Thinking about Boredom

Who likes being bored? I sure don’t. One would think that in this day and age no one could ever possibly feel bored. There are millions and millions of videos we can stream. Countless blogs and twitter posts. There are chores to do and walks to take. Still I get bored.

According to Wikipedia, “boredom is an emotional or psychological state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, is not interested in his or her surroundings, or feels that a day or period is dull or tedious.”

I may have plenty to do, but I am not interested. I like the French word ennui, which takes it to a deeper level, “a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement.” It’s like the mind has no traction. It’s a floating sort of feeling.

Foolish as it may seem I have been putting myself in a situation where I am even more bored. On Sundays I try to stay away from screens–mobile phone, iPad, desktop, laptop, everything. This immediately creates a dilemma for me. Without these devices in my life, I suddenly have to make my own magic happen. I don’t have the Looking Glass to fall into. And no doubt this causes stress and distress.

I wish it weren’t so, but the reality is that these devices shape my life and my time. But once I turn them off something extraordinary happens–I get bored. And in that boredom I begin to seek out other pleasures–reading, chatting on the phone, reorganizing the kitchen cupboard, trying a new recipe. As I do, I become more present in those activities and enjoy them on a different level.

Not that it is always pleasant. Sometimes it is dreadfully boring. But out of that boredom I am finding new outlets and creative endeavors.

What about you? How do you face boredom? What is your relationship like with your devices?



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