I’m Bored. I hear people say this all the time. Before I begin, I want to admit I have never been bored a day in my life. Even when I was sleeping 20 – 24 hours per day, I was not bored. So, I can’t say I understand this phenomenon. I do have some thoughts about it, though.
I remember a fellow teacher asking me why I took the summers off from teaching college. She wondered what I did all day. After all, “There is only so much shopping you can do.” Those were her words. I couldn’t stop laughing for quite a while. I’m sorry I laughed so hard but her words struck me. First, I hate to shop! Which is why her words struck me as so funny. I couldn’t even imagine myself shopping and I knew, no matter what I said to her, she was not going to understand what I did all summer nor why I took the summer off. I gave her a small list of things I did during the summer and invited her to follow me around so she could see for herself; just spend a day with me. I think, after I told her a few of the items I did during my days, she didn’t want any part of my summers.
What does this have to do with being bored? I think technology entertains us to the point where people don’t know what to do with themselves if they don’t have some outside source entertaining them. And, even if they have an outside source, it has to be constantly changing to engage their attention. People don’t seem to know how to be with themselves.
I love a day where I don’t have to “do” anything. It means I get to “do” whatever I want. I love watching nature. It’s a never ending channel and can provide hours of entertainment, especially if there are animals involved. I like looking at flowers and watching the butterflies, moths, and other insects interact with the flowers. I love going for a walk in the woods, especially in the spring when there are little frogs out. I love seeing the different stages of the frogs from eggs, to tadpoles, to when they start getting legs, and finally are able to be frogs. I like learning about the different trees and seeing how a genus has so many different kind of trees but they all have something in common to help you recognize them; like leaf shape or bark type. Even a day spent in the hammock is a glorious day! I can sleep, watch the clouds roll by, watch the leaves dance above me, read, whatever I want to do.
I’m lucky I grew up with animals, responsibilities, lots of time without a TV, and no newspaper. I think I learned there is a whole world outside myself. That world affects everything in my life. I’m able to feel the air, listen to the breeze, smell the air, watch the clouds, and see how the trees and animals act and know things about the weather. I’m a lot more accurate than the weather channel but I also don’t try to predict it a week in advance. I’ve learned to work with nature and how things want to work naturally. I’ve learned there is beauty in mistakes.
Not everyone who grew up the way I did feels the same way I do. Nor do they necessarily have the ability to entertain themselves. So, I’m not saying everyone has to live on a farm or grow up in nature. I am saying a mind which can remain curious at all times is unlikely to get bored. So, next time you or someone around you is bored, consider tapping into the curiosity which is a normal part of being human. See what is around you, what do you have to learn?