The benefits of boredom

Things are winding down now after a super busy start to my working year. Despite the many benefits a slower paced life brings, there is one aspect of it that I am slightly (read: very) averse to – boredom.

I really, really, really dislike feeling bored. In fact, I go to great lengths never to have to get bored – I always carry an ipod, a mobile phone (with internet and all the goodies social media has to offer), a novel/magazine, a Sudoku/puzzle book and I also used to carry a Nintendo DS Lite (I’ve never really grasped the concept of “travelling light”).

I’ve never questioned my opposition to boredom before. I mean, all I’ve ever heard about it has been negative – “boredom is the root of all evil”, “bored people are boring themselves”, etc. We live in a world that idolises people who are always busy, always striving and always doing something.

boredom 2
Practicing guilt-free boredom on at home 🙂

On the plane ride home from a business trip last week , in an attempt to ward of boredom, I started flicking through the airline’s magazine and found an interesting article on, what else, boredom (read it here).

Distinguishing between the chronic form of boredom that is often linked to depression and the “transient” form of boredom which one might experience while waiting in a cue, the article shed a refreshingly positive light on the latter form of boredom. I love articles like this so I really enjoyed reading about the many “boredom researchers” who are currently studying it (what an interesting job!). The article gave numerous examples of how bored children often made imaginative games for themselves to play and bored artists experienced great creative bursts when they started working again. Boredom it seems, could be one of the keys to increased creativity.

Bored at home

Something about the article actually made me feel happy and strangely relieved. It’s almost like I now feel justified in feeling bored – hey, I’m not being lazy, I’m just brewing some creative juices. I googled boredom when I got home and it seems many artists, writers and poets saw value in boredom and used it to their advantage. If they were able to revel in their boredom why shouldn’t I?

I have to admit, boredom got kind of...boring after a while...
I have to admit, boredom got kind of…boring after a while…

It’s Friday everyone! Why not trade surfing the internet and watching TV this weekend for twiddling our thumbs and watching the clouds pass by. Let’s get bored and see what creative insights we might gain because of it!

They who dance

I’ve been travelling a lot lately for work and have missed a few ballet classes more than I would have liked. But I’m happy to say that the busy period is ending now and things should be returning back to normal soon.

I’ve always known dance was a significant part of my life but not having danced for a while now I’m more aware than ever of it importance. I miss standing at my place at the barre and seeing the many familiar faces. I miss the music, the movement, the lessons and, oddly, I even miss the sweat and tense muscles dance brings.

If you’re a dancer, you’ll know how I feel. And if you can relate to me, I’m sure you’ll like the poem below.

May we all find the “infinite golden floors beneath our feet” that the poem mentions!

Dancer in the studio, dancing in front of a large mirror

They Who Dance by Marjorie Allen Seiffert

The feet of dancers
Shine with mirth,
Their hearts are vibrant as bells:

The air flows by them
Divided like water
Cut by a gleaming ship.

Triumphantly their bodies sing,
Their eyes are blind
With music.

They move through threatening ghosts

Feeling them cool as mist
On their brows.

They who dance
Find infinite golden floors
Beneath their feet.

they who dance_2