Saturday, April 2, 2016

B is for Boredom

As a participant in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I will be making my way through the alphabet all month.



People don't usually believe me when I say this, but I do not get bored. EVER. It just doesn't happen. I am always able to entertain myself, even when I can't actually do anything due to surrounding circumstances. Boredom is just not an option and I have trouble understanding how it happens to people.

There is a reason for this. Boredom was not permitted in our house growing up. My father wouldn't allow for it. He had a very good argument. My brothers and I had a lot of toys. Our shelves were filled with books (there was even a Playboy in our closet, but they didn't know about that). There was a television. We had video games (pre-Nintendo years, but we had some). AND we lived out in the country where there were literally thousands of things that can be done outside. Add to all of this the fact that there were three of us, it should not have been difficult for us to keep ourselves and each other entertained.

I don't quite remember how he said it, but my dad took it a little further. It wasn't just that there was plenty to do. He also suggested that someone who was not capable of entertaining himself or herself had something wrong with him. A busy mind is not a mind that gets bored. Even if you can't do what you want, your mind can still occupy itself. If you were incapable of avoiding boredom, it meant that you were maybe not very intelligent.

This was his version of motivation.

Living where we did, there was plenty of work to be done at any time. If someone suggested boredom, Dad would give him something to do to occupy his time and there was no shortage of chores.
My little brother Trevor
working the fields
  • Mow the lawn
  • Shovel manure out of the barn
  • Pick some tomatoes or go snap green beans
  • Rake leaves or grass 
  • Wash and wax the car
  • Feed the horses, chickens, dogs, goats
  • Weed the garden
  • Water mom's plants
  • Find your missing brother 
  • Vacuum the floors
  • Pick up pears or apples that had fallen from tree
  • Go paint the whatever (something always needed painting)
We learned at a very young age that we weren't to ever suggest that we were bored or we would end up doing something we would rather not be doing. However, it was much more than learning not to say it. We learned to entertain ourselves and often we were made to entertain ourselves in ways that we hadn't chosen. We had a television and video games, but weren't permitted to use them all the time. For a large part of our childhood, we were allowed one hour of television per day. There was a variety of reasons for this, but it meant we had to find ways to entertain ourselves rather than just sitting back and being entertained. Because our option to be bored was taken away from us, we adapted to the point that it honestly ceased to exist. Boredom is no longer an option for me because I don't know how to do it.

So much entertainment is handed to people today, many find it difficult to engage with actual life when that device is removed. Whether it be a computer, television, tablet or cellphone, it is still possible for a person's mind to function and interact with their surroundings. However, this is a learned trait. I love my electronics, but am so grateful to my parents for teaching me to never be bored and always be entertained by the world around me.

36 comments:

  1. Having raised little boys myself, I really enjoyed this post! Happy A to Z!
    Mary Lou from Me In The Middle
    @qmarylou_q

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    1. Then, I'm sure you could relate. For my mom, it helped with her sanity. For dad, For dad, he was building self-reliance.

      I don't really know. I just enjoy the results.

      Delete
  2. I rarely get bored. I can always sit happily for hours and amuse myself with my imagination. Some pretty entertaining stuff happens up there in my head, most of which I wisely don't share with others :-)

    Cheers - Ellen | http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com/2016/04/b-is-for-boatyard-nancy-drew.html

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    1. Yes. I am very grateful that the thought in our heads cannot be heard by others.

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  3. I hear ya! My parents always said, "Smart people are never bored." Well, of course, I wanted to be smart. It drives me crazy to hear kids say they are bored.
    Wendy Visiting from A-Z
    Jollett Etc.

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    1. Smart people are never bored.

      Sounds like your parents had a similar philosophy. I wish more people held it today.

      Delete
  4. Exactly. Whenever you complain about being bored, the people around you will find ways to keep you occupied! :D

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    1. My father was incredibly gifted in that area.

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  5. Considering your previous post, and all the damage you inflicted on yourselves, perhaps a little boredom may have been a good thing!

