Boredom wastes time

Greg Gutfeld says there’s no excuse for boredom in this era of instant gratification.  I tend to agree (however, constant boredom can be a sign of depression).

I have worked boring jobs (being a teller at a bank was one of them), but I believe the writer (and the reader) in me keeps boredom at bay.  I am always brainstorming, which makes it hard for my mind to shut down when it is time to go to sleep.

Another WordPress blogger, Matt Walsh, said something that struck me.  He said there is always work to be done.  Perhaps boredom is a sign that we have too much free time–time we allow ourselves to be caught up in our own boredom.  I’m sure boredom was the least of our ancestors’ problems (though I will take it over the hardships they had to deal with).

I’ve heard that many retirees don’t live long after retirement–they work all their lives so they won’t have to, only to find that they’re lonely and/or bored when they finally don’t.  One reason (I think) the Japanese have such a long lifespan is that their lives never cease to have purpose.  They stay busy.

Years ago, I read a story that stuck with me.  I don’t remember any of the names of the characters, or even the title.  It was about a ruler in Japan who became an evil dictator, who ordered all the old people to be put to death.  One of the young men or women secretly put their mother/father/grandmother/grandfather up far away on a mountaintop.  Meanwhile, a terrible plague came to the village below.  The dictator offered a reward to anyone who could figure out a way to drive the plague out.  This person who saved their family member in secret went up to where their old relative was; whatever solution this old relative came up with freed the village from the plague.  When the ruler found out, from then on, all the elderly were revered for their wisdom, rather than reviled for their age.

I think if our life has a purpose, we cease to be bored.  Sometimes we don’t know what our purpose is, but we can find it, or at least make our life more purposeful.

Though my daughter is still a baby and depends on my husband and me for constant care, her life has purpose as it is right now.  She has taught me to be more patient, less selfish.  Reading to her has helped me read better aloud, or at least be more comfortable reading to the local writer’s group I am a member of.  Singing to her helps me relax (not easy for this type-A personality).  It’s nice to have someone to sing to (even though I’m no Patti Page).  To borrow a line from one of the former bachelors, I’ve learned to find the extraordinary in the ordinary.  She has inspired me in so many ways she doesn’t even know.

Billy Graham says one of the greatest problems facing young people today is boredom.  I didn’t stay in college because I found many of the classes boring, and I let that keep me from getting my degree.  Sometimes, a little boredom comes with the territory.  I love to cook, but I hate the cleanup afterwards.  However, the tedium of doing the dishes is worth it.  We can’t expect our lives to be fun and exciting all the time.  That expectation that every job is supposed to be like that is why (I think) so many young people are clockwatchers and have so little enthusiasm for their jobs.

Dave Ramsey encourages us to pursue our passions.  I work with a lady who was an insurance processor for twenty-five years, to which I said, “You must have loved your job”, to which she replied, “No, I hated it.”  This is not the first time I’ve encountered someone who worked for years at a job they had no passion for, or even hated.  You do what you have to do, but always keep working towards what you want to do.

I let myself get sucked into retail for several years, but I told myself as long as it paid the bills so I could write in my off-time, it was okay.  Since marrying and starting a family, I want more now, because it isn’t just about me anymore.  It isn’t always greedy to want more, not when you’re willing to work for it.

Don’t be bored.  There is always something new to learn, a book to read, a story to tell–there is always work to be done.

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2 thoughts on “Boredom wastes time

  1. Great post and great quotes – thanks for sharing them!

    I go through ebbs and phases where I feel stuck in a rut, not exactly bored but just unable to feel good about my present situation. Then I shake myself out of it and find a way to challenge myself in a new way. I create a purpose or a goal for myself, even if it’s just a short-term one.

    Children definitely give us new purpose and bring more meaning to our lives. People who don’t have kids have that too but it certainly adds a whole new dimension to have a little being count on you, depend on you like you mentioned.

    Good luck to both of us in find our purpose and never stopping long enough to be bored! 🙂

    • Kids can keep you from getting things done, so when you finally do have free time, there’s too much to do to be bored! I always have a project in the works (whether it be writing, etc.), so I’m never bored.

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