A Drop of Sunshine #3
March 2022 - Boredom as an Invitation to Creativity
Hello Dear Ones,
A few weeks ago, I challenged myself to a Reading Deprivation Week, all in the name of curiosity and creativity. What would my time look like if I didn’t read for 1 whole week? For the non-readers, what would your time look like if you didn’t watch TV for a week, or use any form of social media?
Determined to swap all “found time” from reading deprivation to active writing pursuits, I also abstained from TV and social media. The goal was to write more, not swap my books for DVDs of Friends and Boy Meets World reruns.
Unsurprisingly? It worked. I wrote. A lot!
Surprisingly? It was more uncomfortable than expected.
I was bored. Boredom is good for our brains, especially in a loud world that feels particularly louder than normal. But boredom isn’t something I’ve felt acutely since childhood, in a pre-cell phone era.
To combat the boredom, I wrote: poems, short stories, new novel chapters, and journal entries. Sitting with boredom brought up emotions that I didn’t know how to identify. When we constantly distract our minds or numb ourselves with sensory input, intentional reflection time can be shockingly uncomfortable. Naming the emotions I felt helped instill a sense of relief, but I couldn’t pinpoint them specifically aside from “off” or “longing for escape in a book.”
Enter the Mood Meter App. A dear friend of mine recommended it and I can already feel myself understanding my moods and naming them with greater accuracy. It is the best 99 cents I’ve ever spent in the phone app store. Not only is it fun to pick your mood based on color, but it is encouraging to have a word for the emotion. And it forces you to be honest with your feelings instead of moralizing them or insisting you’re “just tired” or “fine.”
The world is a mess and you’re probably not feeling “Fine”. That’s okay.
There are tangible steps to feeling better:
Use the Mood Meter app to identify your emotions and sit with them in curiosity not judgement.
Read a book.
Watch a rerun of your favorite show.
Until next time, I hope you enjoy this drop of sunshine.
Quote to Ponder:
“We are not living in a world where all roads are radii of a circle and where all, if followed long enough, will therefore draw gradually nearer and finally meet at the center: rather in a world where every road, after a few miles, forks into two, and each of those into two again, and at each fork you must make a decision. Even on the biological level life is not like a river but like a tree. It does not move towards unity but away from it and the creatures grow further apart as they increase in perfection. Good, as it ripens, becomes continually more different not only from evil but from other good.” - C.S. Lewis in the The Great Divorce
What to Bake
Angus Barn Chocolate Chess Pie - Easy, simple, and delicious! Serve with ice cream, of course!
What to Listen To
The Joy of Music by Ben Rector: From collaborations with Snoop Dogg to Kenny G, this album is vibrant, layered, and fun!
What to Read*
I went into this book with zero preconceived notions and suggest you do the same. Don’t read the cover copy. Just open it and begin. Within the first few pages my breath caught because I realized I was holding a book that would haunt me. The kind of book that once you finish, you ache to read again as if it was the first time. Piranesi is mysterious and gripping, hilarious and heartfelt, and above all, unique. I truly can’t recommend it highly enough. Literary fantasy at its finest.
Question for You:
When was the last time you allowed yourself to feel boredom?
Did it last for 30 seconds before you grabbed your phone, TV remote, or book?
Can you allow yourself the gift of boredom for 2 minutes? Can you sit with it and allow your mind to observe or daydream or rest or ponder something lovely or brainstorm a new idea?
If you accept this 2 minute boredom challenge and it leads to insights or creativity, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Until next time, wishing you sunshiny trails!