A friend yesterday seemed reluctant to share that she’d been a bit bored in quarantine. There was plenty to do, in theory, but there was a level of downtime that she hadn’t seen in ages and she didn’t quite know what to do with herself.
I noticed boredom making a comeback at my own house, pacing a little bit, and wandering the house looking for my next project. After a bit of thrashing, I welcomed it with open arms. It’s opened up leagues of time for the hobbies and crafts we’ve let fall by the wayside–baking fresh bread, fermentation projects, planting the garden, and other creative endeavors.
I’ve sectioned off several kombucha scobies and shared my ginger bug (using all relevant social distancing and then some, promise), and started a massive number of seedlings. It feels wonderful.
Being bored is the spark.
We’ve spent a long time hiding from boredom. You can feel busy on social media for hours and not get much of anything done, or connect online with zoom and chat features. This has a pretty short half-life, as the only sober person in the virtual room I was done in after just two zoom “happy hours”.
I’m seeing a few forms of coping in my world right now: there are people hiding on social media and appearing busy, there are those who are hiding and mourning normalcy, and there are those who are leaning into being bored and finding ways to entertain themselves that are beautifully creative.
When we lean into being bored, love it, and welcome it, you let yourself think and fall into a creative space. Your brain will entertain you. You’re never going to write the great American novel when you’re spending two hours a day on Twitter, but you might if you’re bored and decide to take it out on the page instead of in 140 character spurts. (Or is it 240 characters now? I’m at a loss)
I’ve been astonished by the amount of time I have freed up by releasing mental energy and attention from social media. My writing has picked up (in pace, can’t be sure the quality has followed, although in time it will) and I revel in feeling bored from time to time. I notice it like an old friend I haven’t seen in ages, I am fascinated by the feeling of being bored. I missed it (a big wtf there when first noticed).
This may make some people question if I’m doing ok in quarantine…but this boredom gets your ideas flowing and I welcome the weird terrible, strange story ideas that keep coming to me. Bring it on, more more more…and while we’re at it, delete your social media (at least your personal, I kept my business ones) and try just being human again for a while.
All praise boredom for pushing us back into crafts and creative hobbies.
And a little, be careful what you wish for…because you may get exactly what you wanted. I had, weeks ago, wished for crafts and a makers movement to have a resurgence. Here we go. I got what I wanted (didn’t expect the pandemic to come with it but hey).
We’re bored and we’re seeing more truth in the world–and where it’s broken–than ever before. It’s this time’s greatest blessing. Think of all the novels that could get written if we take this time for what it is, a gift, a special time to revel in our boredom, and let our creativity run rampant.