Author Archives: mrm167

How Adults View Boredom

Everyone experiences boredom throughout their life: children, teenagers, adults.  Children face this feeling the most.  With all the free time they possess during the day, they have to be entertained constantly to deal with feeling bored.  Once they become teenagers, they gain more responsibilities.  While they have less free time, they still experience periods of boredom.  They have to discover new ways to entertain themselves.  Once they become adults, they gain more responsibility: taking care of their own home, working at a new job, taking care of themselves, etc.  They lose the little free time they possessed as teenagers.  Now they do not have the chance to sit down, relax, and do nothing.  They are busy the entire day.  With all these new tasks, adults desire the chance at experiencing boredom.  As children and teenagers, they hated this feeling.  After growing older and losing time for relaxation, they come to appreciate feeling bored.

Work

Adults are always busy at work.  Upon stepping into the building, you immediately start working.  You check the calendar, filled with the month’s deadlines, and decide which needs to be done first.  You have stacks of paper on the desk that need finished.  You also have lists of tasks to be completed that day.  You become absorbed in your work, not stopping until your lunch break.  Even then, your mind is consumed with what needs to be done.  After the lunch break, you continue to check off each bullet on the checklist.  You do not stop until you reach the end.  Although you finish your tasks, there is still more to be done for the next few weeks.  With the constant paperwork and bustle of the office, you have no time to stop and relax.  If you earn a promotion, you gain a bigger workload.  You have to work harder and longer.

Home

After a long day at the office, all you want to do is relax.  Unfortunately, there are still things to accomplish at home.  Bills need to be paid.  Laundry needs to be done.  You also have to sort the clothes and empty all the hampers.  The house needs to be cleaned.  Errands need to be done.  Dinner needs to be made.  Children need help with various things.  Homework needs completed.  Studying needs finished.  They also have sports, dance, afterschool activities, etc.  You drive them from place to place.  In between waiting for their activity to end, you run more errands.  You are constantly on the move.  If you have a pet, you have to fill the food and water dishes up, take it for a walk, put the toys away, etc.  The house also need to be maintained. You have to mow the lawn, pile the leaves onto the street, shovel the snow and salt the sidewalks, etc.  New things continue to come up, adding to your daily housework.  There is never time to sit down and relax.

Holidays

The times of the year where you should be relaxing, you keep busy with work.  For Thanksgiving, you are planning the dinner, buying all the ingredients, and cooking non-stop.  You prepare for all the incoming relatives and make the home warm and inviting.  You clean the house until it’s spotless.  For Christmas, you buy all the presents for the family and cover them in different wrapping paper.  You put out all the decorations: inside and outside.  You gather the family and plan a day to buy the tree and hang all the ornaments and lights.  You take a picture for the Christmas card and send to all your friends and family.  On Christmas Eve, you wait for the children to fall asleep.  Then you quietly take all the presents and place them under the tree.  You also fill the stockings up and finish all the cookies and milk left for Santa.  For Easter, you buy the eggs to color with the kids.  You buy all the presents and candy.  The night before, you wait till the children fall asleep.  Then you hide the colored eggs around the house and find a place to put the baskets.  Not only that, you have a dinner to prepare.  For New Year’s Eve, you plan the party.  You write out invitations for all the guests, and buy all the food to serve.  On the day of the party, you set out the tables and put all the food out.  You also take out the hats, shakers, and noise makers for the guests.  You are constantly bustling about during this time, trying to make everything go smoothly for an enjoyable holiday.  After the festivities are over, you still have many things to do.  You have to wash the dishes, put away the left-over food, and clean up after the mess left by the party, the opening of the presents, etc.  You also have to juggle this while completing the daily housework.

Vacation

Vacation is a time for relaxation and fun.  Unfortunately, for adults, it involves work.  You have to plan the vacation, book a hotel and a means of transportation, and pack all the necessary clothes and toiletries for the whole family.  You also have to let the neighbors, the security system company, and the mail company when and how long you will be gone.  On the day you leave, you wake up all the kids and drive to the airport.  You watch the time constantly to make sure you arrive with plenty of time.  Once you arrive at your destination, you find a taxi and head to the hotel.  There you plan the rest of the day: where to go, where to eat, etc.  Afterwards, you find activities for the family.  If you go to Disney World, even more work is involved.  You plan which parks to go to.  You plan what restaurants to eat at.  On the day you hit a park, you gather the tickets, make sure everyone puts sunscreen on, and find transportation.  At the park, you constantly watch the kids, push the stroller, hold onto the prizes, and walk around.  You buy the tickets for the rides, wait in line, and entertain the children.  You continuously move about during vacation, with no time to rest and enjoy.

