A friend calls, not a close friend. The first French friend I made in Salies. A woman a bit older than I. She says she is bored. She is bored with her life; she has nothing she wants to
do. I am unbelieving. How can anyone be bored if there is a window to look out
of, a street to walk down, a birdsong to listen to, a flower to contemplate.
Bored is a non-word for me. There is no such thing. When I was young, a child,
there was no time at all to be bored. Everything happened so fast and was gone
and the next thing was coming before I was even ready. How can one be bored?
Then I was an adolescent and no time to be bored as I see-sawed between joy and
depression, up and back. Now he loves me, now he doesn’t. What could be boring
about that? Either my heart is going a mile a minute or I am crying my eyes
out; either I am doing something I shouldn’t or I have been caught doing it.
Then I married: no time to be bored ever more. Something was always waiting to
be done and the children only made it more so. “I wish I had the time to be
bored” was a frequent phrase. But, of course: wife, mother and housekeeper are
three jobs in one and leave hardly a moment for quiet, much less boredom. What
is boredom?  Is it the no-answer to the
request ‘I want to be entertained’?

Then the children married. Someone said to me that I
would have the “Empty-Nest-Syndrome” and I laughed. Empty-Nest? I couldn’t wait
to get them out the door to begin living my own life finally. I love my
children, make no mistake, but they were old enough to care for themselves and
I longed for the time to do ‘my own thing’ whatever that was. Well ‘my own
thing’ turned out to be divorce and starting again. No time for boredom when
one is wildly searching through the rubble of a life-time for the answer to the
who-am-I question.  And before I found
the answer I fell in love again. Now where in the world could I ever find the
time to be bored? In relationship and out again eight years later, and by that
time I was living in Madrid, Spain and loving every minute of it. Madrid is a
party and even if you don’t go out and you have no social life like me, the
atmosphere is contagious. Besides, every time I turned around the Universe had
opened a new door: Byron Katie and The Work, Richard Moss and the Mandala,
Erkhart Tolle and the Now. And people: people just poured into my life, through
the door, through the internet, through the phone, and suddenly I was working
again, this time for money.  There is
certainly nothing boring about suddenly at the age of 60 beginning to earn your
own money. It is extremely exciting. But life doesn’t stop. I mean, if I gave
myself the time to be bored, I would definitely miss it.

So now I am in France, in a little town where nothing
ever happens other than Spring, rain, sun, wind, heat, cold, forests, plants,
flowers, birds, cars, street repairs, coffee, internet games, dog’s-doo,
clouds, trees, people, blogs to be written, supermarkets, crickets and frogs
and the lonely owl at night along with the stars that peep out after sunset… no
time, no time at all to even be, much
less be bored!

But I try to be understanding and ask my friend what she
is doing tomorrow. Her daughter is coming with the granddaughter to stay the
night. Oh, that is nice –say I. Well, she sighs, we don’t always agree so
sometimes we fight. No boredom there, I think to myself, and ask if she would
like to go for lunch someday together. She’ll call me; at the moment she is a
bit busy with the kinesthiologist who
treats her bad shoulder. She walks in the park every afternoon, she says; don’t
I like to walk in the park? I think for a minute and see myself walking in this
very small park and then sitting beside her on the bench and getting bored: it
might be contagious. No, I say, I do not walk in the park, I do lunch: it is
the free time I dedicate to friends; all the other hours are taken up. So we
make no arrangement and wish each other a pleasant day and hang up. She is
bored and I have just spent an hour amazed by the possibility of someone being
bored in this life when I still struggle for time to fit in everything I want
to do.

(As I write, a tiny fruit fly becomes fascinated with the
blue tactile screen and begins to bump into it turning on different functions
with its miniscule force. I watch mesmerized as the letters of what I am
writing are transformed by the tiny friend who has come to play with me.)

5 thoughts on “BORED

  1. In one of the Unschooling forums I follow, I recall someone commenting on their child saying “I am bored” and asking how to respond to it. The response that came was that usually when a child declares they are “bored”; it is actually that they are feeling *disconnected*, and usually it applies to the parent the child comments it TO, specifically.
    For those of us who are still parenting, it’s an interesting reflection that I invite anyone to question. I have found my own observations of my daughter quite interesting (ie. in my experience, it appears to be quite true: that she was feeling disconnected to me–never ONCE has she said “I’m bored” while we are doing something TOGETHER; and OFTEN when I am busy doing something else (usually the INternet is involved! ;))
    So you could tell your friend to do something that makes her feel connected to HERSELF. You spend your day doing things that make you feel connected to yourself, to your world, to LIFE. And as you said, where is there any room for boredom when you are so busy being connected with life?! ……Hugs!

    • Lisa: What an interesting view of boredom. And as for my friend, as soon as I think I can say something that intimate in French I might give it a try. Thanks for reading along, Brianda

  2. Me causo mucha compasion tu vecina. Cuesta trabajo entender, aunque en realidad es un camino andado hace algun tiempo. No el del aburrimieto que como tu dices, como puede aburrirte el milagro de vivir, sino el de la victima que se queja de algo y cuando ofreces opciones, a cada una le pone un pero……..Hay quienes deciden sufrir la vida y sus razones tendran.

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