Saturday, January 06, 2007


I was talking with a friend tonight who was complaining about being bored with their life. They were telling me how they were in a rut, and how they thought they needed a new hobby, but that they couldn't find anything that really interested them. I tried to be supportive but I was also thinking that, I just don't really understand boredom. Oh, I've been bored, but only when I was at the mercy of others. I'm bored when I'm required to attend a meeting where I know nothing will get done, but nevertheless am expected to contribute. I've been bored at social gatherings, especially if I'm forced to mingle and make small talk with people who can only discuss TV and celebrities. But I'm not sure that I've ever been bored when I'm on my own. There's just too much out there that I'm interested in. Books and writing are a big part of that. I usually read three or four books at a time because I can't wait to finish one before starting another. I've almost always got half a dozen story ideas spinning around in my head at any given moment.

But reading and writing are only part of my cure for boredom. If I had the time I know a dozen video games I'd have fun with. There are at least that many movies I'd enjoy seeing. There's a lot of interesting stuff on the internet, and I'd love to have more time for chess, more time to walk the woods, more time to learn how to cook some interesting dishes. I'd love to get a motorcycle again, or at least a 4-wheeler. I wish I had more time to target shoot. I'd like to learn to fence. I'd love to do more bird watching, learn how to play the drum better, listen to more music. I'd like to learn to read German because I know of some books published in that language that I'd like to read. I wouldn't mind taking some classes, maybe even work on an MFA. That's only a short list. If I have a moment, I've got plenty to fill it. Boredom can't find it's way through all that.

The picture is of part of my deck, by the way. I could spend a good long time just sitting out there and watching the woods, birds, squirrels, insects, etc. Not to mention the occassional Sasquatch.


RichardS said...

I agree Charles. Boredom? Life's too short for that. There's way too many things to do to ever get bored.

Plenty of time to be bored when i'm dead.

Sidney said...

I'm with you, also. Roland Mann and I had the discussion once upon a time that "as long as I'm in my environment" I'm not bored.

I managed to get through being sick this week even when I couldn't read or sit up at a computer because I could at least watch movies, but when I'm well I agree - too many books, too many websites, too many things to pursue.

I realize different people have different personality types that don't find stimulation in the same things, and I'm sorry for them.

Charles Gramlich said...

Agreed, Richards. And Sid, that's a good way to put it, when I'm "in my environment," which is pretty much set up to provide me with the things I'm interested in. Glad you're feeling better.

Stewart Sternberg (half of L.P. Styles) said...

I'm with you, the only thing I would ever describe as boring is time I spent with others...who may have been undesirable.

Hell, put me in a padded room with a rubber band and I'll find a way to have a good time. And should you find it in your heart to add a bottle of peroxide, and we're talking good time.

That'll get you thinking.

Danny Tagalog said...

I hear you - boredom is related to school classes you hated. But even then, that was because you didn't alter your lens.

cs harris said...

I've always said the same thing: other people or situations can bore me, but I never bore myself. Which I suppose sounds arrogant, but I could fill another ten lifetimes with the things I want to do/see/read/write/experience. So little time!

Lana Gramlich said...

I guess "bored" was the wrong word to use...I guess "there's no point" was more accurate. Unfortunately life's not too short for that.