1.07.2010

I Need a Distraction

Word Play - First Word: Bored (donated by Ruth)

Bored: (wikipedia definition: Boredom is an emotional state experienced during periods lacking activity or when individuals are uninterested in the opportunities surrounding them. The first record of the word boredom is in the novel Bleak House by Charles Dickens, written in 1852,[1] in which it appears six times, although the expression to be a bore had been used in the sense of "to be tiresome or dull" since 1768.[2] )

I decided to make bored my first word, since part of the reason I am doing this project at all probably has something to do with boredom. Not that I am experiencing a “period lacking activity” nor am I “uninterested in the opportunities surrounding” me, but more that I am looking for something new to try. So, does that mean I AM “uninterested in the opportunities surrounding” me? Or am I just unaware of them? It could be that I am interested in ALL the activities surrounding me. It seems like the opportunities surrounding each of us are infinite; we only have to find them and attempt them. This project is an “opportunity surrounding me”. I just didn’t know it until I went looking for it.

The antonyms of boredom are “excitement, diversion and amusement” (from Dictionary.com). We each seek out these things. However, my idea of excitement, diversion and amusement are different from many people’s ideas of the same. I am diverted by reading a book. Many people may say THAT is “boring”. I am excited by The Discovery Channel’s “Planet Earth”. Many would find that “tiresome or dull”. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure and one woman’s boredom is another’s amusement.

I think these days, people become bored more easily than before. We have surrounded ourselves with so called “excitement, diversion and amusement”, namely through the internet, computer and television, that when we have an absence of these things, we are “bored”. Since when is riding a bike, playing a game, talking with your grandmother, eating, cooking or reading boring?

I am at a place where I am not sure where I am going or where I am trying to go with my life. I want to eventually find something to do that I love, but I am not sure what it is so I am on a continuous search for something “exciting” and lasting. I don’t consider myself bored. Confused maybe. Unsure. Hopeful. And distracted. We just moved to a new office where instead of a cubicle with high walls, we have an open room with low tables and even lower partitions. You can sit at your desk and see each and every person that walks by. Every time someone goes by, I catch a movement in the corner (or middle) of my eye and I have to look up to see what it is. Then I look back down to my work and I can’t remember what I was doing before. So I move onto something else.

The same thing happens with the internet. We are getting used to distracting ourselves with endless information, each thing segueing into the next (cooler) thing, that we never really finish doing any one thing completely. And this is why, when we take ourselves away from the internet, we get “bored”. Our synapses have stopped rapidly firing. Our eyes have to focus on one thing only. We have to wait for satisfaction. Boooooring, right?

Maybe I have been watching too much Julie and Julia (both of them are looking for something to do to combat boredom in their lives and turn to cooking, blogging and writing a cookbook). Is it in our natures to be unsatisfied (or as wiki says, “uninterested”)? We are always looking for more money, a better job, a cuter hairstyle or something more “exciting”. Will we ever stop and say, “That’s enough; I am satisfied now”? Or is our thirst for amusement what keeps everything in the world moving forward, what keeps us striving for knowledge, for love, for happiness and for life?

Maybe we will never cease to be bored. And now that you mention it, I wonder, is that really such a bad thing after all?

Note to readers: The words “bored, boring and boredom” were used 16 times in this document.

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