September 12

Musings: Staving Off Boredom…

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Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.” Thomas S. Szasz

Musings: Staving Off Boredom... Find something new to do...

Did you know that there are three types of boredom? They are: being prevented from engaging in some wanted activity, being forced to engage in some unwanted activity, and being unable to engage in any activity. They fit in well with the world of work and school; locations with the highest incidences of boredom… that is why the souvenir seller is disengaged. She dislikes her work and should probably resign… Why do people stay in jobs that bore them? Today, I was thinking about what to blog about and MamaKat offered me this prompt. I jumped on it because I was curious about the subject matter and how others would relate to the topic.

Sure, there was a time in my life, in my younger years, when like everyone else, I complained about being bored.  Anyone with teens would relate. However, interestingly, I don’t get bored anymore; just too many things in life to do. I’m not sure when or how it all changed, but over time, I have found that boredom is not part of my vocabulary… Perhaps it is because I know my interests well and gravitate towards things that hold my attention. What about you?

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” Ellen Parr

Musings: Staving Off Boredom... why he married her?

What I suspect is that as we mature, we find enough things in our lives to keep us busy… and if not, then we have not explored enough new interests or spent enough time helping others find fulfillment. When my twins were little, we heard that word at home and I remember saying to them, “If you are bored, you are not looking for creative ways to play…”  Thinking about the subject today, I realized that not only do they no longer use that word, but that I haven’t used it myself in ages. I think if we maintain a level of curiosity about our world, if we offered our skills to benefit others, we would not be bored. Curiosity is definitely a trait worth adopting; a counterpoint to boredom…

“The word aerobics comes from two Greek words: aero, meaning “ability to,” and bics, meaning “withstand tremendous boredom.” Dave Barry

Musings: Staving Off Boredom...Vasnetsov_Nesmeyana - the bored princess...

Does boredom dissipate with age? Now that is interesting because I know that on any given day, I have enough things to do that I couldn’t possibly reach for the “Bored” word… There are so many ways to stay entertained and they don’t have to cost money. I suspect that using the word ‘bored’ can be habit forming, so that a person might not necessarily be bored but use the word as a way to seek attention. There are so many things we could do to stave off boredom that there’s no reason to even feign boredom… unless we are in the company of boring people… but that is another story. We can read, write, sing, dance, cook, walk, sleep and chat with friends… So why claim boredom?  What would you do?

“Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don’t let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity.” R. I. Fitzhenry

Musings: Staving Off Boredom... ride the waves on a canoe...

Currently, I have a huge pile of books to read, and I keep several on my bedside table… Even taking a walk, listening to music or entertaining friends and family can keep boredom at bay. I hope you’ll share your insights with me and offer some tips on what you do… I’d love to hear about it.  What are your thoughts? Do you get bored? What bores you? Would you take a job that bores you? Have you found a counterpoint for your boredom? Do share! Thank you. 🙂

This post was inspired by a prompt from MamaKat’s Writer’s Workshop: How do you stave off boredom?

Positive Motivation Tip: Bored is a state of mind… give your talent and your time to others and boredom will seek a new home.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos  Souvenir Seller, Rea Illustration, The Bored Princess, Braces Rock, via Wikipedia…

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet


boredom, Happiness, inspiration, life, music, postaday2011, postaweek2011, reflections

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  • BOREDOM???? Excuse my mirth, Elizabeth, but I haven’t had time to know what boredom is since January 9, 2010. This article just reminded me of that.

    Shortly I am taking a 13 year-old out to acquire “bits” to make a toy involving “simple machines” (science project) which, would you believe, he has to hand in TOMORROW!!!

    Boredom? I’d love some – just a few minutes of it……. *wink*

    • I was very interested that there were three types though, and to be honest, yes, based on the crietria, I have been bored at work over the years when doing something repetitive (unwanted activity, I think).

      • Yes, I was curious about the three types and they fit in well with the world of work and school… Locations with the highest incidences of boredom…

    • LOL! and I was thinking of you Robyn and saying “Duh? Boredom… not in Robyn’s house…” and here you are first to comment. 😆

  • As soon as I saw the word, I heard the voice of my nephew, Auntie Marcia, I’m bored. And I’d tell him, he was too young to be bored. I remember taking him to the Intrepid, thinking he’d be thoroughly entertained. Only one thing interested him. Yes, creativity is definitely the counterpoint to boredom.
    I’ve been bored at work lately but that’s because it’s become routine. I’ll be sitting at my desk and all I can think about are the more interesting things I have to do, like writing a post for my blog!

    • TY Marcia, LOL! and I heard it for years too.. You know, when I wrote the post, I wasn’t thinking about the places that we know offer buckets of boredom; school, work, and such… So my question should be: Why do people stay in jobs that bore them and what to do about it? 🙂 TY for pointing that one out. 🙂

  • I still get bored occasionally, but only because what needs to be done doesn’t interest me…LOL…such as cleaning house!
    Otherwise, I don’t stay bored very long.

