I am so bloody bored!
I know there is the saying that bored people are boring people. And perhaps I am boring. Lockdown burnout has got me to the point where I can’t even be bothered to think about doing something that might involve thinking. It is only having a basic routine that is getting me through the days but even that routine is getting lazier and lazier as I shave less, watch more rubbish TV and eat more and more biscuits.
I was so bored the other day that I helped my wife re-arrange the airing cupboard. It was a satisfying, practical but probably unnecessary exercise. At least it didn’t require too much thinking, searching for tools, or cleaning of paintbrushes afterwards.
In the first lockdown, I set myself a project of clearing tons of stuff out of the loft. We managed to throw away a lot of junk, but then clogged up the garage with the remainder. We then sorted this into the ‘charity’ pile, the ‘this belongs to our daughter and should be in her loft’ pile, and the ‘where shall we keep this because it has sentimental value’ pile. The charity shops then closed under the covid restrictions and my garage remains clogged. The roof has started to leak and I have had to cover the contents with plastic sheeting. I try not to go in because it is too stressful.
My wife and I have been doing more outdoor walking but now we are bored with re-visiting the local open spaces and the weather has been shit. I tried ordering gym weights to exercise at home but it seems several million other people had the same idea and everything appears to be out of stock. We’re exercising to YouTube videos but I’m bored with this now and I’m concerned we will damage the carpet.
The internet is full of suggestions for fun lockdown activities. To avoid getting bored and for my well-being, it urges me to learn a new language or new skills. It seems like every second that I don’t put toward improving myself is in some way a second wasted. I don’t respond to this sort of pressure. I am not in the frame of mind to learn the guitar, learn a new language or bake something I could buy in a shop. Why improve myself when I should be doing things that need doing, like decorating, re-grouting tiles, labelling photo albums, and maintaining the house and garden?
I know there is more to our time on this planet than going through a pages-long to-do list and that we should make time for frivolous or non-essential activities and hobbies. The truth is, I can’t even be bothered to continue with my existing hobbies like painting, photography and playing my cahon (that’s not a euphemism by the way).
I have volunteered to help a local charitable organisation clean and maintain my local country park but they are not allowed to do anything at present due to the Kung Flu – other than make lists of things to do when the restrictions are relaxed.
I have noticed that in telephone and Zoom conversations, we’ve stopped saying “Well, what have you been up to this week?” I certainly haven’t been up to anything that is likely to interest you and I would assume you haven’t had a nice day trip to Barnard Castle or been to a lock-in party at the local pub.
Many people under financial, work, poor health or childcare pressures will have no sympathy for me. They would say I have no right to complain about being bored and having so much retirement downtime and they would be quite correct. So why can’t I get a grip of myself and enjoy being more creative and imaginative?
There are some things that have kept me going during lockdown, however. First, my wife’s support. She tells me off when I get negative and she keeps me grounded and happy. Second, we have been able to see my daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren and help out with their childcare arrangements. Co-vid restrictions limit our time together but this is quality time and so satisfying. One other thing that has helped during lockdown is Blogging. I am grateful to you – the blogging community – for inspiring me to write and share my thoughts with you, and for you sharing yours with me. Creative writing is new to me and a far cry from the technical town planning reports, Local Development Plans and Council Committee reports that I used to write before retirement. As a creative activity, my blogging it is pretty half-arsed and amateurish compared with that of those experienced bloggers and writers out there. It is a start though, and I think I will continue after Covid has been tamed and we are all back to being ‘social’ in the normal sense of the word and interacting in real, not socially distanced, terms.
I could have made up my own song about being bored for something to do but I couldn’t be bothered. Here’ someone who did/could.