Friday, August 5, 2011

Turn on your imagination and turn off boredom

In the fainter recesses of my mind, I vaguely remember being bored. Stuck in the house on a rainy afternoon, my siblings and I fidgeted at having nowhere to vent our excess energy. I'm sure that we uttered the words "I'm bored" more than my parents wanted to hear. My parents would turn being house-bound into an adventure by bringing out special occasion toys like Barbies that Mom played with as a child and felts of people and animals that we used to act out stories. We raided the linen cupboard and the bookshelves to build tent cities of sheets propped over chairs and other furniture, pinned precariously with small stacks of books. It's amazing how a little imagination made the boredom melt away.

Now I simply look incredulously at anyone who says they are bored. In my quest to fully accommodate family, work, and personal goals, I pretend that I need less sleep, burning the proverbial candle at both ends. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy candles, but it does catch up with me.

Life just keeps getting more interesting. In a heartbeat, I went from re-inventing myself as a plus-size athlete; to meeting and becoming the adoring wife of my best friend; to awe-struck, occasionally frazzled mother. My guys fill my heart with love and my life with laughter and warmth that balances the inevitable frustrations. From daily chores to playing with my son, my home life is packed to the brim. Sometimes I even get to enjoy the fun of shaping a loaf of bread or creating a family member's favorite cake.

I am also daughter, sister, and Aunt in a close-knit family. As we work toward my parents' departure for a job in Korea, we are equal parts excited for them at the incredible opportunity and mourning the loss of their close presence in our lives. We snatch every opportunity to take what now seems like a short drive to hang out with our beloved friends, holding onto the promise of video chat, email, and phone access after their departure at the end of the month. Marriage brought more amazing roles as daughter-in-law and sister-in-law to my husband's mother and sister who have not only accepted me but also readily taken me in as a beloved member of the family.

I devote the greater part of my week days to a job that is important and interesting. I welcome the intellectual stimulation, though working at a public health laboratory is occasionally somewhat too interesting (such as during the H1N1 Influenza outbreak). I am so thankful for a steady job that lets me play with words.

When my work is done, my family's needs addressed, and my son tucked into bed, I reach for the last scrap of mental energy and write. Sometimes my writing (or re-writing) goes well; I'm in the zone and loving every minute. When I look up and find that it's already one in the morning, I feel a deep sense of fulfillment, though I also know that I will grumble to hear the beep of my alarm in a few short hours. Other times I struggle through the quicksand of possibilities to create a coherent sentence and gladly push away from my desk to crawl in for an "early," 11pm bedtime.

Random moments throughout the day yield opportunity for reflection, prayer, and imagination. As I mention in my blogs, even news stories about scientific advances can provoke flights of imaginative fancy. Of course I also love to read, so I cram that in during my lunch hour or on those nights when, sapped of mental energy, I skip writing and crawl in bed with my Kindle.

We are surrounded by media. Instead of using the internet, radio, television, computers, video games, movies, smart phones, and other media to prevent boredom, I recommend that we turn on imagination. Use the wealth around you to build a few castles in the air. Remember the magic of your childhood. Turn on your imagination and turn off boredom.

No comments:

Post a Comment