Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Art of Boredom

I was on a two week long hike with some friends nearly 3 1/2 years ago. We did nothing for two weeks but hike. With hours of nothing to distract us besides our occasional panting, we filled the time with conversation and silent reflect. Even upon arriving at our destination each night, we rarely had access to the internet, and phone service was even more scarce. There were a few odd books at each hut or hostel along the way, and some board games, but we never really bothered with them. We would sit and chat some more, as if the countless hours of conversation during our daily hike wasn't enough, write in our journals, and get to know the other hikers we'd be sharing a roof with for the night.

At one point during the week, one girl in our group began talking about her younger, teen-aged brother and how he was constantly plugged in - listening to music, playing video games, surfing the web, etc. She said, "It's like he doesn't know how to just be bored".

It was the first time I had considered boredom as being a positive.

Boredom, in the way we discussed it that afternoon, is just the ability to be comfortable with nothing but you and your own thoughts. It's stepping momentarily away from the fast pace of life to just meditate and think. It's filling your own mind with thoughts instead of letting it be filled by whatever is being thrown at you. It's good for the soul.

As I've thought about that conversation, and how easy it is right now with school and work to be constantly stimulated, I've decided that one of my goals for the new year is to spend more time bored.

Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. - Henry David Thoreau


Anna K. said...

Good thoughts!! It is nice to have time to reflect.I miss you!! I have been away from the blogging world but I think I am back now.

Jason Medina said...

We are boring people... come be bored with us