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.
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.
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?
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!