“I am bored, Mom” used to be my most common phrase during school holidays. And I don’t remember much, but my mom sure dreaded this statement. Inadvertently, I passed this statement to a little girl staying in the neighborhood. I realized this when her mom (my friend) told me that her daughter has caught up on my boredom as I kept on repeating this in her presence.
This made me question, “Was I so bored of everything around me that I am exuberating boredom as well?” I did not take stock of my life until recently when I started getting bored again. I realized that boredom is not something around us, it is inside. In spite of so many people to talk to around us, so many programs on television to watch, so many video games to play, so many books to read, getting bored has become very common these days. Believe it or not, boredom is a modern-age menace.
My husband grew up in a little town amid a joint family of forty members. He never got bored. In fact, there was nothing to get bored of those days. There was no cell phone, not many toys and not a single mall for window shopping. There was only a shared television with just two channels being aired and in spite of that, he never got bored. My mom tells me that she did not know the concept of boredom at all in her childhood.
In the present age, there are so many things to do. When you are bored of television, there is social media. If you are bored of one social media platform, there is another. If you are bored of one video game, check out another. When you are bored of friends, make new virtual friends. If you are bored of your spouse, get into a relationship online. With so many things to get occupied into, what is it that is making people bored? When I think of people getting bored, mechanically I also think of those people who do not have time to kill. They are so busy that they are not able to talk to their parents; they are not able to spend time with their kids, et al. So where is all the time going?
If you delve deeper, you will get to know that the same set of people who do not have time to kill are getting bored. This is because in the present age people are so addicted to busyness that even a single minute of emptiness makes them bored. They do not know what to do if there is not a single message on Whatsapp to check. Such people are on an island if there is no Wi-fi. People get antsy if others are too busy to respond. In spite of being surrounded by so many other things to do, many individuals give more importance to their virtual avatars, rather than their real selves. I am not here to blabber about social media menace at all. Because I believe that it is important in some way.
The point I am trying to make is that boredom is the result of so many things to do around us. Getting Amazon firestick is not the solution, folks. The solution is getting rid of the idea of finding new sources of entertainment. I read somewhere that the kids get creative if they have fewer toys to play. When kids have more toys to play with, their minds wander off from one to another. The same theory applies to us, adults. When we have more sources of entertainment, we are all the more bored. Probably, that is the reason earlier people were not bored at all. So, what can be done now? What is the solution of this constant boredom that haunts us?
Better Things To Do Rather than Entertainment When Getting Bored
So, next time when you are bored, do not make a profile on another social media platform or hunt for the best photograph for your profile picture. Instead, disconnect the internet and do one or all of these things.
Ahaan!!! Can this be done – sit quietly? You are asking me to sit quietly and do nothing, retorted one of my friends. Sitting quietly is grossly underestimated. People think that this is not possible at all with so many things to do. With so many disturbances, sitting quietly is a thing of bygone era. Only when you think of sitting quietly, the doorbell will ring, so my mother used to say. However, nowadays, doorbell seldom rings, instead, the phone pings. Because there is no one to pay you a visit, neither the postman nor your friend. Everyone will ping you instead. This means you just need to switch off your phone and sit quietly. Think of your childhood days, your school friends, your sources of joys or better, think nothing. Listen, don’t doze off.
Stand and Stare
Yeah, this is a forgotten art. I read a poetry by W.H. Davies, when I was young, “What is this life, if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare.” This was written long ago in 1911 and every word of it is so true even today, in fact, more so in the present times. People are so lost in worldly pleasures that there is no time to stand and stare at life, take stock of present things. So, next time when you are bored, just stand and observe things around you. If there is a window in close proximity, stand by the window and stare into the oblivion. Windows with a view of nature are best for this activity. The beauty of this thing is that it can be done anywhere and everywhere. My favourite is staring at the sea.
The power of observation is rarely discussed. When you get bored of things and want to do something in a passive manner, just exit yourself from the commotion and observe quietly. The reason why people love watching television is that it gives the leisure of observation – it is a passive activity. If in office, observe people communicating. When you are stuck in a traffic jam, instead of cribbing, observe the reaction of other people. When you are in a playground, observe kids talking and playing. This activity needs to be done without other people knowing that you are doing it. The moment another person comes to know that you are observing him, it becomes artificial.
What? Write? Yes, I am asking you to write with a pen on paper. Writing is, again, a lost art. People have forgotten how to write. Some people do not even remember how their writing looks like. We may be the last generation who teach their kids how to write well or maybe not. So, next time when you have nothing to do and boredom is haunting you, grab a pen and paper and start writing. Now, you ask me what to write. You need not be a good writer to write. Just write about things you want to do, things you did, your thoughts about people, places, recent experiences, etc. Writing lets you explore your own self in a manner that you would not have realized till date.
Breathe in, Breathe out
This is another interesting thing you can do, in fact, you should do. Whenever you have nothing to do, just observe how you breathe. Take stock of every breath you inhale and exhale. Initially, it might seem artificial to you, but you will get used to it. Conscious breathing is not only interesting but fun as well. It is also healthy, they say.
Boredom is a temporary phase. Nothing can wander off your interest without your permission. It is up to you whether you want to get bored or cultivate interest in regular things. So, next time when you think that you are getting bored, just sit back and breathe. You might not get bored again so make the most of it. Happy boredom to you!