We live in an age of escapism.
We use food, shopping, drugs, alcohol, screens, phones, work, and busyness.
And in our mad rush, we are forgetting how to slow down—how to sleep, how to breathe, how to eat, how to nourish ourselves, how to listen, and how to connect.
It’s a paradox. Connection is at our fingertips. We no longer have the challenge of seeking out the information we crave. It’s all available to us, all of the time. We no longer have to find it or engage with others and embrace and accept their quirks and differences, as they slowly and carefully impart their precious wisdom. Now, we quickly scan their words—if our attention allows us to, and, if not, we scroll on. Onward. On to the next fleeting idea or thing we must do, have, be.
Boredom is barely a thing anymore. Boredom now equates to reaching for something, anything—and we have so many options at our fingertips. It’s easy to see the things that we gain from these shifts in our behaviour and having so much available to us. The gains are marketed to us: convenience, connection, accessibility, status.
But what are we losing?
The benefits of learning to navigate what we perceive to be uncomfortable within ourselves are great. Whether it is having that difficult conversation, processing new or challenging emotions in constructive ways, developing healthy boundaries and outlets, identifying and communicating how we feel, or simply just being in our own company. These things enable us to navigate our lives in meaningful ways. They allow us to grow and develop and achieve new levels within ourselves. They give us context.
The danger is that the spaces and windows in our lives for us to learn these skills are becoming smaller. In our mad rush, we no longer have the luxury of time to just be. And in just being we get to integrate how we feel, how we manage ourselves, how we experience ourselves and the world around us. We open up spaces for creativity and ideas.
The outcomes of boredom are no longer being realised. The drivers of our creative sparks have changed.
Boredom isn’t the enemy. It’s a gateway to ourselves—our creative ideas, our thoughts, our emotions, our dreams, and our plans.
Be careful not to give your boredom away too easily, to quick fixes and easy distractions.
The beauty of boredom is yours for the taking, if you choose.