Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Boring has six letters, not four

There are a few people I know, people who trip my mind and make me look at things differently (whether they know it or not), who are never bored, who never sigh and wonder where to go to find something to do.

I love these people, especially this one. I wish I was like them.

When I was a kid, living in (what felt like at the time) the Middle Of Nowhere, North Carolina, with only the pastures and a cemetery and a couple of rundown stores nearby, I'd wander around, walking nowhere in particular. I'd jump the barbed wire fence down at the cemetery, walk by the pond and the cows and into the woods where the stream flowed. Other times, I'd walk down to the farm, scuffing my heels, kicking rocks down the road. While it sounds like I'm making this up, but I'm not. Kicking rocks, those are good times!

Inevitably, and I don't know exactly why (maybe it's because that as a kid, I was a bit obsessed with the scary and unpredictable -- things like nuclear war -- but that's another story), my mind would imagine all the horrible things that can happen to a young girl walking around by herself. Is someone watching me behind that barn? Is someone in the woods planning my murder? And, you know, it could also have come from one too many after school specials warning of this or that childhood danger to watch out for. I don't know when they stopped airing those, but I speaking as a girl with an overactive imagination, I'm really glad they're not standard post-class activities anymore.

All this is to say, shockingly: I think I was bored.

I thought about this the other day as we were spending the weekend with Acy, who, my sister tells me, gets a little jumpy in her pre-K class. Her last teacher said it was because Acy couldn't pay attention in the Age of ADHD. Her new teacher says she thinks Acy gets her work done and then wants something more to do. She gets bored. And speaking as someone who listened to hours of Acy stories about cat language and who put on a play in our living room (complete with masks and a paper wand) directed by Acy about a princess trapped in the ocean who was also a mermaid and who needed to find stars to become a Real Girl and who was friends with a Queen (me) and King (Pat) who were going to get married (if only she could have been there), that girl has got a sweet imagination. (Sweet as in Sweet, dude, not cloying, because she has got a little Newsome Streak.)

So now I guess it isn't surprising that my mind is wandering again, what will all this Free Mind Time and all. I've been righteously busy, but it's the kind of busy that allows the mind to explore something other than Latest Ways to Sleep Through The Night (Tylenol PM, oh, how you were my friend).

New activities? Reading! Listening to music (John Michael Stipe, how I love thee)! Walks! In the not-so-scary woods! Cooking! Talking to my friends! Writing!

Twenty years ago, this would be boring. Maybe it still is (just a little). But this boring is really delicious, at it's best. And at it's worst, it's just helping me to plan what's next.

1 comment:

Frances said...

i think i fear do-nothing boredom more than i fear most anything else. there's the kinda boredom that leads a person to imagine (you and Acy, hotdog) and the kinda boredom that manifests as restlessness. that latter one, ugh city, man. i miss you. hey and hey. i'm happy you're the good kinda bored, hotdog. xoxoxoxoxo