Working through Cheryl Richardson’s book, Life Makeovers, this week she covers the benefits of boredom. After 48 weeks of topics to change your life, I believe she must have been running out of ideas because this week was quite a stretch. She equates filling your spare time with activities as a refusal to accept boredom for what it is.
I don’t buy into that. She claims she has studied this topic in order to write about it, but without links, I am not sure where her studies landed her. This is what I found.
Boredom: In conventional usage, boredom is an emotional or psychological state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do, is not interested in his or her surroundings, or feels that a day or period is dull or tedious.
That being said, I can honestly say that I am never bored. I do not ever feel uninterested in my life or that I experience periods of dullness. Tedious, maybe, but I am never without anything to do, or look forward to doing.
In her book, she thinks by using your free time to catch up on the things you want is some kind of escapism from your life, as though it’s a bad thing. I was rather disappointed that she would fill a chapter with something so weak.
If I am with free time, I want to fill it with things i enjoy. I want to lean into my creativity and utilize that time for this. I want to sit with my thoughts. I want to meditate, pray, dream.
If she feels the need to denigrate free time by calling it boredom and tell people they are doing something wrong by filling their moments with meaningful things, then she is the one with the bigger problem. Otherwise, this entire chapter and entire week has been lost to me.
I enjoy the fine art of doing nothing. I also enjoy my moments of writing and doing fine art. There is nothing wrong with wanting to fill your spare time. If this year of transformation has taught me anything, it’s that while it’s good to have a direction to move towards and be guided by external ideas, in the end, we all walk different paths and no one person knows the best way for you to take than yourself. Trust your own inner compass and don’t put too much stock into what others, including professionals, think you must be doing.
This weeks action steps:
List ways you avoid boredom by filling your time with other activities, and choose three items to NOT do this week in order to sit with your free time.
Enh, I will pass on this.