Boredom used to be a regular feature in my life.
As a kid, I was bored all the time. This perpetual boredom led me to all sorts of shenanigans, like setting the soles of my shoes on fire or digging a four-foot deep hole in my backyard, simply because I could (kind of like George Mallory summiting Everest simply because it was there). My discovery that grapevines could be smoked like cigarettes was a direct product of the high volume of boredom in my life.
Even as I got older, I still had long stints of unoccupation. Walking to classes in college. Waiting for a computer program to compile [adjusts glasses and fiddles with pocket protector]. Long drives, doctors offices, waiting 10 freaking minutes for the America Online portal to load (I think I still have several hundred free hours to redeem).
Now I’m literally never bored. It’s actually kind of pathetic. If I have more than three seconds of free time, I’m on my phone, scoping out Facebook, reading headlines on ESPN, comparing my life to other people’s on Instagram. I am SUBSCRIBED TO 28 PODCASTS (even I can see that’s ridiculous). Between Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and the cable login I “borrow” from my friend, I have 343 years of television to catch up on. Because I have the impulse control skills of a small circus monkey, I am constantly purchasing $2.99 books for my Kindle, not because I’ll read them but because, honestly, who can pass up such a deal?
Lately, I’ve been increasingly concerned about my lack of boredom.
Not because boredom has some sort of moral value, and not because I’m an anti-technology hermit who longs to return to the days of typewriters and velocipedes (not to be confused with velociraptors, which are something entirely different).