I Don’t Understand Boredom

meg biram - art books

When someone says they’re bored, I just don’t understand it. I’m never bored. If there’s a book, or Internet access, a hill to hike, a pencil and paper — then there’s something to do.

There are so few situations where none of those things are available that I can even conceive of being bored. At home, I could literally never get bored. I have probably 100 books in my house that I haven’t read yet. 20 movies saved on Netflix I want to watch. Thousands of ideas to flesh out to make paintings or drawings of.

Not even to mention work-related research or getting ahead on work. Or simply RELAXING. Or organizing, there’s always something in my life that needs to be organized or gone through and pared down.

My problem is more on the side of stopping, relaxing, doing nothing, taking a break, taking time off work — that is harder for me to do enough of. Giving myself enough time to recharge.

I feel like kids nowadays don’t even know what it’s like to be really bored. Only the older millennials who lived back in the day without the type of electronics and technology we have now can really understand true boredom. We didn’t have TVs in our cars on road trips, we had to look out the window and just be. Run out of books to read? Too bad, just sit. Think. Watch. We had to use our imagination.

Being one of the last generations that lived in the era before everyone had a smart phone, a laptop, and an iPad — I think this actually gives those of us a leg up. I understand how important it is to unplug, and do things that aren’t about connecting, to leave my phone in my purse when I’m with my friends. To do things that are just about learning, not something that applies to anything like work, just doing something you enjoy because you like it and no other reason.

While it can be hard to put down my phone and stop working to do those things, I know they are necessary for me to be my best self. To do my best work.

Do you get bored? What do you think of modern boredom?

art books on a bed

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Ribbed Dolman Sweater / Sweatpants / Brooklinen Duvet / Leonardo da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson / Joan Mitchell: Lady Painter, by Patricia Albers / Lee Krasner: A Biography, by Gail Levin / The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion, by Tracy Daugherty / Art Lover: A Biography of Peggy Guggenheim, by Anton Gill

reading art books on bed

books on a bed

reading art books

meg biram reading art books on bed

leonardo da vinci book

joan mitchell book on bed

Photos by Casey Crowe Taylor