The Dull Companionship of Boredom

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I remember, as a child, long empty afternoons and the feeling of having nothing to do. That sense of boredom settling down around me. More often than not, it would be relieved by the frequent application of books.

Even as an adult, it returns, but it’s not brought on by having nothing to do. I think these days, it’s more about not feeling like doing what it is we have to do. There is so much routine to adulthood, so many “have-tos,” in the regular rhythm of life. The tasks themselves aren’t enough to engage attention, let alone hold it. We want to rush through to be done with it, but when we are, there is the monotony of another task.

It would be nice to always be present and engaged, but I know my brain, at least, doesn’t work that way. Nope. It always has ideas of greener pastures, just there, over the next item on the to-do list, when I’ll luxuriate in the time made by the doing.

And when I get there, what do I see? Hmm. More to-dos, hazy on the horizon, but there, nonetheless. Of course avoiding them leads to a boredom of its own, a procrastination-type of boredom that is garnished with a hint of panic when you realize what you haven’t yet done.

I’d like to say that the cure for boredom is doing, but it is possible for the boredom to ride shotgun as you take on the list, reminding you of the tedium as you wade straight through it. Like most things, though, it passes, and then you hardly can remember the feeling at all.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Boredom is Better than You Believe

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I admit that title was slightly tortured, but it will have to do. It’s a B we all deal with, at some time or another, and the work of artists and writers throughout the centuries can reflect it. More so, creative work may even be shaped by it. See? Being bored isn’t all bad. Hmm. That would have made a better title.


Boredom: A Lively History by Peter Toohey. Amazon for $11.99. In the first book to argue for the benefits of boredom, Peter Toohey dispels the myth that it’s simply a childish emotion or an existential malaise like Jean-Paul Sartre’s nausea. He shows how boredom is, in fact, one of our most common and constructive emotions and is an essential part of the human experience.

This informative and entertaining investigation of boredom—what it is and what it isn’t, its uses and its dangers—spans more than 3,000 years of history and takes readers through fascinating neurological and psychological theories of emotion, as well as recent scientific investigations, to illustrate its role in our lives. There are Australian aboriginals and bored Romans, Jeffrey Archer and caged cockatoos, Camus and the early Christians, Dürer and Degas. Toohey also explores the important role that boredom plays in popular and highbrow culture and how over the centuries it has proven to be a stimulus for art and literature.

Toohey shows that boredom is a universal emotion experienced by humans throughout history and he explains its place, and value, in today’s world. Boredom: A Lively History is vital reading for anyone interested in what goes on when supposedly nothing happens.

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Slay Boredom with 10 Big Project Ideas

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Bored kids? Bored you? Feeling creative? Or want to daydream about something you might do eventually but probably won’t? Check out these fun projects you can do together, by yourself, or just read about doing.

10 Big Project Ideas for You and Your Kids (Vol. 1) by Charlie Baskins. $0.99 from Smashwords.com
Are you looking for a cool project to work on with or for your kids? This project presents 10 great ideas for doing something more than the ordinary, and gives inspiration on how to turn the mundane into the extraordinary! (Volume 1 of a series)