The other night I had a dream about lentils. It was a mind numbingly boring dream. I like to analyze my dreams when I remember them. All I got from this dream analysis was: you feel bored. Okay. Many moments of the never-ending pandemic feel boring. Many moments of new motherhood feel boring. As I lay on the ground in the playpen listening to “Old McDonald Had a Farm” for the actual one millionth time, the baby starts to cry. She is crying because she is (finally) also bored of this song and wants to do something else.
Here are my current thoughts on boredom:
Getting bored is a healthy part of development for children, and for adults too. Remember summer vacation from school before all the screens all the time??
Boredom is a privilege. We can’t access boredom when we are hungry, uncomfortable, or grieving.
Boredom is complex. It can be the birthplace of so much destruction - depression, anxiety, avoidance, numbness, addictions to screens, substances, drama, chaotic relationships. Boredom is also the birthplace of so much beauty - presence, creativity, rest, curiosity, the search for purpose and meaning.
Being with boredom is a spiritual practice. When we have the privilege of feeling bored, we can make a choice to check-out and escape, or to check-in and explore. The difference is subtle.
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