Embracing Boredom

imageAs a child I was bored a lot of the time. I think the words most frequently out of my mouth were ‘I’m bored mum!’ I don’t think I really was bored though, more that I couldn’t be bothered to think of something to do myself. So much easier to get someone else to offer alternatives.

As an adult I would get bored in meetings, ones I had to be in, ones where escape was impossible, and here I would ask questions. These were usually challenging ones, ones I had no interest in the answer too but which helped liven things up and pass the time….for me anyway.

Working for myself there is seldom any time to be bored for there is always something to be done. I also study as lot as well as paint so again there is always something I can pick up whenever I have some time to myself.

Yesterday though, on a cold Sunday, sat in the lounge with the fire roaring, tea cooking in the oven, for a few seconds at least I realised I was bored. Not that there wasn’t anything to do as there was, there are Christmas cards to write, work to complete for a course I’m doing, files that need changing into a new format as we have just upgraded our computer and a Kindle full of books waiting to be read. But just for a few moments, as I checked in with myself the way I was feeling was bored. There was no other word to describe it.

This was a bit of a surprise as I can’t remember the last time I felt like this but it was good to touch base with what being bored really feels like. All the times I find myself thinking ‘I’m bored with this’ are not boredom at all but just me in need of a break, time away to reflect or think, or perhaps time to change tasks and do something different.

Touching boredom was good in other ways too as I hadn’t realised until now how much like going into the void boredom can in some ways be. It’s that dark space where there is nothing except potential. It is a space that can generate creativity and divergent thinking. A space where there is nothing and so room for anything and everything.

Nowadays life is so busy we don’t have time to be bored even for a few moments, children are constant being entertained whether it is by electronic gadgets or classes they are enrolled in, as adults we need to work, earn money, take care of families, improve ourselves, seek enlightenment or whatever the challenge for us is. In doing so we leave little room for boredom and all that may come of it.

From now on, instead of trying to fill the space when I find I am bored, really bored that is, I am going to embrace the moment and see what amazing things can come from doing so.

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4 thoughts on “Embracing Boredom

  1. Reminds me of a great Iggy Pop song. “I’m bored, I’m chairman of the bored.” Personally though, I never ever run out of stuff to do. I have to make an effort to creat some stillness when I have the chance, and it’s blissful to make that space. But if I didn’t make that effort, I would find myself rushing around doing meaningless crap in order to waste that space just for the sake of being busy. To me that seems like a form insanity.

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