Leslie Palumbo, LCSW
From Busy to to Boredom
Updated: Apr 14, 2020
How did we get from busy to boredom so quickly, and where can we go from here?
Before this pandemic, we were all way too busy. We were searching for more time. We had a bucket list of things we might do if only we had more hours in the day. For some of us, those fortunate enough to have the option of working from home, as we find ourselves with fewer distractions and, in some cases, much more time on our hands, we may have initially vowed to fill those extra hours with our bucket list of ways to better ourselves- maybe we amped up exercise, adjusted our diet, started writing that book we’ve always wanted to write, became social media experts, or got involved with a charity to help people on the frontlines or people who are worried about providing their next meal (in some cases all in the first week of quarantine:).
Then came the settling, the realization that this situation is going to go on way longer than we had planned, and we are somewhat at a loss.
Now that we find ourselves with more time, we are suddenly looking for ways to waste it.
How many times have I heard the word boredom come out of someones mouth in the last week? I love this, because I believe many of the most beautiful things in life come from discomfort. Boredom implies disquiet with the present moment, and it is through this malaise that we can access something much deeper within ourselves.
What's happening with this quarantine is that all of our distractions, our consumption, our denial, our escapes have been corralled and now we are faced more directly with, quite simply, ourselves, stripped bare.
What a gift! We can let down a little and maybe still find that we are okay. The silence has helped us to get in touch with a level of being that is much deeper than the surface. Like most difficulty, this pandemic has the capacity to (and will or has if we let it) expand the very best of our human qualities: empathy, kindness, mercy, tolerance, wisdom and grace. These are the qualities that give our human life meaning. They are also our birthright- we all enter this world with those capacities and we will leave with them. How wonderful that we have this opportunity to honor them fully.