Due to an over-active mind and a pesty case of generalized anxiety disorder, I bore easily. Not because I have nothing to do, and not because I’m not doing anything. I can be working hard on a project at work or reading a deeply moving book, and I can become bored. I seem to require a lot of stimulation to keep me entertained. I thrive in high pressure or fast paced environment because multiple tasks keep my mind busy. Contrarily, I struggle to focus on anything that requires my full attention. Not great when I have an English assignment due, or the boss wants me to conduct research on group benefit plans.
Boredom has been the reason for many job changes, excessive shopping sprees, and forgotten hobbies. A new job will only hold my interest for the first few months, even if I really like it. I have three mostly unplayed guitars displayed in my spare bedroom. I became completely obsessed with playing and writing songs in my 20s. Then one day, I just stopped. I’ve tried to rekindle my love for playing, but it never lasts for more than a few weeks.
Even my love for fitness has fizzled out over the past couple of years. I became a personal training/fitness leader as something to do in my spare time. I loved teaching classes and working one-on-one with clients in the early years. I’ve now reached my 12th year as a trainer, and I sometimes dread going to class. I’m uninspired, and this makes it feel like a chore, which takes the enjoyment out of it. Luckily, I still enjoy working out on my own, but I wish I still had the passion to share it with others. I know other trainers who have been teaching for 30+ years, and they still love it. I so envy people like that.
The good news it, I know I bore easily. I’ve accepted this personality trait, and I’ve learned to work with it. I’ve used my boredom to push me into trying new things, and I’ve given up on grasping on to faded passions that no longer fill me with joy. Giving up a hobby used to make me feel like a quitter, but then I realized “who’s keeping track?” Nobody is who. Some part of me believed I was letting people down by letting go of things that no longer served me. Just the sight of my guitars gave me anxiety because I felt guilty for not playing them. It came to me one day that I don’t have to explain myself to others. If I don’t want to play; I don’t have to play — no excuse required. This realization filled me with such a sense of relief and freedom.
I’ve learned to accept boredom. Boredom may be uncomfortable, but it does not mean that I’m boring, lazy, or stupid, which is how I saw myself. It simply means it’s time to challenge myself. Amazing things began to happen to me when I stopped being angry at myself for getting bored. I pushed myself in my career, I’ve started university online, I’ve started working out just for me, I’ve declutter my house and stopped over-shopping, I’ve stopped dating emotionally abusive men, and I started writing this blog. I still get bored, but who cares! Tomorrow, I will find my next new adventure.
I have only one life to live, and I’m learning to stop worrying about what others might think. In all truth, most people don’t really care that much. They may judge from time to time, but in the end what difference does that make. If I want to change my hobbies like I change my underwear, then so be it.
I’m completely surprised by where this post went. It started simply with the recognition that I felt bored.