Boredom & Downtime
Boredom & Downtime
As I sat and watched my family this past Christmas Eve, I couldn't help but think about the incredible joy they bring me. Children have that peaceful innocence about them. Children have that illuminating Christ like light; and are, in a sense, closest to God because they haven’t been tainted by the things of this world. At times throughout my young parenthood I have gone through periods where I’ve let some of the work and anxiety that children naturally bring, affect me in how I looked upon spending my time with them. There were times when I looked at my children as a task, and often times a difficult task at that. I would be constantly looking at the clock to see how fast the time was going, and thinking to myself- "how much longer," almost wishing the time away. The downtimes of life are what threaten a lot of people’s peace. Downtime ties people in knots, where they scramble to find joy, even in the simplest of things. I have come to realize that learning to deal with downtime is all apart of our learning experience in this life. Everything is not going to be fun. Things are going to be boring at times, and even lame; we have to get comfortable being bored. It’s almost as if our minds run ahead of us; and we become caught up in thinking about future events; and the thought of those future events become dreadful in our minds because they are looked upon as being boring and not exciting at all, causing us to feel stressed and uptight for fear of not having fun. We almost feel as if there is no excitement to be had in the simple things of life. When this happens, which seems to be often, we have to just roll into that future event confidently, realizing that it probably won't be as boring as our mind had made it out to be, and that a good experience does await us if we go into it with that frame of mind – the Experience Frame of Mind. Boredom feeds addiction; boredom causes non-contentment; boredom is the Dragons greatest tool. The Dragon knows that family life is often times slow and even boring depending on which way we look at it. The Dragon puts whispers into the mind that fuel the boredom even more- whispers like: This little family gathering could be a lot more enjoyable if you took something; if you took something you would be way more relaxed; just this one time – it’s the Holidays, you deserve it. These are all the lies of the Dragon where he's looking to steal our integrity and cause our peace to crumble. The Dragon wants to do nothing more than to break the human family up. He knows that if he can separate the family then he is going to win the battle. He uses drugs, pornography, and all of these various fake worldly substances to try to entice us away from our family. He uses boredom to fuel intense cravings. These intense cravings lead to the run around; the run around then leads to time away from our family, which is exactly what He wants. He wants us over at our buddies smoking weed. He wants us at the bar. He wants us out looking for pills and spending money on them. He knows that spending money will lead to financial strain on the entire family. He knows the pain he can cause by dividing the family. He knows he has a better chance at persuading children if he can separate the mother and father. The Dragon is real; and he doesn't want you or me to be happy. I have just come to realize, in my own life, that boredom and downtime are what they are; and that in order for me to progress in this life I have to be capable and willing to deal with them. I have to practice being patient, slow to anger, and being humble in all that I do. I have to let myself get bored, and then practice dealing with that boredom without running to the cloud change. Think about this: Even when we go on vacation there is downtime and boredom right? You could be so excited to go on that Hawaiian vacation that you’ve been planning for a year. You can’t wait to go to the beach and enjoy all of the fun excursions that Hawaii has to offer. You’ve built it up in your mind, and are so excited about it. However, what about the flight to Hawaii? On this flight there is going to be some downtime right? You’re still going to have to deal with some boredom and downtime even though you’re technically on vacation. The flight to Hawaii might be lame in your mind; therefore you could look at the flight as being boring, making you think that a few drinks could help you float through it. You could think that a Valium or a few Percocet's could really intensify this experience, making it funner and more enjoyable. Or you could think to yourself that the flight to Hawaii is what it is; and could be looked upon as a relaxing experience where you can put some time into a good book you’ve always wanted to read. Or you could appreciate having a good conversation with a family member who may be on the flight with you. Maybe you’re going to Hawaii with your parents, and you are now to the age where you realize that they aren't going to live forever, so these more meaningful conversations have become important to you. On this flight you could be content with the simple things on the plane like: good conversation; the beauty of the ocean while looking out of the planes window; a good book; a good movie; a nap. You could realize that the downtime of the flight really isn't even downtime at all, it's just different time; it's relaxing time where you have the opportunity to live in the moment, and experience the Hawaii bound plane ride to fullest. Everything in life should be looked upon as an experience. If this were the case; if everything was looked upon as an experience we would have to live in the moment to get the most out of that experience right? We can't be constantly looking past things for fear of boredom, because if we do we will then never fully come to experience anything that we are actively involved in. We have to put one foot in front of the other and look to hold on to everything that we experience, for if not, some of these experiences will pass us by, leaving us to feel regret as we recollect these times during our future years.
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