Tuesday, 6 September 2011


I've had quite a wonderfully boring long weekend, and it's made me think about the gift of boredom. I've had LOTS of time to think. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday included a lot of resting - which is what I needed, but I'm not used to doing this - especially on a weekend in the summer. Especially on the official LAST weekend of the summer.

I usually want to cram as much as I can into our summer months. And I enjoy it - being program director, facilitating and planning fun experiences for the family. I fill up my days so that there isn't any room for boredom.

But a summer cold caught up with me and I lay in bed for a good part of Saturday and just read. And rested. And ate food in bed. And it felt so good. All 3 girls in my house offered to get me food and drinks, and it was just lovely to be served and not rush around and pack up food and clothing and hand snacks to the back seat of the car and say will you stop arguing back there and then come home late and whine all the way to bed and unpack.

In the middle of the day on Saturday, the power went out for about 4 hours, which can make for boring times if you rely on electronics for amusement. But that afternoon, the playmobil figures got a lot of playtime. And we read 5 chapters of Little House on the Prairie. As we searched for flashlights as evening approached, the power came back on. There were cheers all 'round, and we put on High School Musical 2. Because sometimes a movie seems like a huge treat in an otherwise boring weekend. Especially when it comes with popcorn.

When I heard "Mom, I'm bored" this summer, I said, "Great! What an opportunity to use your creativity and imagination." I didn't hear it too many times. But sometimes I crave a tiny bit of boredom, just to rest and not be the fun facilitator. So this Labour Day weekend was a tad boring, but oh so good at the same time.

Do you welcome boredom?

This post is so boring I'm not even including a photo.

Your true traveller finds boredom rather agreeable than painful. 
It is the symbol of his liberty - his excessive freedom. 
He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, 
but almost with pleasure. Aldous Huxley 


  1. We had a "boring" weekend, too, Rebecca! And I loved it. I felt kind of guilty for not organizing one last hurrah of an outing for the family ... but the kids themselves held a meeting yesterday morning and planned out their day with all the things they wanted to do before school started, and I thought, this is fabulous, these are exactly the kids I hoped to have. Their plan included playing doggie, a crashing car game in the upstairs hallway, a Lego game they made up, and eating the last of the cereal (a summer-only indulgence) and the last of the ice cream (ditto). It was such a fun day.

  2. Carrie, I love their meeting and their plan! That's great, and what I hope for my kids too - to take responsibility for their fun, to plan, to create.

  3. I remember, with a tinge of guilt, repeatedly saying to campers who complained that they were bored, 'well, only boring people get bored'. It seemed to have some positive effect at the time, although after reading your post I'm rethinking it. Perhaps I could have said something positive like, 'when people get bored, they can embrace that as an opportunity...' or 'now that you have recognized that the thing you were doing is unfulfilling, you can play some role in determining how to shape that experience creatively'. Or perhaps just, 'people who complain when they can't figure out what to do with their free time are...annoying, to me, and probably boring people at times, which is only their fault'. Less apodictically stated, compared to what I told campers. I'll take other suggestions too, because I'm sure Sim will declare his boredom at some point in the coming months. Perhaps if I can allure him into the art of being bored, he'll become a zen master by the time he reaches kindergarten.

  4. Yes, I think there is a bit of an art, and great if Sim can start practicing it already! I just think sometimes we fear boredom - so we cram/fill our lives with activity just in case. But boredom, time to think, can actually be very interesting - highlighting things that were shoved away because there just wasn't enough time to think about them.