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Boredom: The Birthplace of Creativity

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

After one too many electronic related meltdowns from my children over the last few months, I made a new rule: No more video games.


TV is allowed for family time but no more aimlessly staring at the phone watching youtube videos throughout the day.


On the first day of implementing this new rule I thought: Oh gosh, here come the complaints of boredom from the kids. I felt a twinge of guilt for allowing them to be bored.


Nonetheless, I continued on with my new rule.


I dropped Cash off at school that day, like I do every morning.


As usual, we give hugs and kisses and say our goodbyes for the day at the door of his classroom.


Then, I walk into the lunch room area to drop off his lunch and store it away until lunch time.


There’s always the same lunch lady in there each morning.

She’s probably in her mid to late 60’s.

Always a cheerful and calm hello as she peels oranges or apples for the dozens of children depending on the day.


Most days I swing in, say hello and head out to start my work day.


On this particular day though, I’m sure she thought I was a crazy person.


I was late. And in a rush.


I stormed in to the lunchroom, slung the food in the refrigerator and marched out loudly, heals clacking, breathing hard and my hair flying in the air at my rushed speed.


As I was exiting, I recognized my high energy rush in comparison to her calmness.


I felt guilty for rushing and decided to take a breath.

I was already running late but her energy drew me in.


For a moment, I was seriously jealous of her.


I wish I could have a calm, quiet morning peeling oranges in a room all alone.

Left completely alone to think, ponder, process, daydream….whatever!


After a moment of realization, I slowed down and went on with my day.


It made me think of past work experiences where friend of mine would be so bored at work.

Without enough to do throughout the day, they'd pretend to look busy when the boss walked by but spend hours working on other projects throughout the day.


Normally the idea of working at a desk all day without enough to do would drive me crazy.


Not today though.


I can’t help but think how nice it would be…......to get bored.


They say it’s good for kids to get bored.

It allows their minds to wander, get creative, test their limits and ultimately builds their confidence.


Why don’t we give more of that to ourselves as adults?


Time to get bored.

Time to get creative.

Time to test our own limits.

Time to try new things.


The last time I really let myself get bored was about three years ago when I went to a cabin in the mountains by myself for a weekend. No electronics. No cell service. Literally, no nothing.


Just a hot tub and a gorgeous view.

It was so nice to just be.

A couple days was all I needed and I left feeling…centered. Confident. Like I had a plan and a handle on things.


We may not all have the freedom to lock ourselves away in a cabin in the mountains for three days with the intention of boredom but I wonder what creative energy might spur from that boredom if we gave it to ourselves more often.