Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Let's talk about boredom.

"Open me up and you will see
I'm a gallery of broken hearts
I'm beyond repair, let me be
And give me back my broken parts"
-Ingrid Michaelson, Be Ok

Boredom is a funny thing. When I was younger, I definitely was familiar with the concept and felt bored all the time. I'd come home from school, I'd be out of babysitter's club books, so I'd be bored. I'd be on winter break and my friends would all be out of town, so I'd be bored. I'd be on summer break, the thrill of warm weather and vacationing would be over and I'd even miss school a little, so I'd be bored.

But I quickly found that bored is a self-inflicted thing. You never have to be bored. If you're inventive, or have hobbies, or a little creativity - you can find something to do. The boredom is gone. This is a huge part of the reason I have so many projects in the first place - I turned to the Internet quite frequently when I needed something to quell the boredom. Deviantart. Fanfiction. Skype. YouTube. All direct results of making the proactive choice not to be bored.

But after enough time, the amount of projects multiply and soon there is little time for boredom at all. You become too busy to be bored. There is always a long to-do list of things that went from being boredom-crushers to legitimate obligations, and you miss the time you used to have in which you could just laze around, looking for a new hobby or project to pass the time. Things like reading a new book, or playing a DS game, or catching up on your favorite TV shows. These start to become the things you do when you're procrastinating. The things you do when you SHOULD be doing something else.

But then. Then after the touring, and the albums, the traveling, and the videos - it's winter. And you find yourself with nearly two months to yourself, two months without flying. Without deadlines. Without day after day of obligations, promises you made to people to get things done, errands and projects and early morning alarms set. And you find yourself... kind of bored.

Suddenly it all comes crashing back. All that time you longed for a bit of free time to read, to play video games, to write just for the fun of it -- that stuff isn't fun when you're BORED! Those are the things you want to do when you know you shouldn't, when they're the happy alternative to more grueling work.

So... it's January 4th and I am bored. And I'm trying to figure out if I need to motivate myself to just appreciate it and use the free time to read some of the books on my shelf I haven't read yet, or beat a new DS game that's sat unplayed for months, level up my main character on WoW - or just go online and find new projects. Or stay in bed. I think right now I'll choose stay in bed.

2011 is already out of control with the amount of stuff I am going to be doing, I deserve a little stay-in-bed/video game/reading time. Right?

PS. Thanks for all the suggestions on things to track! I've decided to go with WoW level (since so many people seemed interested, haha) and number of flights I've taken this year. Also, I think I might go back to doing song quotes at the top of entries, things that sort of parallel how I'm feeling or things I just like, because I always thought that was a nice addition to writing a blog post. Don't know why I stopped, honestly.

Level on WoW: 53
Flights taken: 0


Anna said...

I think that's when you should make a video :).

sam.k.c.s. said...

Either make a boredom video, in which you hope people actually like you enough to watch it (which they do) or just daydream. You don't have any other obligations, so the day can be about you and how you feel :)

nomnomnom said...

I honestly wish I was productive as you! I find the time to do all the lazy stuff and also procrastinate when I should be doing important stuff xD

Don't actually know what your WoW level thing means but oh well! It's so nice to see you blogging again!

Allison said...

I always seem to feel like this on my days off. I long for a day to myself. A day to do nothing. But then I end up just bored and waste my whole day. I can't win!

elfarmy17 said...

I certainly don't have a problem with you blogging when bored. :)
I usually read when I'm lacking anything else to do, but since I started my new book-reviewing channel (http://www.youtube.com/elfarmyreviews , if anyone's interested), that has become work. Enjoyable work, but work all the same.
Even listening to music I like is now job-related, due to a project I'm working on for Alan (Lastufka).
I definitely know how you feel-- procrastination is only fun if you really are procrastinating.
Go visit your bank man when you run out of stuff to do. I miss hearing about him.

Jennerbees said...

I can very much relate to this post. I work 45-50 hours a week at my job and take 2 Master's classes per semester on top of that. I also keep my social schedule jam-packed full with events, still manage to read books "for pleasure," and play around on the internet quite often as well. So when I all of a sudden have "free time," part of me feels like there's a thousand things I could or even "should" be doing, and the other part of me thinks I should just relax and take a break. But I don't know if I really know HOW to do that. I don't think I know how NOT to be busy. Crazy! I hate feeling bored and I hate feeling like I've wasted any free time I miraculously have. If you figure out the answer to all of this, please write an entry and share with us. ;)

As always, I'm very much enjoying your entries.... you remind me of myself a lot in your writing and vlogging. I feel like I'm always thinking, "I know, right?!?" when I read/watch your stuff. :) And to answer this: "I deserve a little stay-in-bed/video game/reading time. Right?" Yes. You do. :)

Stefan said...

oh no! stuck in burning crusade at the start of cata! love to join your guild :)

Ukulelly said...