Reflecting on Childhood and Boredom

With no time for relaxation, adults often reflect back on their childhood.  They remember constantly complaining about having nothing to do because they have an abundant amount of free time at their disposal.  In order to fight of periods of boredom, they require constant entertainment.  They play sports, watch movies, play games, etc.  These are all the things adults do for children to prevent boredom.  At one time, they provided fun and enjoyment for them at a young age.  Now, as an adult, it means work.  After recalling moments from their childhood, they realize how things changed.  Before, as children, they wanted to go out and play with their friends.  They did not want to read books, relax outside, or go on walking.  All those things brought boredom.  Now, they wish they could sit and relax out on the deck, put their feet up, read a new book, or get some exercise.  They welcome the chance at experiencing boredom.  It means free time.  No work.  No driving.  No housework.  Nothing.  Just your thoughts and the peace and quiet.

Daily Life

After waking up, getting dressed, and grabbing a cup of coffee, you head out the door and towards your car.  Sliding into the front seat, you put the key into the ignition and start the engine.  As you head into work, your mind focuses on all the paperwork that needs done for the day.  Sighing, you glance at the clock.  It reads 7:00 A.M.  Another sigh leaves your mouth as you realize how long you will be at the office.  Upon reaching your desk, you quickly slump into the chair and close your eyes.  Counting the seconds that pass, you slowly open your eyes.  After glancing at the stacks of paper littering the desk, you start to work.  As the piles decrease, you find yourself constantly looking at the clock.  Time seems to pass slower with the amount of work that increases.  All you want is a few moments of relaxation.  You start to even want a moment of boredom.  At least that means you have some free time.  Knowing that work will not end for a while, you concentrate on the paperwork in front of you.  Finally, you reach the last piece of paper.  You check the clock and discover work is over.  A sigh of relief passes through your lips as you gather your things and head out the door.  Upon coming home, you quickly head inside and change.  Realizing there is a list of things needed done around the house, you grumble in frustration.  How you wish to experience a moment of boredom, a moment of free time.  Your wish seems only like a dream as work keeps piling up at the office and at home.  The evening goes by quickly as you run around the house doing laundry, cleaning, etc.  The children need help with their homework, so you spend an hour solving the problems.  Afterwards, you spend another hour cooking dinner.  Once you finish dinner and wash the dishes, it is time for the children to go to bed.  After getting ready for bed and kissing the children good night, you head downstairs and get last minute things ready for tomorrow.  Looking at the clock, you realize it is time to go to sleep.  The day passed by without a chance of experiencing boredom.  If only you could have a moment of free time.  Sadly, you will have to wait till tomorrow.  After heading into your bedroom and climbing under the covers, you shut your eyes and wish for boredom to strike tomorrow.  This thought continues to echo in your mind as you fall asleep.

As an adult, you deal with the daily workload at your job and house.  The holidays and vacations involve constant work as well.  There is no time to sit down and take a breath.  As you continue to deal with no relaxation time, you start to appreciate the moments of boredom you faced during childhood.  As a child, you needed to be constantly entertained with sports and different activities.  Whenever you did not have these things to keep busy with, you felt bored.  You didn’t want to sit outside, read a book, take a walk, etc.  Growing up changes your perspective on things.  Now, you look forward to sitting on the deck, reading a novel, or taking a slow, refreshing walk by yourself.  You welcome the chance to experience boredom.  It means you finally have free time.  You can sit, relax, and do nothing.  No work to finish.  No places to go.  No housework to deal with.  You can enjoy the peace and quiet.

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Growing Old with Boredom

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Boredom is a universal problem.  Ask anyone.  They will tell you stories about their experiences with it.  Everyone faces each day with the possibility of this problem, whether it is at work, home, or anywhere.  There might be multiple occurrences of boredom that day or none at all.  People learn how to deal with these situations throughout their life.  They first discover this feeling during childhood.  Children have a need for constant entertainment.  They spend their days outside with friends, running around and releasing built up energy.  When they play inside, they have toys, movies, and games to occupy the time.  After a while, these activities get repetitive and uninteresting.  Unfortunately, children do not know how to deal with finding ways to stop boredom.  They have to learn this on their own as certain ways work better for some than for others.  These situations happen more and more as they grow older.

