"Suppose we change the subject," the March Hare interrupted, yawning. "I'm getting tired of this. I vote the young lady tells us a story."
Today is Saturday, March 2, 2013.
When the French express boredom, they say, "Je m'ennui." Literally, what it means is: I bore myself.
I think they have a point. There's really nothing in this world that is intrinsically boring. There is only our own attitude about things. Some people are more interested in a thing than others. When we feel bored, what we're really doing is boring ourselves. In other words, we are responsible for our feelings of boredom, not any one thing outside of ourselves.
How can we combat boredom? It's not a matter of finding interesting things. Rather, it's a matter of finding an interest in things. Not just finding - cultivating an interest might be a better way to say it.
We can learn to cultivate interests by asking questions. The more we know, the more interested we will be in the subject. One way to practice this is to choose a topic that we have a basic interest in, and writing down at least 20 questions about it, then take the trouble to find out the answers to all 20 questions. When you have done that, ask 20 more questions and find out the answer to those.
I think our attitude about life, in general, also leads us to feel bored at times. If we have the attitude that we must be engaged in something that requires physical or mental activity, then we will feel bored if we are not engaged in that activity. If we feel that we are entitled to be entertained through no particular initiative of our own, then we will feel bored if there is not someone or something outside of ourselves to entertain us. If we feel that some activities are intrinsically more "worthy" than others, then we will be bored by those things which we feel are unworthy or unimportant.
When we refuse to take responsibility for the way our life is going, we will always have to endure some boredom, because there will not always be something or someone around to entertain us. There will not always be something happening that has been initiated by someone else. When we shift responsibility to others for the way our lives play out, we give away our power to live exciting, interesting, productive lives.
As a new retiree, I'm finding that I have an awful lot of time on my hands. The time gets used up, regardless of whether I'm being active or not. Sometimes I just sit and think, and that's OK, too. But I have all this free time, now, and I feel I should be using it to find out about so many different things that I never had the chance to learn about when I was working full time. Lately, I've started to learn a bit about gardening, and I'm planning to try my hand at growing some vegetables in a raised box garden behind my mom and dad's home. I've never thought of myself as having a "green thumb," but I guess it's not necessary that I be especially good at gardening. It's just important for me to give it a try.
It occurred to me that it would be a good thing to try at least one new thing per year, and hopefully more. As long as I keep learning new things, I will stay young at heart, if not young in body.
And I won't be bored.
It remains to be seen what else besides gardening I might want to try this year. I guess the first step is just thinking about it. I look forward to journaling about my new interests in coming blog entries. :-)