“I want to feel something, as a person. I don’t want to be bored.” ~ Pina Bausch
I write this in the middle of our sales rally, when my presentation is already finished and the year is almost wrapped up. It’s been a rollercoaster ride this year, and I’m glad to have the time to reflect on everything that has happened, both in the homefront and in the office.
Actually, I just seem to have free time to clear my mind in between listening to speakers.
Actually, I’m just bored.
They say mothers rarely suffer from bouts of boredom, in between juggling roles and responsibilities in the workplace, in the family and in the other roles she plays in the community. But when this happens, though rarely, it’s a gem of a blessing. It’s a moment granted to be more introspective, to clear your thoughts and let go of any worries.
The rise of social media has given millennials the chance to create their own worlds when bored. When there’s nothing to do, they can just turn on their smartphones and let their fingers explore news feeds, tweets, and snaps. For mothers, (and I myself am guilty of this), I get updated on parenting articles or catch up with my friends through Viber, or just read on the latest gossip online. When there’s no internet access, Candy Crush is also a ready option. Not too productive, but it does help to pass the time.
We have arrived in an era where being bored is not an option. You must always look busy, or do something “worthwhile”. It’s a sin to be “bored”, when there’s so much to do, so little time! Gone are the days when boredom is actually welcomed, because it is closely related to self-control abilities, and tendencies for addiction and binge-eating. Says James Danckert in a recent study: The more self-control you have, the less likely you are to be bored.The urgency to combat boredom is now higher than ever.
When our children tell us, “we’re bored”, we stress with the need to fill the time gap with technological devices or structured activities. But we fail to give them something much more important: unstructured time, or the opportunity to imagine new worlds and expand their creative juices. This skill is vital to their development, as it teaches them to become more resourceful and mature in problem solving later on in life. Self-control is also developed during children’s downtime, as they learn to be more patient and wait for their turn.
Sometimes, it helps to learn also from children’s boredom. We can use the time not to feel anxious in doing “nothing”, but rather be grateful for the time to relax, keep calm and clear our thoughts.
Sometimes, we can even get around to writing a blog.