If You’re Bored, Then You’re Boring. Or Maybe Just Lucky.

Maybe I have a higher threshold for boredom than the average person. Or maybe it’s not a threshold as much as it’s a natural inclination to fill my time with something. I just do things. I don’t have time to be bored.

If anything, I’d like to have more time to fill. I’ve been asked in a number of circumstances what superpower I’d want, and my answer is always the same – the ability to stop the progression of time while navigating freely through it.

I might actually get something done. All the rooms of my house clean on the same day! Writing! Edits! An empty laundry bin!

So when people complain of boredom, it really doesn’t compute.

It makes more sense coming from my mother than it does from most people. She’s stuck in a nursing home after spending 60 years being much like me – always doing.

But her unwillingness to try new things to alleviate her boredom drives me insane. Audio books? She doesn’t think she’d like them. I bought her a computer; she played solitaire and Yahtzee on it a few times and dismissed it. She doesn’t like computers.

Crafts, music, TV, journaling and scrapbooking all met the same end.

Dismissed off-hand without even giving them a chance.

Yet she always complains of boredom. I can’t help but get frustrated.

She’s only happy when I can go out there, get her out of the nursing home. Which, when working 60 hours a week and taking care of the little, equals roughly once a week.

And the little is worse. “Boooorrrring!” And he says it like that. Not, “Mom, I’m bored.” or “That’s boring.”

Nope. It’s boooooorrring.

And hearing that, for some reason, pushes every button I have. I don’t often lose patience with him, but that does it instantly, every time.

“Knock it off. That’s rude.”

“But it is booooorrrring.”

“Then tell me it’s boring. Tell me you’re bored. Tell me you think something is boring. But not boooorrrring. That just sounds rude, it’s disrespectful and it makes you sound like you’re not very smart.”

“Play Play-doh.”

“Booorrring!” Grrr.

“Color me a picture.”



“It is boring!”

“I don’t care if it is boring, just stop saying it like that.”

I’ll pause here and acknowledge the fruitlessness of debating speech mannerisms with a four-year old. I recognized that mid-rant, when the phrase “articulating like a brain-damaged valley girl” flew out of my mouth.

Here are the problems with that:

Articulating – he’s 4.

Brain-damaged – see above

Valley girl – not so much that he’s 4, but that he’s 4 in 2012, not 1985.

Lets just finalize my failure here with the fact that concept of similes may be a tad over his head as well. Again – 4.

Just today, as I was writing this,  I realized my problem with boredom. I’d like to be bored. I’d like to have the time to be bored. I resent the fact that others have time to indulge in this state. I’d ponder this a bit more right now, but I have to go call my mother and play that damnable Humpty Dumpty game.



4 thoughts on “If You’re Bored, Then You’re Boring. Or Maybe Just Lucky.

  1. Thanks for saying so well what I think so often. As an older woman living in an apartment complex for older adults, I catch snippets of complaints about this or that, and sometimes, boredom actually is admitted. As you point out, boring seems to plague humans in their youth and in their old age, when life seems so immense and so fragile.
    Great post!


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  3. No boredom in my family!
    When my kids were growing up, admitting to boredom meant I would suggest something and if they didn’t like it – oh well, not my problem. In addition, if they moped around too long they knew they’d get a chore thrown at them.
    As for myself, I’m now retired, with no time to be bored. Non-retired friends – who don’t know any better – ask if I’m keeping busy. Ignoring that whole” Protestant work ethic we must always keep busy” thing, I list some of the things I’m into: trombone, writing, photography, grandchildren, enjoying downtown living, social activism. My problem is trying to keep focused, to manage my time better.


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