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All this talk of boredom, like a pebble in a pond, has started quite a number of ripples. In response to my earlier note on boredom, my friend AT, who prefers to remain anonymous, wrote:
"That was a thought provoking piece.
Boredom can mean many things I think, from anxiety that holds up your ability to take action, to depressive boredom where you are depressed and nothing that you think of doing has any flavor or color. There is hopelessness boredom where taking any action on your own behalf has resulted in so many negative encounters that you are stuck in a circle of non-productive behaviors. There is also "too many choices" boredom where you are overwhelmed by so many options you cannot focus, take action, and get positive feedback, e.g: wealthy kids. Then there is repetitive task boredom where the task you are required to do has very little leeway for creativity, autonomy, or change.
"Lots of these depend on your evolutionary personality, your life experiences up to that point, and the general environment you live in at the time. Very complex.
"I have had much anxiety boredom as a child although it also drove me to do tons of school work , but not to become more courageous and creative, that came much later and only by forcing myself into great discomfort did I break that barrier."
Anxiety boredom may be my personal biggest foe.
My daughter wrote that being forced to sit a meeting or class where the subject is of no interest and being unable to make other choices (e.g, read, write, meditate etc) is one of her biggest boredom-producing stimuli. That's big for me, too.
I just have to sit with my discomfort, which I sometimes dislike doing. it is uncomfortable and sometimes difficult.
Sitting with one's boredom and discomfort can be a way of deepening awareness and coming to a sounder self-acceptance.
I like to read a good children's book to relieve my anxiety. I am currently reading *Igraine the Brave* when I feel a hint of anxiety coming on.
And, I like to be in nature, to see flowers butterflies. And people's smiles.
(originally published on Cowbird.--the earlier story on boredom I haven't had time to post.)