I started writing this post because I wanted to do something, but I didn't know exactly what. This has kind of been the theme of these past two months for me, and probably many other people.
I used to crave liberation from stress and tasks. Before I graduated, I had infused my brain with the idea of dolce far niente, or in simple terms: the pleasure of being a couch potato. There it was, the golden opportunity to live a hedonistic lifestyle for a few months until I go to college. No classes, no exams, almost nothing to do but wait.
Due to many circumstances and the coronavirus outbreak, however, I never really got to enjoy "doing nothing". And it took me a while to finally realize that I didn't want to do nothing. In fact, I wanted to do a lot of things! Just different things. I wanted to travel, meet new people, check items off lists. Because doing nothing, as I have been privileged enough to afford to, has severely affected my mental health. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. Countless loaves of banana bread were baked, rooms redecorated, episodes watched, and texts sent.
The truth is, most people always have an itch that needs to be scratched: the desire to do something. Because boredom is excruciating. It directly attacks our pride and sense of importance, our want to contribute to this world. It does not quench our thirst for self-development, our curiosity, or our need for change. It doesn't even arouse any positive or negative feelings. Moreover, it's a wonderful mechanism that often gets exploited to get us to do things we regret, like spend countless hours on social media or money in irrational ways. However, it also pushes some of us to finally write something.
As restrictions are being lifted and we return to our normal lives, think about how your routine is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, having something to do is a good way to stave off boredom. On the other, it raises the question of whether the things you do regularly really matter or make you happy. Because chances are, you will still need a break. Even if your routine consists of addictive ways of achieving satisfaction, you won't be able to do it forever.
Isn't it wonderful to be human? If you want to embrace boredom, try meditation. If you're too bored to meditate, just do something. If it's something productive that helps you achieve your goals, great! If not, it doesn't matter that much.