Thursday, March 1, 2012

On Overcoming Boredom

Times do come when you have a choice to make about use of your time: the choice between boredom and preoccupation.

Sometimes you're just stuck ~ stuck in traffic, stuck in jury duty, stuck in a long (maybe not so good) speech, stuck in a long line at a Theme Park..... And it's tempting to complain and sigh and wish you were elsewhere.

Our recent trip to Legoland brought this subject to the forefront of my mind while I and little Harrison waited for a literal hour for three children and a husband to stand in line and ride one ride. Miss Mason has helped me to see that even the mundane can be extremely interesting.

After eating a snack, changing a diaper, reading a page from "Home Education", taking a short walk, and snapping pictures, I was getting restless. A wonderful thing about Florida is all the beautiful nature they intentionally include everywhere ~ parking lots, zoos, library, and theme parks too. I noticed some striking bushes with yellow flowers next to my chosen spot of respite. My interest was first piqued, and then my thought was, "I don't want to do nature study when it's not school time!" Of course, nature is not to be enjoyed or even studied only during school. So I took some time to closely observe the dark green rumply leaves and pretty tube flowers. I don't know their name (though I've spent a good amount of time googling it), yet they are familiar to me now.


A friendship with this flower has begun. And I will always remember that we met at Legoland while I was attempting patience with one of the many long lines.

Nature can provide endless fascination, but even if stuck indoors, a person could keep his mind occupied with thoughts or rememberings.


Of course these days, with an iPhone always at hand, amusing yourself isn’t very difficult. Anyone can surf or text the boredom away. The real test for the modern educated man is the ability to entertain himself when technology isn’t available or is not socially acceptable to whip out. Can you entertain yourself at a boring meeting, while camping, while conversing at a dinner party? The educated man can, and he does it, ironically enough, by retaining an important ability of his childhood—curiosity. The educated man is insatiably curious about the world around him and other people. In any situation, he sees something to learn, study, and observe. If he’s stuck somewhere with neither phone nor company, he uses the time to untangle a philosophical problem he’s been wrestling with; the mind of the educated man is a repository of ideas that he can pull out and examine to pass the time in any situation.



3 comments:

The Glasers said...

I love how you discovered the joy of living an integrated life: the art, poetry, and music found in nature enriches our life and cannot be contained in a box labeled as school.

amy in peru said...

LOVE that comment from art of manliness... i'm totally gonna snag it for my commonplace.

come to think of it, and perhaps even because of CM influence, i am seldom bored... of course it could also have something to do with having 5 children, living an extreme life and being married to mr. spontaneous... who knows! ;)

thanks!

amy in peru

phillipsgirl said...

There's some good stuff over at art of manliness. I happened to find it when googling for some kind of quote (I never did find the exact one i was looking for, but this one works).