Boredom Be Gone
(Or: Getting that Peppy-Step Back)
By: Patrick M. Kennedy
Oh, thank you, those winter months are safely behind us and it is time to live comfortably again: Time to throw away that blasé mask that looks like Grumpy the dwarf. Is boredom contagious like the winter flu or the common cold? It happens to all of us at one time or another. When someone sitting next to us sneezes, we immediately assume cold germs are soaring through the air and will soon grab hold of us with our health protectors down and it will infect us. On the same hand, when someone yawns, another person seems to catch it and yawns too. It happens at the local cafe and even sometimes on Sunday in church. It is transmittable and is a sure sign of boredom, if not a sleepy disposition. Can it be catchy like a cold? Is winter to blame? And if so, what is the remedy?
Generally, boredom is an emotional state experienced when a senior citizen is without any activity or is not interested in his/her surroundings: tedium, ennui and world weariness come to mind. Some seniors think they have lived and seen it all and nothing will change. Boredom has been defined by C. D. Fisher in terms of its central psychological processes as an unpleasant, transient affective state in which the individual feels a pervasive lack of interest in and difficulty concentrating on the current activity. And for many senior citizens that activity, or lack of it, is called retirement.
I can excuse everything but boredom. Boring people don’t have to stay that way, said Hedy Lamarr
an actress from the early 20th
century. So boredom had been around a while. Even the poet Dylan Thomas had an opinion on the subject. He said, -- He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest. So there is a solution to this contagious malady. But as might be suspected, each case of boredom has its own grounds for becoming a problem, and its own solution for activities that will create non-boredom, if there is such a word.
Of course, the opposite of boredom is excitement, diversion, and amusement. And this brings the coming spring season into mind. The sun shines more, and ideas for things to do in the warmth are arising with the morning mist. When we were kids, stuff like kick the can, hide and seek, marbles, and riding a bike as fast as you can were automatic distractions. Not any more. Other possible and doable passions must take their place. Here’s where imagination replaces boredom, that is, the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality. Wow! That is a mouthful, head full, of stuff. It also incites the creative ability to confront and deal with a problem, resourcefulness … something needed in a boring lifestyle.
How about keeping it simple and doing the things you did last spring and summer: Walking a lot, window shopping, going to movies and dinners, biking if you can, and talking to other people: Or golfing or bowling again, or more, and participating in other games; poker, bridge, bingo, or even the incoming carnival, or, volunteering some of that idle time to a local charity.
Other people in your life help separate boredom from everyday life. Meeting people at different places replaces boredom. Maybe they have ideas for what to do to keep active and getting that peppy-step back. The saying ‘Just Do It’ comes to mind and the activity of burying boredom in the winter snow is non-boring in itself. As someone, probably many people, said, I don’t even talk about it boy I just do it. That’s the fun in it.