Posts Tagged ‘bored’

I recently saw a news report about hearing damage being cause by excessive iPod use.  One of the people interviewed said something like, without the musical stimulation of their digital music box, life was flat and boring.

Quickly,  I rushed to judgment.

“There is more sensory input available from walking down a country lane on a calm day than in all the music created since the beginning of time combined,” I thought.  “Stupid teenagers,” I added for good measure before contemplating how great Brian Williams looks.  Sigh.

Then I watched an evening of television or looked around on the internet for items of interest — socially redeeming and otherwise – played a computer game, read a book or generally did anything I could to escape from the reality of my life.  Now I’m not the center of the world, but my life is pretty swell.

Still, I would rather spend an afternoon playing FreeCell or updating my Netflix Queue than actually being present where I am.  Try to sit quietly doing nothing for an hour, I dare you.  No eating or drinking, just sitting.  It’s crushing somehow.

What is that? It’s like a vacuum.  It’s as though I live on a grand stage on which I perform the most petty and menial of tasks.   Life is like playing Chopsticks at Carnegie Hall.

Now, I’ve no patience with people who whine about being bored.  Yet I’m not certain that filling my hours with The Sims isn’t just an active form of boredom.  The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we shall all be as happy as kings, Robert Louis Stevenson tells us.  I’ve always been given to understand he spent most of his childhood bedridden.  True or not, the idea that someone confined to bed might be able to see how full-up life is seems to beg the point.

We the bored have no one to blame but ourselves.

When I say I’m bored, what I usually mean is that I am too lazy to do anything to amuse myself or, god forbid, anyone else.  I choose instead to sit and lament that no one in life is bashing in my door with a heartfelt urge to entertain me.  With the exception of those trapped in some non-life-threatening prison, I can’t help but think that, for the rest of us, boredom is merely a lack of effort or imagination.

One of the worst fates I can conceive is to be paralyzed, unable to move or speak, but fully conscious.  Every man must choose for himself (or perhaps have the Senate decide for him on a holiday weekend), but please feel free to pull the plug on me in such circumstances.

Why is my own company so fearsome?

I will spend more time with me than with anyone else.  As a single person who works at home, I spend most of my time on my own.  I spend so much time by myself, it has become challenging for me to visit family or friends.  When I am staying at someone else’s home, there is always someone else there.  Yet, ask me to drive the car without music playing and I will give you the launch codes without resistance or argument.

We are quick to think our civilization evolved or even advanced.  The idea of third world or emerging cultures originates from our presumption of superiority.  But we are helpless in the face of the truth of our lives.  We have created a construct for existence and filled it up with enough fish plates, salad forks and iCrap to consume every moment of existence with our self-imposed ceremonies of triviality.   We bristle at the thought of being deprived of our portable phones, yet cower at the idea of speaking to the strangers of whom we thoughtlessly inflict our conversations and blinding text screens.

Every day I’m offered newer and faster ways to fill each precious passing hour of my dance, all to brief, across a stage made of stardust into oceans and skies and forests and clouds and everything between them.

I live in the most culturally diverse city on earth.  Over a hundred languages are spoken here.  There are millions of people in this city that sprawls over thousands of square miles of amazing real estate.  The roads are jammed with people on their way to the countless occupations that fill our days and nights.  We clog the freeways to get arrive and escape.  We literally manufacture fantasy here to distract the world from the death row wait that life can so easily seem.  Yet I am surrounded by people who can find nothing to do.

In the midst of it all, I check Facebook to see if anything has happened since I last logged on.  I judge my life by the number of pictures I’ve taken of myself doing things instead of enjoying my life doing the things pictured.

Am I living my life if there’s not a TV special about it yet?

Am I bored or am I just unwilling to make the effort?

The problem may not be that I have too few options, but too many.  Boredom, it seems, is a privilege afforded to those few in life who suffer the burden of choice.


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