Boredom, take me away!
It practically smacked me in the face last week at the gas station – no, not the sign that says, “please leave your first born as a deposit before filling up.”
I mean the monitor right above the pumps that loops commercials nonstop. Maybe it’s to distract you from the grand larceny you’re willingly submitting to. Or maybe it’s because we have grown so accustomed to being wired, connected, in touch and hooked up that the simple act of fueling your vehicle requires supplemental entertainment.
Blessed boredom, you are a lost art.
I’ve been thinking a lot about boredom lately, since reading a story about how afraid we are these days to be alone with our thoughts.
I couldn’t relate at all. You’re bored? You’re lucky.
Accept that as truth from someone who hasn’t been to the bathroom by herself in more than four years. In the days Before Kids, I used to laugh when a friend would complain about that. Warning to any childless person who’s giggling now: It’s a real, and it will happen to you.
These days, life flies at me so fast I barely have time for thought, much less non-thought. Oversleep in the morning, rush to get dressed, hurry the guys through breakfast, get in the car in time to avoid a speeding ticket on the way to work.
Drop off the guys, crow-bar them from my knees with a “but I have to go” and enjoy roughly five minutes of silence on the way to the office.
Jet to my desk, which at times can be like working air-traffic control at O’Hare. But at least no one at work’s yelling, “I don’t want to wear my shoes!” At least not lately. A few years back, I did work with a guy who couldn’t write if his feet were fettered. He also had a habit of picking up his dry cleaning and leaving it in a conference room for days. He’s the only person I’ve ever known who needed a wardrobe carton his last day on a job.
And my job? The end of it is only the beginning. Reverse the morning’s course, except this time the guys beg to stay because in the afternoon their friends are much more interesting than Mommy. Great. Where’s that solitude when I want it?
Rush home so there’s time to play outside, practice letters, bathe, eat dinner, rebathe Little Guy to remove the dinner, watch “Batman,” brush teeth, read stories and hit the hay. Anywhere from 10 minutes to a half hour later, the guys will pass out and I’ll get my first quasi-break of the day.
That’s when I’m finally able to lapse into what passes for boredom. Packing lunches, washing dishes and starting the next day’s dinner require some thought, but not much. Mostly, my thoughts are “I can’t wait to get all this done .”
Finally, it’s finished and I can escape. I search for my coffee cup – why is that thing never where I left it? – and head for the patio. I kick up my feet and stare mindlessly at the stars. And it feels great.
Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.