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    1. Then I wouldn't be be the incredible specimen of man that I am today.

      Delete
  6. I'm delighted to read this. It's indeed an important trait to kill boredom and this boredom post was interesting ;) I too shall strive to keep myself occupied with useful things. Thanks for sharing.

    And do come back tomorrow at http://www.malavikka.blogspot.com//

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    1. It is a very valuable skill. I never had to entertain my kids in doctor's office waiting rooms or long car rides. It just works.

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  7. Good post. I sympathise. But children SHOULD be bored so they are forced to find ways to entertain themselves. Boredom is an essential part of childhood. Enjoy the challenge! Check me out at roblogtime.wordpress.com

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    1. I'll just have to trust you there. I have no experience with it. Although, I do know that it does not HAVE to be that way since the opposite worked for me and my children.

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  8. So good to hear that there are things for you to keep you busy. Same is the case with me. :)

    B - The Eye of the Beholder

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    1. Life moves a lot better when you can enjoy it. Boredom sounds horrible.

      Delete
  9. Yep. The B word was not spoken in our house by me or my three siblings. We knew better. Dad would not just put the one to work who use that word, he;d put us all to work.

    I’m exploring different types of dreams and their meanings during the #AtoZChallenge at Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

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    1. Thank you for dropping by. I'll pop over.

      Delete
  10. Preach it brother! I too never get bored. There is always something to do. Between the 'have to' and the 'want to', I find there isn't enough time. Even when I find things boring, I am not bored. I had a completely different upbringing to you, but I agree with your comments about spoon fed entertainment.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Kids today just don't know what to do with themselves

      Delete
  11. We were never allowed to be bored growing up either. If we couldn't find anything to do, we were given an encyclopedia and told to read. Being pretty much the only girl in a neighborhood of boys, my younger years were filled with days increasing my vocabulary and knowledge of odd words.

    Mary
    Twitter: @KnottyMarie
    Literary Gold
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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    1. I remember reading an encyclopedia a few times. There's actually some good entries in there.

      Delete
  12. I was never bored until I became an adult. I crave adventure but am now limited. It doesn't last long, but I have been hit by it unexpectedly! There are always things to turn it around but it does pop up to remind me of where I am. :)

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    1. We do have the disadvantage of being forced to be places where we can't do things as adults. For me now, I am writing a book, so My mind always disappears into the world I have created.

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  13. what the heck is boredom, anyway? haha! it's kind of the same here. My parents never said that though. it was just kind of frowned upon, like with asians. Go be more productive or hard working or something like that! It's not the fact that my parents taught me to not be bored, there was always too much to do or learn to be bored here. I never had to learn not to be bored, there was never time or too much expected of you to be bored.

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    1. Your parents frowned on Asians. How sad.

      There is just no reason for boredom. We have more opportunity now than there has ever been at any previous point in history.

      Delete
  14. I had absolutely no idea you were back to blogging. I have so missed your musings over the last couple of years. Welcome back!

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    1. Thank you, Lily. I am very much pleased to be back.

      Delete
  15. It was exactly the same for me! I may have used the word one time, and after a to-do list was promptly presented, I never said it again. I am NEVER bored. There are far too many things to do, but it disturbs me how easily kids these days are bored. If they don't have access to their devices, they can't stand themselves.

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    1. That to-do list takes the glamour out of it very quickly.

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  16. I can ALWAYS entertain myself.
    And not by doing what you think.
    Although, there IS that, too.

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  17. At one point or another every person feels boredom for a time. I love to kill my boredom with books , paints or poetry.

    http://serendipityofdreams.blogspot.in/

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  18. So much to do, so little time! Like most people, I work all day and late at night when I'm zonked, I start reading. Never, ever bored. Around My Kitchen Table

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Leave a comment. C'MON!!! You're already here. Leave a comment. Don't leave me hanging and wondering if any has ever seen these words. I'll rub your feet.