(Waiting for the screaming nag)
I was thinking about boredom. Thinking about it because of how I am.
It’s all just as it is. And as it is, is nothing new.
The predicament of another, her boredom, was and is a peg to hang it on today. But I have to face facts: my compassion is ultimately ineffective. Her boredom remains.
It functions as a yardstick, perhaps.
If, in addition, boredom functions as a catalyst then the sensible thing would be to start hunting for ways out, ways to fracture the grind.
What do you do? A ‘plus side’ / ‘negative side’ list? Some kind of cold assessment. An honest assessment. Stark text on plain paper. Each factor scored according to how much they weigh you down.
End the day wondering about how to find the energy for change … How to do more than merely log it as a ‘to do’, to be ignored for another day / week / month / year. To be ignored until it solves itself. Or until it’s too late. Or until the nag is too loud to shun.
(You Can’t Escape) All Boredoms
Boredom? I suppose I’d call it a justifiable world-weariness. Justified because the cause of it cannot be, or cannot be readily, changed.
Witnessing a recently widowed woman struggle with her own company, her solitude after decades of marriage, her loneliness, and there’s nothing surprising about it. Nothing at all.
It might be sad or tragic or anything else. However you’d describe it, it’s wholly predictable. The act of thinking about it is dully repetitious.
It’s boring to contemplate it because there’s nothing I can do to change how things are for her in any meaningful way. And there’s nothing I can think about it that I’ve not thought before.
It may feel like a horrible thing for me to say, but it is without malice. She’s bored herself and says so. Near-crushingly bored.
She has my sympathy. She has people in her life still, caring for her, about her. She is in reasonable health, all things considered. Fine. None of it changes anything. No-one can bring back her much-missed dead husband.
Her predicament is boring for its predictable unresolvable relentlessness. Boring for her. Boring to those around her. That is an unyielding truth.
And if none of that is surprising, the amount we – she and I – have in common has the added truth that it is also depressing. We share a sense of boredom that is stark, inescapable – and depressing.
I’m bored and I know I’m boring.
I have I suppose what you might call a conceptual salvation. I cling, albeit tenuously, to the hope that it’s within my gift to escape this particular personal reality.
All of life has the potential to be boring, or at least have boring elements. After all, constant change would in itself become boring over time.
The real issue lies with not what happens in your life, but how you respond to it.
And the rarely stated question is whether one is in fact sometimes comfortably bored. There’s reassurance to be had in the known, however tedious it might be.