Posted on July 14, 2015
The Beauty of Boredom
When I first embraced minimalism completely, I was thrilled to get rid of all of the things that no longer served me. It was amazing to see how I could look at something that I might use and make that final decision to get rid of it. Every time I get to a level when I feel I finally have everything out of my house that doesn’t serve me, suddenly, it is time for another round of clearing out. My house has never been so empty and so full at the same time.
I have come across testimonials of individuals who say that once they got everything out that didn’t serve them, there was this void, this space they then needed to fill in their lives. I can say that yes, this is a true occurrence that will take place in the life of anyone seeking to get the unessential out of their life. It happens to me as well.
I was already a fan of simple living when I embraced minimalism. I refused to live as most people do these days, busy from sunup to sundown. I feel I was blessed to burn out at a young age, and I never recovered. When I was a university student, I worked two jobs, went to church, ran a weekly young women’s bible study and traveled. I did it because everyone lived that way. It was through international travel that I learned things could be different.
With my focus fully turned on clearing out the unessential, I discovered again the unbeneficial things in my day…too much time on the internet, procrastination, laziness, so on. While I still struggle with a few things on a daily basis, I have been able to improve because I am now aware of these issues. When I engaged in those behaviors, I was trying to escape what I didn’t want to admit to myself, my life bored me.
So what to do with the boredom? Get Creative! I know that the answer to the questions will be different for different people. For me, there is a variety of ways that I have chosen to fill my life and enrich it for now and the future.
- I read
Many years ago I was involved in a multilevel marketing business that encouraged its members to explore self improvement. While I didn’t make much money with the company and I don’t enjoy this type of business, the focus on challenging ourselves to be the best we can resonated with me.
I do the best that I can to read at least 15 minutes of a good book daily, and that doesn’t count the Bible (which I do read). There are so many interesting authors and individuals in the world who are doing great things. Reading what people worldwide are doing in a wide variety of subjects and interests, inspires me to keep a sense of wonder for what the world offers…regardless of any limitations we may put on ourselves.
- I learn
I believe in the importance of continuing education to keep our brains healthy and our minds alive. For the last 10 years or so, I have been working on improving my French language skills. I have never set a time by which I would like to be fluent, instead I have set the expectation that every year when I visit France, I will speak better than I did the last time I was there.
I tend to come across a subject about which I have questions and I dive into it until I am oversaturated with information. I thought this was just a recent occurrence, but according to my mother, I have always been this way about new information. I really love to do this about a location that I am visiting. I like to have a general knowledge before traveling and then a complete immersion when I get there. I truly enjoy learning.
- I explore where I am
I love to find off the wall, out of the way places. I remember when I was a young person and I found this free coffee shop ran by missionaries. It was in between my neighborhood and my university. Not many people knew about it and I enjoyed sharing my find with others. They would have a mini concert on Saturdays and serve chili that you could buy for a dollar. It was great!
I still do that to this day. Wherever I happen to be, I like to explore where I am living. In my current neighborhood, I find it amazing that many of the residents who have lived there much longer than I don’t know there is a farmer’s market, or a lovely children’s theatre or a French conversation group. I take pleasure in finding and participating in my community. There are always so many activities available, it is definitely necessary to do only the one that truly brings a sense of joy.
- I focus on relationships
Bean and I have a great relationship. I know some of that is because of her age and personality, but it is also because I make it a point to be present with her. Whether I happen to be with her or with others, I make it a point to be with them, not focused on my phone. There is always something competing for our attention. The best thing we can do is focus on the one we are with. This focus will give value to their lives and help them to feel thankful to be with us. We never know when we will not be given that chance again.
- I practice self care
Because I don’t need to rush from one appointment to the next, I often have time in the afternoons to walk home from work. Yes, it is much easier to take the bus. Sometimes I do when I haven’t had a good night’s sleep. However, when I think in the long term, the best thing that I can do for my sleep habits and my body is to exercise daily. The easiest way to exercise daily is to incorporate it into our day, so I walk.
I get up early in the morning, one hour before I really need to be awake. I take time to feed my spirit. I read, I pray, I meditate, get ready for the day ahead. This time that I spend in the morning could be a little extra sleep for me, but I have found that the best way for me to get through the day is to honor this time.
Many of us feel so busy with the lives of our family and the duties of our jobs that we don’t take time to eat right. The easiest way is just to do it. Don’t overly complicate it, the best thing to do is get down to the essentials in this part of life as well.
This summer, the easiest thing for me to do (since the garden has been amazing) is eat salad. I eat a fruit salad for breakfast, which Bean LOVES. I take all of my salad fixing to work in a mason jar and eat a vegetable salad for lunch. It wasn’t an elaborate or intensely thought out diet, but this simple act of caring for myself in my diet has improved my body and cleaned my mind once again.
If we feel ourselves stuck in boredom, we can spice up our lives with creativity! Whether the boredom has been caused by cleaning out all of the unnecessary obligations and items in our lives or just because
life is so routine, we can take a moment to sit in silence and find how we can enrich ourselves and find beauty in the boredom.