I recall a moment in my childhood when I felt bored out of my mind.  Other children probably faced the same problem.  When you think Christmas, you feel happiness and cheer, not impatient and bored.  That is exactly how I felt one Christmas Eve.  That night, my parents decided we should all go to bed early.  The clock only shows 9 p.m.  I feel wide awake, but we all climb up the steps, enter our rooms, and climb into bed.  After my parents say goodnight and close the door tight, I close my eyes and hope Christmas comes quickly.  Unfortunately, I lay there, unable to go to sleep.  After keeping my eyes close for a while, I check the clock.  It is only 9:30 p.m.  I begin to think I might never fall asleep.  I feel too excited and riled up to be able to sleep, and closing my eyes just makes the time pass slower.  I decided to keep my eyes open and find other ways to entertain myself.  I get out of bed, grab a book off my shelf, and turn on the lamp.  I always get entranced in my books.  However, not even 10 pages into the story, I close the book with a sigh and place it back on the shelf.  I cannot focus on anything other than opening presents tomorrow, but it will be hours before I can wake my parents up.  I decide to play on my DS and hope it keeps my attention for a few hours.  Unfortunately, my DS shuts off shortly after I start playing and I forgot the charger downstairs.

With nothing else to occupy the time, I fall back down onto my bed and stare at the ceiling.  Around this point, my impatience starts to overtake all my thoughts.  I try to imagine what presents I will receive, but that makes me long for the morning even more.  I find myself unable to come up with anything else but Christmas.  I turn towards the clock and it is only 11:50 p.m.   I cringe at the time as I have to wait 9 more hours until I go downstairs.  I still feel wide-awake.  At this point, I start to lose hope.  With everyone else asleep, I cannot find other ways to pass the time.  All I can do is lay under the covers and look around my dark room.  After a while, I feel more impatient and bored.  I can no longer lay still, so I sit up and move around on my bed quietly.  I stretch and sit in different positions.  Eventually, I get tired and stop.  I look at the clock once again, hitting myself as I do.  The clock shows it is only 2:00 a.m.  With six more hours to go, I feel even more anxious.  I get under my covers and close my eyes.  I will myself to keep them shut until I fall asleep.  I even try counting sheep for the first time.  As the minutes seem to tick by at an agonizing pace, I strain to keep my eyes closed.  Boredom begins to overwhelm me.  I think about giving up.  I decided to relax my eyes and let things be.  Finally, I fall asleep after hours of restlessness.  I wake up to the sound of my brother opening my door.  Upon seeing him, I flip onto my side and peer at the clock.  7:30 a.m.  All the anxiety and impatient I let build up that night drain out of me.  I only have to wait a half hour to wake up my parents, and I do not have to wait alone.  My battle with boredom seems to be just a long nightmare.

After that experience, I look for new ways to occupy myself at night.  I come up with different ideas to try out.  I learn which activities keep my attention the longest and those where my eyes stray away.  I start applying what I learn to situations of boredom, and eventually, I begin feel this emotion less and less.  As I grow up, I gain more responsibilities.  With more work, I have less time for inactivity and the chance of boredom.  It never fully goes away as it is an unavoidable part of life.

After childhood, people still face the problem of being bored.  They might have bigger responsibilities and less time for relaxation, but boredom strikes anywhere.  People face this problem at their jobs. An article from Psychology Today focuses on how to deal with boredom at work.  It states that people concentrate on the hours of their work day.  If they concern themselves with the time, it makes the work day pass by slower.  A way to remedy this is pay more attention to the tasks for the day.  If a worker focuses more on getting the tasks done, time passes by faster.  People should also motivate themselves to keep busy and feel proud about doing things right.  This allows you to enjoy your job more and keep boredom away from the office.

Here is the article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201201/coping-boredom-work

After work, people can still become bored.  There are only a few things to do to pass the time: read the newspaper, watch T.V., eat, etc.  Eventually, these activities become repetitive.  So, how do they fight off boredom at home?  An American philosopher thought of one such way.  Harry Frankfurt wrote about how to beat boredom.  He believed that in order to not be bored, you must care about something.  If you have something important to you, such as loved ones, pets, activities, etc., you will never find yourself uninterested.  You care about certain aspects of your life because you find them fascinating and entertaining.  They captivate you for long periods of time over and over.  I find this to be true.  I have things I care about.  Whenever I find myself uninterested and bored, I fill in the time with what I love.  For example, I pick up a book.  I find them so interesting.  Whenever I start to read, it sucks me in and all my attention focuses on the story and the characters.  I never feel bored when I read.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a new book or one that I read before.  I discover something new each time I open it.

As time passes, people find themselves interested in other things.  They discover something new to care about.  This process happens over the years as people continue to change.  Once you lose interest in something once important to you, another one appears soon after.  As long as you have something to care about, you will have something fun to do and never become bored.  So, always look for new interests.  Try different activities and figure out the most exciting ones.  Keep your mind open to new things and ideas.  Allow yourself to develop interest in many things.

