A Bored Mind Is A Moody Mind….

June 14, 2013

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The title of this post is a quote from a not very famous person but it has some deep meaning for me. Actually it is something I wrote in my personal journal about a year ago. 🙂  I often times like to look back to what I wrote about the previous year just to compare to where I am now. Last year I was just getting over some rather troubled times. I often wonder if I am living my life as fully and fruitfully as I desire. The feeling of a lack of personal accomplishment often drives me to various levels of depression but don’t we all have that to one degree or another. We do all have that don’t we?

One of my daily reads is a fellow blogger. That blog is centered on a somewhat narrow theme of having a good retirement.  It seems that he and most of his readers just seem to want to race away from is the term “boredom”. It is almost as if they don’t want to admit that they have ever had a boring moment in their retirement lives. But for myself, I am just not a person who will, knowingly  or unknowingly, deny feelings that I have.  I get bored I admit it. In fact I get bored on a weekly if not daily basis.  It is something that I am constantly battling against.

Getting back on point what I basically discovered last year was that the times when I am the most bored is when I get these depressed feelings. When I don’t have other things on my mind my infinitesimally  small effect on the universe rises to the surface. Maybe because I leave no heirs on this earth to get it right where I didn’t, is one of the reasons for this moodiness.  When I am gone my genes will go to the grave with me. There will be no second chance to get it right through my offsprings.

Yeah I admit I am a sometimes a troubled dude but least I don’t have voices telling me that I am a failure. One of my favorite movies was called “A Beautiful Mind” starring Russel Crowe. It was about a brilliant Princeton professor who was bi-polar. If  I heard voices as he did I would definitely seek professional help. Sometimes my off-the-top thoughts that I post here even slightly startle me but not in what I believe is in an unhealthy way. I hope to leave at least a very small scratch on this world after I am gone and it troubles me that someone in the future will use a little of life’s spit polish to remove even that.

I think these thoughts are actually nudges from God at one level or another to keep me focused on his mission for me. That is constantly in my thoughts. In that regard I treat these nudges as a good thing. I stave off boredom wherever possible by engaging in new and stimulating  and creative things on a regular basis. To fail to do so is just, well, boring…

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11 responses to A Bored Mind Is A Moody Mind….

  1. 

    I assume I am that blogger who is racing away from the term boredom. I should clarify a bit. I get bored, but not as frequently as you apparently do. And, when it becomes obvious to me that I am in a creative or energy rut, I take steps to change that situation as quickly as I can. I do tend to get a little more off my game in the summer when most of the Bible studies and small groups have stopped until fall.

    My faith in God gives me comfort and a sense that I have value. How can I be bored when He is working his purpose through me? I just have to figure out what it is every now and again!

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    • 

      Hi Bob, as usual it is good to hear from you. Yeah, you are part of that “fellow blogger” but it is really a composite of half dozen others that I follow also. Since most are from women I guess I should have changed the pronouns from that paragraph. 🙂

      It just seems that it is a common thing, at least as I perceive it, that many of retirement blogs gloss over some of the less exciting things about retirement and that probably gives a distorted view to many future retirees. It sounds almost as if “I didn’t like my life before retirement but boy now that I am retired everything is just so great.”

      In both pre- and post-retirement we face pretty much the same ups and downs as before and if we don’t take hold of our retirement they can be worse than “having” to spend those eight hours a day slaving for someone else. I got a follow-up post coming up next to explain my version of boredom and how it might differ from others.

      One of the things with total electronic communications is that often times some of the original intent is lost in the conservation. I hope you didn’t take personal offense to my statement above. If your blog wasn’t of value to me I would not be there for every post but sometimes I think you paint with too glossy a picture (ha).

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  2. 

    Sometimes, after reading many of the retirement blogs, I feel pressured to be the perfect ever-questing, never bored, always active retiree who never sits still to watch tv or read a pedestrian mystery. There’s a kernel of truth in my statement but I’m mostly teasing.

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    • 

      Thanks for making my point Denise, even if mainly in jest. I just think that most retirement blogs don’t address caveats about stumbling blocks along the way. I stumbled with my retirement for at least a year. It was “now what am I going to do?” type thing almost every day. I didn’t find a satisfying answer to that question for quite a while. If I had been reading the blogs I read today I would have been convinced that something was drastically wrong with me. Instead, in hindsight, I see it as a normal progression from one lifestyle to another. Yes, for the most part I am very happy with my retirement choices but that wasn’t always the case.

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  3. 

    Oddly enough, this post actually made me feel better. I find that all the blogging and Facebook posting depicting nothing but love and good times every day of the week to be kind of depressing. Do people really have THAT much fun all the time? I sure don’t. It may be my Norwegian heritage that makes me prone to gloom or it may be the cold gray Spring we have had…I don’t really know. But, I like a good dose of reality and honesty even when it’s about boredom. And then I do what Bob does and make an effort to break the spell and snap out of it. Thanks for not pretending to be totally fulfilled and satisfied with your life, R.J. You are a “real” guy 🙂

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  4. 

    You are welcome Jane. I am here to help 😉

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  5. 

    Retirement isn’t perfect, but it is so much better than working. When I was working, I didn’t have time to be bored. If I feel bored I just find something to do-take a walk,call a friend,read a book etc. How wonderful to have the luxury to feel bored! It just means that I have the choice of how to use my time. What a gift that is.

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    • 

      Thanks Donna for your perspective. Yeah, you are right. In my corporate life I didn’t have much time to be bored. I was working 12 hour days trying to “do more with less” as the mantra went during those years. So, indeed it is nice to be able to be bored now and then.

      There is nothing wrong with being bored once in a while. Boredom is not something to be hidden in the closet. In fact it is quite healthy in that it causes us to look at changes in how we spend our time. I have spent two days a week for the last nine years volunteering at a local soup kitchen. I never find myself bored during my times there.

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      • 

        I think we aren’t bored when we are giving to others. I know that I feel happy when I am able to help someone.

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  6. 

    Hmm, I’m probably guilty as charged, but I’m actually A-OK with that, because what I blog about is 100% how I strive to approach life. With an insanely active and happy 76 year old father leading the way, and a even more insanely active and happy 30 year old daughter bringing up the rear, I probably couldn’t change a thing about how I spend my time if I wanted..

    As an example, this weekend while my husband and I were camping with friends, including a 40 mile bike ride through scenic countryside, my daughter was in San Francisco running a marathon and enjoying the city with her significant other. Meanwhile, my 76 year old father was at home in Texas preparing for a seven day motorcycle ride into Mexico with a group of his buddies.

    In our family, we equate being bored with simply not trying hard enough. Do we slow down sometimes to stop and smell the roses? Of course! But we’re not bored when we do so, because we are generally coming down from some prior, stimulating activity, that has set us up to enjoy some downtime without feeling bored.

    As Ernie Zelinsky so wisely says in his excellent book on living joyously in retirement “The Joy of Not Working” – When you do that which is difficult, life becomes very easy. If you only do that which is easy, life becomes very difficult.”

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    • 

      Wise words there Tamara. Yeah, in some ways being bored is simply not trying enough. That is why I pointed the finger back at me at the end of this post. Your blog is more of a personal journal than many. You report on what you do and how you have fun with life. But there are others who tend to be more like “Dear Abby” and give advice and such. Those need to let their readers know that life is not always a “bed of roses”.

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