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A Cure for Boredom

Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. – Susan Ertz

A while back I was talking to one of my (then) administrators. To keep it low-key, I’ll refer to her hereafter as Suzy. Suzy grew up on a farm in a pretty big family, and she and I shared interests like agriculture, the outdoors, and a love of hands-on learning. Like me, Suzy worked a “day job” but had a curious mind that went beyond that scope. In my opinion, she had taken some interesting career turns. At one point, I think she had even been a flight attendant- a dream job for many people.

One day, Suzy shared her motivation for adventure, “My mom always said that a truly creative person will never be bored.” That was her encouragement to continually seek out the things that interested her and try new things. Because of her mother’s attitude, Suzy said she and her siblings constantly learned new things individually and created new experiences. She expressed that it even carried over to her own children because they were also continually researching, learning new things, and creating opportunities for new experiences. I confess I couldn’t remember the exact quote. I had to reach out to Suzy before writing this blog (nobody wants to misquote someone’s mother), but the gist of what we discussed stuck with me all this time.

I am interested in exploring so many things that I have trouble narrowing down which I would most like to pursue when asked. Now, I rarely get bored, but whether that constitutes creativity or lack of focus is another conundrum for another day! Learning something new can be a challenge, but taking on those challenges results in growth. There’s a quote from The Adventures of Augie March that reads, “Boredom is the conviction that you can’t change . . . the shriek of unused capacities.” Do you ever get bored? Pursue something creative! You may tap into abilities you never knew you had. Even something as simple as going on a hike can make you think differently than ever before about all kinds of things. Sometimes it is not that we lack imagination but more so that we need a chance to exercise it. Go on a hike, sit in front of a blank canvas with some watercolors, read that book you have been so curious about, or rediscover a classic. All you need is a healthy playground for your imagination. That is a cure for boredom.

I’ve got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom. – Thomas Carlyle

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