That whiny declaration can be heard from children of all ages and from adults who should know better. Boredom can be deadly, but it can also trigger desires for change of venue, change of perspective. It’s easy for boredom to lead us into the abyss of disinterest and self-pity, but I’m not referring to the abyss of clinical depression here, rather just the laziness of the mind to be willing to explore. Boredom can soothe me because when I’m truly bored, I realize I have managed to completely empty my mind of trivial thoughts. Even the important thoughts about relationships, work, the condition of the world all evaporate, leaving me to ponder in my self-imposed isolation, staring out the kitchen window whatever I wish to ponder: how to prepare a sumptuous lunch; where to plan my next trip; or what I should write about. Through the freedom of boredom, “symbol of …liberty,” as Aldous Huxley described that state of mind, new intellectual horizons and sweeping vistas emerge.
I’m thankful for my moments of boredom.