Daily Illuminator

April 2, 2024: In Defense Of Boredom

I've come to realize in recent years that there's an emotion I don't really feel too much anymore unless I purposefully try: boredom. This compares to my childhood, where I remember countless hours being bored out of my skull. This was an era where "portable gaming device" didn't mean "Gameboy" so much as "those water-filled games where you push buttons to squirt little balls and hoops where they need to go."

In the modern era, relief from boredom is generally at your fingertips, usually via a glowing rectangle powered by silicon and lithium. However, I've come to appreciate those times where I've "forced" myself to be bored. Sometimes this means stepping away from the computer and going in another room. Sometimes it means going for a walk or otherwise putting real distance from my distractions. It's like I'm telling my brain, "Hey, you! You're walking outside now . . . you'd better look for something interesting internally or externally to entertain yourself, or else it's gonna be 30 minutes of left-foot-right-foot-repeat." Birds and clouds are much more interesting to consider when the alternative is doubt and Electric Company ditties. ("It's el-e-men-tary for silent E!")

Research seems to bear out my own lived experience, as witnessed by a couple articles I found with some quick searches.

So if you're looking for ideas, inspiration, or just a mental break from doomscrolling, consider boredom. Then, once your batteries are recharged, get back to the awesome excitement of your favorite tabletop games.

-- Steven Marsh

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