On being okay with boredom


Imagine a usual Wednesday evening. A week earlier, there was a similar Wednesday evening, and of course, next week, there will be another Wednesday evening. These Wednesday evenings never stop arriving and all of them look essentially the same. Wednesday evenings are insignificant, boring chunks of time that you cannot avoid.

Finishing his work a little early, he comes home tired, mechanically changes into nightclothes, eats a tasteless dinner, and, on the dinner table, engages in a forced chitchat with his wife. As he opens and closes his mouth to utter careless words, he keenly feels the insignificance of the talk because all the significant conversations have already been done in the past. All that is remaining to talk about is trivial curiosities about food, work, travel and other miscellaneous stuff. He forces himself to think of something interesting, but nothing worthwhile strikes his listless mind. He believes he loves his beautiful wife and usually the same chitchat gives him a warm, fuzzy feeling and makes him happy, but today does not seem to be one such joyful day. Today, he is utterly bored.

He is bored because this Wednesday is an unimportant day. The hate for Monday has subsided and the excitement for a Saturday hasn’t arrived yet. Wednesday is just a large expanse of time that has to be filled with something substantial. He feels the weight of being happy at this particular moment.

The pressure to do something meaningful is immense because any day in the future he might die. He’s scared of death so he wants to feel relevant while he is still alive. He wants his every moment to count for something special. He wants magical, larger-than-life days.

Unfortunately, Wednesday is not magical. It’s dull and he knows that quite vividly. While his wife is cleaning the dining table, he drifts towards his room and realizes that the monotony of this evening is killing him. But he has no energy left to rebel against the dullness that is crawling besides him into the room. He is a silent observer to his own life, watching time swoosh by every second, day-after-day, Wednesday-after-Wednesday, year-after-year, death-after-death. He asks himself: what’s the point of it all. He waits for an answer but all he hears back is some distorted, incoherent echoes.

Because this empty, dejected Wednesday evening makes him aware of the passage of time so vividly, he fears living through it. Time is unnaturally slow today. He desperately wants to run away to somewhere else, but where should he go? He wants to escape, but he also knows that time runs at the same discolored pace everywhere. No matter where he is, he knows that life will always keep pushing such boring, never-ending Wednesdays at him. One day, even if he finds Shangri-La, he knows he will get bored there too. What is he going to do then? Escape again? Escape to where? There really is no running away.

So, what should he do now?

He tries to distract himself by watching silly kitten videos followed by dejected scan on Facebook where everyone else has an awesome life. These trivial activities fail to lift his mood. His room is dark, he is laying on his stomach with his nose plunged inside the pillow. With his body numb, mouth dry, and eyes unfocused, he probably just wants to sleep early.

Most people grasp the true meaninglessness of who they are and what the universe is up to on a day like this Wednesday evening. When boredom strikes, the desperation to end it is immense. Since his boredom is so deep and real, he cannot hope to escape it with shallow distractions. Half amused, half depressed, he thinks he has no choice but to either kill himself or learn to be comfortable inside his own skin, while fully being aware of the absurdity of being so. Really, he has to be either distracted and happy, or bored and real. He cannot expect to be real and happy at the same time. It’s logically impossible.

***

Interestingly enough, boredom never lingers on. A magical Saturday evening appears once again and he is happy as a duck once again, totally forgetting how dreadful that Wednesday evening was. Thank god he’s human.

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2 Responses to “On being okay with boredom”

  1. shruti
    7. June 2013 at 14:33

    Boredom- absence of engagement into a task.
    The urge to ‘create’ comes from an unconscious feeling of incompleteness, or dissatisfaction with the present situation.
    This is akin to the lesson of the pearl, in which it is such a beautiful creation, but actually is formed from the irritation of the oyster. What starts out as the woe of the oyster, eventually becomes a beautiful creation. It is found then, that people find their most creative moments come from their most troubled times.

    All new Imaginations and designing of new forms, ideas, and illusions has happened when there was a sense of extreme Void; to which you call boredom.

  2. Rajiv Singh
    15. June 2013 at 10:49

    Its not about what we feel it is about what we are searching.There is space, a dark, cold and very long unending one.May be the space is filled with a undefined matter which give us a sense of boredom.What we are searching in to the wild we don’t know about it.
    Is there any one who can show the light to this pathfinder.

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