Since I was a child, I’ve always had a fear of boredom. I’d take a typewriter–the big, black, weighs-a-ton type–on vacations. (My father, apparently, was very indulgent.) There was always something I wanted to write. Always another project I just had to start RIGHT NOW! Always another book to read.
Maybe it was because I was an only child and learned to entertain myself at a very young age that I always had to have something to do. That and the fact that if I uttered the words, “I’m bored,” my mother would make me do something I really, really didn’t want to do (clean my room, for example).
As an adult, the only times I can recall being bored was at work when I didn’t have anything to do and wasn’t allowed to pull out a book to read. Or at a social function where I wasn’t comfortable, didn’t know anyone and couldn’t politely pull out a book to read.
I can sit still for long periods of time enjoying the images inside my head. I love the worlds in there. I love the people! They always say and do exactly what I want them to. It’s refreshing.
I people watch. People are a commodity I never run out of. It’s hard to avoid people. They’re everywhere! And they’re interesting, especially when I don’t have to talk to them and can just observe.
I’m not much of a talker myself, more fallout from only childhood. I’m the listener. Small talk may be an art form, but it’s not one I do well. I avoid it whenever I can. It goes hand in hand with avoiding most social functions.
Now that I’m retired, I’m much less apt to be bored than I was when I worked. There’s always something to do, most of it fun. I usually get to do what I want when I want. I’ve gotten over the guilt of not keeping house well (now that’s boring!) and pay someone to do it for me.
With all that being said, I find it troubling that so many young people seem to always be bored. I see it on Facebook all the time. Pleas from some twenty-something to their friends to come take them out, come entertain them.
I don’t get it. There’s always something to do. And it doesn’t have to cost anything. If you’re bored, go to a library. There, for free, you can check out books to read, movies to watch, music to listen to. Take a walk, that’s free, too. Find a park bench and sit, watching people or squirrels.
Volunteer somewhere. There’s nothing like helping someone or something to take you out of yourself. If you’re a talker, talk to someone you’ve never talked to before. Find out their story. Tell them yours.
Write. Draw. Color. Clean. Plant something. Weed something. Cook something.
I think my mother was right: Only boring people are bored.
Don’t be boring!