Vanquishing boredom

When I was a teenager, there was a slip of newspaper taped to the fridge at my parent’s house. It was a quote: “Being bored is an insult to oneself.”

I took it to heart, probably because I didn’t want to be seen as unintelligent, and it uses the word ‘oneself’ which sounds fancy and snobby and it worked! In college I took photography classes, and realized that even in the most boring situations I could examine the the world and find something to frame up through my imaginary camera lens.

being bored is an insult to oneself

Yesterday, my kiddo stayed home with me all day, while I worked. At one point early in the afternoon she said she was bored. I’d just read a fantastic novel, one that made me feel adventurous, and curious, and like I can be a great parent and an interesting and interested adult. I remembered the main character saying something better suited to a smaller kiddo. I found the quote and shared with 80:

โ€œThat’s right,’ she told the girls. ‘You are bored. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret about life. You think it’s boring now? Well, it only gets more boring. The sooner you learn it’s on you to make life interesting, the better off you’ll be.โ€

~ Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette

I think this may become an even more important habit/pattern/skill, to be able to find contentment and interest in the world, without using a screen.

3 Responses to “Vanquishing boredom”

  1. Marti says:

    Hey, it was fun to see your name pop up in Feedly!

    Molly Backes (who went to Grinnell) wrote a good post about this several years ago: http://mollybackes.blogspot.com/2011/07/how-to-be-writer.html

  2. Keem says:

    I just said something similar to this to N this week (the first week of summer break). Breaking boredom is on you, the boredee…and using that muscle will make is stronger.

    PS I was pretty damn delighted to see Outside Cat return. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. E says:

    My book club just read this book that might be great for a bored 80 (or full of bad ideas – YMMV):
    https://www.amazon.com/Gutsy-Girl-Escapades-Your-Adventure/dp/1632861232/

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