Monday, September 19, 2011

Bored Is Not An Option...

I’m always surprised when I hear people say “my life is so boring.“ Not that I’ve never been bored. There are times when boredom is inevitable - like when you’re sick and feel too bad to do anything, but wish you felt like doing something. Or when you’re standing in line at the DMV, or working on a task that must be done but it just isn’t that interesting.

Everyone gets bored occasionally. But I’m talking about people who simply have no reason to be consistently bored. They complain incessantly about how boring their life is, as if being bored is a constant and never-ending state of existence..

And my question is - why? Have they already done everything there is to do? Is there nothing left to learn? No place else to go?

If you ask them why they don‘t just do something to banish the boredom, you get a myriad of excuses. “I can’t - because I don’t have enough money” - “because I don’t have enough time” or, and I’m especially puzzled by this one - “because I don’t have anyone to do anything with.” It’s all about “can‘t.”

Well, ok - you might not have the money to jet around the world first class. And even if you had the money, you might not have the time to be gone that long. And if you did have the money and the time, you might not have anyone to go with. But really? Can’t find anything interesting to do? Can’t afford to take a walk in the park? Can’t make time for a hobby? Can’t go to a movie alone?

If you live in the US, and you’re reasonably healthy, and you get even a small paycheck each week - there’s simply no excuse for leading a boring life.

Maybe you’re not living the life you always dreamed of. So you’re not a multi-millionaire jetsetter, the CEO of a huge corporation, or even married to the CEO. But can’t you just bring it down a bit and read a book, take a yoga class, do some gardening, or go to the zoo?

There are people who live in third world countries who aren’t bored. And do you know why? Because they’re too busy trying to figure out how not to starve to death - how not to drink polluted water and get sick - how not to contract deadly diseases and die, as the result of living in squalor.

Dorothy Parker once said, “The cure for boredom is curiosity - there is no cure for curiosity.” And I totally agree…

Life is way too fascinating, and too short, to be spending your time lamenting the futility of your existence. There’s plenty to do and see and be. You just have to get up off your butt and do it, see it, and be it…

Read a book, a magazine, or a kindle - You must want to know more about something! I finally got a kindle by the way, and I’m having to eat my words regarding my book vs. kindle thing, because the kindle is fabulous! I still want my books, but the kindle definitely has it’s place, especially when traveling. No I’m not waffling, I’m expanding…

Take a class - learn something just for the sake of learning - how to paint, write a book, throw pots, create a website, grow herbs, cook ethnic cuisines, etc. Take yoga, tai chi, zumba, belly dancing, or pole dancing. Collect something. Play softball, basketball, volleyball, golf, or scrabble. Go bowling. Learn to speak French, Japanese, Spanish or Italian. Research different types of wine, cheese, or coffee. Read The Book of Tea, and learn about the Japanese tea ceremony.

Get a bike - My boyfriend and I have recumbent bikes (if you don’t know what that is - research). We find scenic bike trails, take a picnic lunch, and groove to nature - as well as get a great workout. We’ve been to the Katy Trail in Missouri, the Little Miami Bike Trail in Ohio, and bike trails in or near Chattanooga, Nashville, Atlanta, Jekyll Island, St. Simons, Savannah and Charleston. Great fun!

Go to a museum - I like art museums, but there are all kinds. Natural history, science, aviation, space, country music, rock n’ roll, cars, wax - just about anything you could possibly be interested in. Or go see something you have absolutely no interest in, but be willing to open your mind and possibly develop a new interest.

Go to a concert - Music can bring people together like nothing else. I went to a concert once and sat next to complete strangers who were being transported in their heads to the same place I was, and suddenly we were all dancing under the stars together. It was beautiful…

Watch The Travel Channel, The History Channel, HGTV and The Food Network. See Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern travel the world, exploring different cultures and sampling indigenous cuisines. Learn about Hitler and WWII, Cleopatra, Napoleon and Josephine, or Louis XIV and the royal court at Versailles. Get tips on how to spruce up your home on a dime. Get recipes for something other than meatloaf and roasted chicken. Watch “How It’s Made” and see how they make hub caps, hammocks, and football helmets.

Get lost in an epic movie like Gone With The Wind, Lawrence Of Arabia, Dr. Zhivago, or The Godfather trilogy. Or watch Hitchcock films like Rear Window, Psycho, and Vertigo - or a funny old movie like The Philadelphia Story, My Man Godfrey, or The Thin Man series.

Volunteer - At a hospice, hospital, or nursing home. Help serve Thanksgiving dinner at a homeless shelter. Provide foster care for dogs at your local animal shelter. Do a 5K walk for breast cancer. Give the gift of you, and learn the real meaning of life.

Don’t want to do things alone? Then walk up to someone at a dinner party, gallery reception or book club meeting, extend your hand, and say, “Hi! I’m _______,” and go from there.

Life is an adventure! With all there is to do and see and be - BORED IS NOT AN OPTION!

Carpe diem! C

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