Once people reach the age where their children started their own families and they retire from a job they held for many years, they gain much more free time.  With no children in the house, they can relax and focus on taking care of themselves.  They stay inside the house more and rest.  They have time with their grandchildren and children to look forward to, but they will not always be available.  There will be plenty of quiet and uneventful days throughout the year.  Eventually, this period of inactivity becomes repetitive and boring.  Nothing exciting happens in their lives anymore.  They spend most of their day inside, either cleaning or sitting down and watching T.V.  They find themselves with more time on their hands than they are used to.  They do not know how to pass the time.  So, how can they bring excitement back into their lives after retirement?

In an article from The Wall Street Journal, The Experts talk about ways to avoid boredom in retirement.  One of the main points they emphasize is action.  Get out there and do something constructive, enjoyable or that you always wanted to do.  Do not just sit around in your house.  Use your newly found free time and have fun.  There are many things people in retirement can do.  They just have to get out there and explore.  Once they find things they enjoy, they will find themselves less bored.  They should also exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  A healthy body makes a healthy mind.  This will positively impact their outlook on life.  This allows them to push themselves to change their life and start discovering new places and activities.  If people follow these ideas every day, then boredom will slowly dissipate from their mind.

Here is the full article: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323415304578370270527673456

Boredom affects people of all ages.  During any part of your life, you will have moments of inactivity.  Because of that, people have learned different ways of dealing with it.  Children have toys, games, movies, and other creative activities.  Adults keep busy and motivate themselves at work.  They also find things they care about.  The elderly explore new activities, keep active, and get involved in things they enjoy.  There are many more solutions to be found as people have different interests.  They also keep discovering new ways of entertainment.  As long as they find something interesting that keeps them occupied during their leisure time, they will be able to alleviate their boredom.

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A Dog’s *yawn* Life

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Anytime my family and I leave the house, we always see that furry face peer at us through the window.  She stares at us until we pass from her sight.  We come back and there she is, in the same exact spot we last saw her.  I always wonder what my dog, Zahara, does whenever she’s alone in the house.  Does she sit at the window for the entire time, wishing for us to come back? Or does she jump onto the couch after we leave and sleep until she hears the car?  If she sits there the entire time alone, what does she do?  What does a dog do when bored? All these questions pop into my head as I ponder this mystery.  I couldn’t image Zahara sitting the entire time and looking eagerly out the window, especially when we spend almost a whole day away from home.

When I try to imagine myself as my dog, I picture her watching us drive away.  As the car disappears from view, she strongly wishes for us to turn around and come back.  She doesn’t like spending hours alone.  She spends many minutes repeatedly making this wish.  At this moment, Zahara gives up and slowly walks away.  Without anyone to play with, she jumps onto the couch, curls into a ball, and closes her eyes.  After a while, she wakes up and stretches.  She gets off the couch and wanders over to the kitchen.  She eats and drinks from her dishes.  Or she continues on and walks around the house until she reaches the couch again.

I wonder whether she can do this continuously for hours and never become bored.  Nothing changes.  Nothing grabs her attention.  I imagine her mostly sleeping.  She doesn’t have to worry about passing the time.   On those moments she doesn’t sleep, what does she do?  She can’t only eat and drink.  Eventually she won’t be hungry or loses interest in this activity.  Walking through the rooms also becomes tiresome and uneventful.  What does she think to do after this occurs?  Toys.  She has many in her bin.  She has bones, balls, and squeaky stuffed animals all around the house.  I think she walks around and looks for one interesting toy.  Once she finds one, she grabs it and circles the house again for a spot to lay down and play.  If she doesn’t want it anymore, she wanders the rooms for another one.  After spending time playing and chewing on her toys, I imagine her becoming tired.  She goes back to her spot for another nap.

Zahara must find ways to overcome boredom.  She always greets us with the same amount of love and happiness, regardless of how long she spent by herself.  When the car reaches the driveway, we see her at the window.  Sometimes she is already staring outside, in the same spot we left her, and other times it takes a while for her to come to the window.  When that happens, her fur messed up from sleeping.  Either way, she never seems angry or upset over the long wait.  Dogs seem to have a better grasp on beating boredom than humans do.  Even though they have fewer ways of accomplishing this, they never lose.  This shows how resilient dogs are to the dangers of boredom.  They never get angry or lose their patience.  No matter how many times they are left alone, they can do this time and time again.  If dogs can accomplish this feat, then humans can gain this ability too.

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