Start meditating :) seriously, it's the best advice anyone has ever given me. Also, boredom-killing.

jessica said...

I agree with Anna - you should make a video :)

But I know what you mean, when I'm bored I don't really want to do anything because everything becomes boring and I don't really have the energy to do anything xD

Today I spent the whole day writing an essay in french and I was done like 8 pm - after that I haven't done anything and I'm so bored xD

you write very interesting texts Kristina, I wish my life was as eventful as yours :)

Courtney said...

I'm loving your song choice. It's a great one!

Lately I find myself being bored when I know I have SO much stuff to do. I shouldn't even have time to be bored... I'm just procrastinating. :P

Cath said...

I'm exactely the same. Right now, I should be studying for my exams that are coming up but I spent my time reading blogs, watching videos and playing an unhealthy amount of tetris on facebook.
When my exams are over, I will be bored and I won't want to play tetris. I'll still watch videos and read blogs but after a while I'll get bored from that. And then I will die. The End.
(please keep posting blogs so I don't have to go back to biology of plants!)

The Blazing Snow said...

My problem isn't with the boredom, but it's with chronic procrastination. I have two important exams next week, and I've barely studied at all for them.


DragonStone said...

But what do you do when you're too bored to *do* anything? ;) Sometimes it seems like projects that would normally be interesting sort of push you further into the world of boredom.

TorreyMonster said...

I think everyone needs a little down time. Being bored during the summer is what allowed me to watch all 7 seasons of Buffy. (Which, coincidentally, also lead to my love of all things Whedon). Being bored shouldn't stop creativity-it should let it flourish.

I say, stay in bed. Or do something productive. Live without constraints for a little while. Just enjoy yourself.

kaleidoscopicepic said...

Reading always works for me, boredom-killing-wise. There's never a time when I don't have a book I'm planning on reading... though I don't always actually have the book :(.
But I'm sure nobody would mind if you decided to make a video instead... :)

Niki. said...

I'm kind of feeling the same way. When I was in school, busy with homework and studying and whatnot, I really just wanted to sit back and read a book, watch a movie, write a story. But now that I'm on break, I feel bored - and I still have plenty of unread books and unwatched movies and unwritten stories, but I just lack the motivation now, or something.

Newt said...

I started a blog as procrastination. XD

Because obviously the best way to procrastinate on one writing projectis to start another. 8D

Kai said...

Yes, make a video, haha :)
But I am ALWAYS bored, and I always turn to the computer to fix my boredom, until even that makes me bored. So I'm always looking for new websites to frequent or books to read, or a TV show to watch. I spend a lot of time watching old TV. I just finished all the current episodes of The Office a few weeks ago, and I was so in love I watched it all again!

Jodi Butler said...

You know...I never thought about that before, but it's totally true. When I have a mountain of things to do there is nothing I'd love to do more than write, but once I have to write....I don't want to write. (Or do much else.) How strange!

M3lf4c3 said...

I'm glad that you've opened up about WoW. I've played for a long time now but hardly any of my friends play and it can feel a bit isolating. Plus, people who don't play WoW treat it as a weird obsession instead of like a game they just don't play.
I've been enjoying Cataclysm, though. I have yet to get my main to 85 (still sitting at 81), but its been a lot of fun.
Even though I love playing Horde, I also created a Worgen that I'll be leveling.

Lydia said...

I know how you feel. I would write a similar blog post, but I don't have much of a following to give me suggestions :(

Anonymous said...

My dad has always told me that "Only boring people get bored."

Ally Nik said...
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Ally Nik said...
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Ally Nik said...


Ady said...

I write a short story every time i get bored. A paragraph at a time :)

appletrain said...

someone once said to me "only boring people get bored." it's one of my favourite quotes. and you, kristina horner, are nothing close to boring. maybe your downtime just seems so much more .. down because it comes in between HUGE projects or events. like going to guatemala, playing a wrock gig/tour, geeky conferences etc. um anyways. hi!