I remember all the years as a young girl where the worst thing in life was to be bored.  It killed me.  I’d sigh HUGE loud sighs until my mom would notice.  “I’m so bored!” I’d say.  It was dangerous, however, to say this to my mom, as she had the best remedy for boredom….the fateful words would come out of her mouth, “Well, good, I have some things you can do…starting with cleaning your room!”  I learned quickly to keep my boredom to myself.  But it wouldn’t be any better…you all remember, don’t you?  That feeling of boredom, not having anything to do? 

Today, that feeling hasn’t happened for, well, um, since I think before I had children?  Maybe before I was married?  I would welcome boredom today.  Life quickly can become very full, if not – sometimes, overwhelming.  Add a husband, three kids, a ministry, a job, and additional relationships to cultivate and you’ve got an entire lifetime’s recipe for not being bored!

Oh, to go back to those early days of boredom.  Some of the things I’d try then to overcome boredom were:

  • Put on my rollerskates or grab my skateboard (yes, I had one of those, way back then…didn’t look anything like they do today…narrow and plastic looking, but it was fun!) and head to the Mission Home (in Bolivia) volleyball court to skate the afternoon away.
  • Head to the open fields nearby, lay down on the grass, or in most cases dirt, and look at the clouds floating overhead, creating shapes in my mind as they went by.
  • Call up my friend Alison and see if she wanted to go on a bike ride.  We’d often do this on one bike, one of us riding on the handle bars….(Alison, remember the giggles and falling and laughing so hard that we…well, let’s just say we didn’t make it to the bathroom several miles away at home!)
  • Head to the stadium with a few friends to play raquetball in the courts nearby.
  • Take a “Microbus” downtown to eat ice-cream at Kivons or Zurichs or La Espania
  • Grab my swimming suit and call some friends to go swimming at La Riviera or Plaza Colon
  • Head out to the big palm tree in the yard with a good book to read the afternoon away
  • Take a hike behind the Mission Home where we lived up into the Andes Mtns. foothills, and if I was lucky, stumble on a pack of Llamas.
  • Call a bunch of friends to come play Rook in the Dining Hall – pop the popcorn and set out to win a few hands.
  • Go put on my cassette tapes (back in the day we had those, ha!) and listen to the “Rock Music – gasp!” my brothers would send to me to keep me in the loop of what was happening on the music front back in the US – I’d grab a cuaderno (my Bolivian notebook) and listen to the words of the song, push stop, rewind, listen some more, then write down all the lyrics.  This was before people thought to include lyrics in the Cassette covers.  They made us work for them!  No Google-ing available back then!  Ah, the memories…Alison and I took about 4 hours to finish Boston’s song – Competition!  🙂
  • Maybe go to the Cochabamba (the city where I was born, in Bolivia) Zoo and see if just maybe the lion would roar that day- most of the times I’m pretty sure the lion was even bored…and watch out for the monkeys, they’d grab your hat right off your head if you got too close…not like the zoos in the US where you can’t get too close.
  • Bake chocolate chip cookies and globs (no-bake cookies) to send in a care package to Mark who was away at the Mission boarding school.

Today if I was bored, I’d still want to do a lot of the things I did when I was a kid if I could turn the clock back.  Boredom seldom [if ever] happens now.  So, all you bored teenagers out there.  Look at boredom as a gift!  Life happens quickly.  Enjoy your boredom!  Embrace your boredom…and go do something spontaneous while you can! And if I may, avoid mindless TV watching to overcome your boredom…there’s a big world outside, explore it! 

NOTE to my readers:  What are some memories you have of overcoming boredom when you were a kid?

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About cakboliv

Born in Cochabamba, Bolivia to wonderful missionary parents, Howard and Maxine Morarie. Grew up in Bolivia, both in a remote jungle village

4 responses »

  1. emma says:

    boredom is an illusion

  2. As a life coach, I study boredom and I often ask clients to list the activities they enjoyed most when they were children, the things they did when they could do whatever they wanted to do, in their free time. Just as you have done in this post. Then we look for commonalities in these activities, themes, you might say. These are their Elements of Interest. See my “Elements of Interest” archives in my blog ThePowerOfBoredom.com. It’s important to incorporate these individual Elements into a career or a day. Your Elements of Interest include being with friends (4 times out of 12 items), physical activity (5 out of 12 items), also three alone activities (reading a book, looking at clouds, listening to music) also music, animals, food as part of relationship. I would ask you more questions about these, if I were coaching you. Yours is a nice balance. Some people’s lists are not; some have 8 items about the same Element; they need to know what drives them, especially if it’s missing now.

    Thanks for the great list and the pleasant look into your life with Mark.

    To Emma, who commented that boredom is an illusion; it’s a lack of neurochemical stimulation in the brain and some people have more trouble with this than others.

  3. cakboliv says:

    Thanks, Letitia, for stopping by. Interesting concept, understanding your Elements of Interest. I’ll jump on over to your blog and check it out. 🙂

  4. Melanie says:

    When I was little, I lived in Hawaii. There was lots to do but I’m sure my 11 yr old self thought I was miserably bored.
    Some of my favorites were:
    ~walking along the beach with a stick and ‘popping’ the man o’ war (jellyfish) that would wash up on the beach.
    ~go roller skating, but not without my shiny yellow skate covers
    ~climb trees (imagine, we didn’t even have to wear helmets!)
    ~once I crashed my bike bc i was trying to ride w/ my eyes closed but i never told anyone bc i was so embarrassed.
    ~torturing my sister. (i think that is a worldwide favorite.)

    I’m sure I could go on and on. These days, I welcome boredom.
    Maybe I’ll start putting on my calendar for the future!

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