A Lesson in Boredom

I used to drive my mother absolutely insane when I was a wee little lass (see image below). She was a teacher, which meant that for the glorious three months of freedom I enjoyed every summer, she was right there alongside me. I would begin the summer with plans to swim, play with my friends, dress up my Barbies, read my big girl chapter books, and watch cartoons, among many other ambitious activities. About a week into summer, I had checked off each of these to-dos and would then proceed to whine to my mom about how bored I was.  Personally, I like to think of myself as having said this in a British accent, since the reality is so much less adorable.  In those years, I think it’s safe to say that that godforsaken word was her least favorite in the entire English language. She probably wanted to bound and gag me on a daily basis, and frankly, I’m shocked she didn’t. I was without a doubt the definition of annoying.

(Wrecking havoc on closets became a favorite pastime.)

I recently took a trip to visit family in Arizona, after which I spent about a week back in the confines of my childhood town.  It’s a lovely place to visit now that I’m older – full of beautiful Lake Michigan beaches, picturesque kite flying, and so much more.  Except that I know every square inch of that city, thanks to having spent over a decade within its borders.  And, to top it all off, I have next to no friends left who still actively live back home.  Which is probably a good thing.  Hooray for the class of 2008 – getting out, seeing the world and all that jazz.  Or something like that.

Naturally, this lack of human interaction led me straight back in time to my days as that wee little lass, bored to tears.  You see, when you’ve already had a week’s vacation doing more reading of trashy romance novels and even trashier magazines than is probably healthy in a lifetime, more trashy reading doesn’t exactly hold the same appeal.  I’d already worked my way through the entire first season of Revenge, and was finding myself diving into reruns of anything and everything on the idiot box (as my father so lovingly calls the TV).  But the idiot box can only offer so much.  Where, oh where had my innovation gone?!?!  It had always served me well – particularly during my four undergrad years.  A double major in procrastination and bull shit, it turns out, is quite a useful degree.  They should really just listen to my protests and finally slap it on the official list of academic pursuits.  Applications would flood in.

Well, innovation peeked its head out just in time.  I finally ended up filling the void of boredom with the obnoxiously detailed task of cleaning/sorting/packing my old room, which I will eventually be taking with me (the dorm days are finally over – for good).  After that, I washed my two cocker spaniels, Murphy and Barkley.  Riveting stuff right there.  It takes some serious talent to simultaneously lather, rinse, and block the entire tub edge so the little mongrels don’t leap over the side and cause a life-threatening tidal wave.  Then I dried them off.  Again, riveting.  It’s details like these that truly make me realize just how cool I am.  I followed that activity with a grooming session – just me, my pups, and an electric razor.  Unfortunately, I accidentally used my brother’s face razor. So, he’ll be picking out dog hair for the next month.

When all that was over, I ate.  What else was I supposed to do?!?! Just let all that free food and overstuffed refrigerator go to waste?  I hadn’t seen that much food in one place since Nixon was in office!  Never mind that I wasn’t even born when he was in office.

(Eating habits are formed over time.  It’s a good thing I started practicing young.)

Then, I flew home.  And I’ll probably repeat most of the above actions in the next week.

And what, pray tell, is the purpose of this rant?  Why, simply a little slice of life advice called “boredom gets shit done.”  That’s right.  If I hadn’t been bored, I never would have cleaned my room or groomed my dogs.  And just think how much thinner I’d be without that extra food!  I shudder to think of it.

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