The lost art of boredom

I haven’t been bored in more than a decade and I think that’s a real shame.

Have you?

Good, old-fashioned, listening-to-the-clock-tic-toc-and-wondering-if-the-hands-are-moving-at-all boredom leads to all kinds of wonderful things like innovation, introspection, art, music, poetry and, occasionally, a ridiculously clean and well-organized bedroom.

I’d like to be so bored one day that I pull out all of my old pictures and cross-categorize them by date and subject. Even that goal, though, is a perfect example of how rusty my boredom skills have become.

The first goal of boredom should be no goal at all — a listless kind of fight club in which all-out lethargy is the prevailing state.

Sheer boredom draws the eyeballs skyward and think what glory waits patiently there — cloud dancers, shadow dwellers, shooting stars, spiritual guidance and Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.

I once witnessed a force field of boredom so strong it convinced two previously bickering and entirely untrained siblings to perform a lovely water ballet as the sun set on a Florida swimming pool. That, my friends, is the magic of boredom.

Boredom and a latent sweet tooth led magnetron engineer Percy Spencer to notice that a candy bar he’d stuck in his pocket melted as he fiddled with the settings in front of him and voila! the microwave oven was born.

I don’t know if Steve Jobs was ever bored, but I blame him and his like for the boredom banishment affecting all of our lives today. At the risk of sounding curmudgeonly, iBlame smartphones and I’m the worst.

I am a Googling, scrolling, texting, calendar-checking, Mapquest-accessing, email-responding nut job.

So, I have a new goal.

This week, I hope to be bored.

Fingers crossed.

If you want a good visual representation of boredom without offending anyone, I say look to a dog. Actually, we should look to a dog for a lot of life skills — unfettered joy, loyalty, napping ability and self confidence. But, that’s a post for another day.

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