendency to cause trouble. We won't hear very much so-called, small town gossip from individuals who are busy taking care of business, specifically their own business. Fewer temptations to pick up unhealthy habits arise when we're occupied doing something positive and enjoyable.
So,whose responsibility is it to provide us with ideas of things to do to avoid boredom? Silly question. Of course we'd have to agree that each person is the best source to suggest what they choose to do at any given time. However, we might like to get some friends involved and collaborate on a group activity. All the better and that's a great way to improve one's social life if it needs a boost.
We 're taught to overcome and defeat boredom. Don't accept it. Refuse to entertain it. Fight it every moment. Should it begin to stalk you, run, do not walk toward the endless gifts of imagination and creativity.
Begin a journal. Right now, today. Transcribe your thoughts and dreams and ideas. Read them again and again. You'll find joy in getting to know more about yourself and realizing the talents you never knew you had. When pen-in-hand begins to glide effortlessly in sync with your muse, perhaps you've stumbled upon a saving grace.
It's really amazing, the hidden talents you may have had all along that suddenly begin to take form because you've made the choice to give something a try. I'm fairly confident, boredom will rarely enter your life once you've made up your mind that you won't allow it.
Right this moment, create a list of things you've ever even thought of doing. Maybe old hobbies, or something brand new. Call a friend who does a lot of crafts and ask if she'll teach you to make something awesome, you might give as a gift. If completely at a loss for ideas or you just want to take time to think....it's the perfect time for a walk, or to sit in the park. "People watching," believe it or not, can be quite inspiring.
Make a vow to see the word "bored," as a warning....alerting you that you and your time are much too valuable to fall into a rut. There's so much to do and things to create. You can stretch your imagination much further than you might think. It's just the first step that seems the hardest, after which, it's an unending adventure! Get busy, stay active and Good Luck, my friend.