  • Bored does not exist in my vocabulary. Yes, when I was younger I was Bored Beyond Belief at times. As an Adult, I always do something creative to get out of being bored. How people can sit and watch tv 8+ hours a day is B O R I N G. I have too much in life to waste it doing that. I would rather read, learn and teach others things. I have no idea Eliz how you do it now and raising “twins.” I honor you always. Jackie ~

  • I was never bored as a kid, never used the word. We had very little. But I did have three siblings and as long as we had a tennis ball we had a game of handball.

    Now, my kids have too much. When I hear them say they are bored I know they have had too much screen time and they need to sit with that boredom for a while in order to get creative again.

    • I hear you… we played in creative ways because TV and many of the gadgets we enjoy today were not part of our lives; we watched a very limited amount of TV. Boredom is a state of mind and we can snap out of it. TY Narelle. 🙂

  • I’m amused by the painting “Vasnetsov_Nesmeyana – the bored princess”…
    – I could be the lute player in the foreground playing for nothing …

    • Yes, she is the ultimate bored princess… You could be playing the lute… although I think she had anyone who bored her locked up. lol! 🙂

  • Sometimes you can’t help but be in situations that bore. Like meetings or listening to inane conversation at a group setting you must attend. My solution is to half-listen and appear fully engaged while doing something else productive like concepting for a client, making a grocery list, planning my next blog post…c’mon, you know we ALL do that!

    • Yep, I was at one of those meetings yesterday and was royally bored. WoW! Talk of instant karma, I write about boredom and then I experience it in a meeting… I tried to nap with my eyes open and it didn’t work. 😆

  • Love the quote. It’s that fine line, but makes all the difference.

    My husband often tells me he married me because I entertain him. I take that as a compliment!

    • Good thing Jacqui because we wouldn’t want you to be like Adele in the cartoon above… she bored her hubby to sleep. 🙂

  • Boredom! The last time I went through a bout of real boredom was when I was selling insurance! Soooo out of my zone, so off my path, so “desparate” for work thinking that I had to do anything that was offered to me in order to bring in money. Soooo wrong. I “saw the light” after a year and quit the insurance business. Then I was bored as I tried to find other work. THEN I began to seriously review and methodically outline my strengths, interests, passions, desires, etc. in order to chart a more authentic path where I would not be dependent on everyone else’s whims to support me. I have never looked back, not known boredom since, or had any regrets. The icing on the cake is that I’m married to a man who supports my vision. So, to alleviate boredom, do those things that you love (read, write, photography, art, etc.) and pursue those paths that enlighten (spiritual quest, life avocation, service to others).
    Nuff said. This is my story about boredom, in a nutshell.

    • Great story and good thing you moved on… Doing what we truly enjoy is the antidote for boredom…although some don’t follow their own advice… 🙂

    • Sorry to hear that Peter… I have that happen sometimes but it is not a constant in my life… Perhaps I just avoid such situations… 🙂

  • Bored? Are you kidding me? There are so many things I would want to do that I feel like I never have enough free time to do all of it! I used to be bored all the time though, back when I still lived with my parents. I guess it’s got to do with having my own home now, no one there bothering me. I can do whatever I want whenever I want to 🙂

  • “Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.” Thomas S. Szasz

    There are times when life seems pointless, a complete and utter waste of time ~ we are like Ants in an Ant Farm busily engaging in distracting activities to keep from focusing on the overall futility of an existence based on building tunnels to nowhere.

    We’re just killing time on the conveyor belt between birth and death.

    On an individual basis, I have no problem seeing the meaning for life since I agree with the Dalai Lama: We are here to be happy and to make others happy.

    But having something to do WHILE we are here is NOT the same thing as having a REASON for being here in the first place.
    It’s that larger question, the “why?” of it all ~ the raison d’etre for mankind ~ that eludes me.
    At those times, everything does seem pointless and NOT worth doing. So I’m bored.

    • I hear you Nancy, we are killing time on earth and our goal is to be happy and make others happy… I don’t have an answer for the why? though I will contemplate it… 🙂

  • My busy schedule does not often leave any space for boredom, but I can say when I’m in moments of boredom I’ve found there is plenty to do; but good old procrastination settles in. 🙂

  • I’m not bored of late so I must be living my life well. It must come with age as I don’t feel the need to do stuff that doesn’t interest me.
    Yeah, age helps. Neat post. 🙂

  • Eliz–I didn’t know there were different types of boredom. I can actually say, like you, I am never bored. I, too, have a stack of books awaiting me–after I finish my current one; plenty of friends; Dapper G who keeps me busy, and on and on. Does boredom dissipate with age? Great question–I’d have to say yes–cherish every minute you have left! Great topic.

    • Yes I was pleased to read about them and even considered a post on it…I like my book stand and should read more too… TY and I loved it 🙂

  • I’m with you. No time for boredom. I think as I’ve aged that boredom is exchanged for the excitement in general curiosity of life! What others might equate with boredom – for me? It’s relaxation… 🙂

  • Bored, Boring, a bore. Ah yes I would agree I do not get bored. I have such an active mind. I am sure my mind would never allow such things, I have been amusing myself since birth pretty well living a faily solitary life until the age of 12. I had to learn to amuse myself. These days I don’t think there is enough hours in one day! Thank you for your wonderful writings on the subject of boredom!

    • TY too for your feedback and I will catch up on your posts too… Yes, I’m less bored these days and I’m glad for it too.. 🙂

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