by Carl Sachs
Lockdown… social isolation… flattening the curb… Donald Trump going full-on post-modern plague doctor… It’s everywhere and invading our lives through every possible media channel. Ever since the global pandemic was officially announced, the world has seen some very stressful times.
Confusion, panic, and paranoia were the dominant emotions when it all started. Now that we’re starting to see infection and death rates go down, there’s a certain feeling of reassurance in the air. Nevertheless, almost two months of social distancing, lockdown, or other forms of limiting interaction with others have indeed been incredibly revealing.
COVID-19 revealed our hidden anxieties, the importance of having friends that you can count on, but most importantly, it completely took our masks off, in spite of the most responsible of us choosing to wear them to protect ourselves and others. You got to see who the profiteers, the selfish, the “willing-to-step-over-your-body-to-save-mine” people, but you also saw the heroes who have done outstanding gestures of courage and kindness.
Being alone isn’t as bad as it sounds
Today I’d like to talk about a different kind of unmasking of our true selves.
I’d like to talk about those who cherish solitude and, of course, those who are bored. They’re mutually exclusive because a person who cherishes their alone-time will never feel bored.
Sure, those living alone may experience the occasional loneliness that is only natural. That’s something I actually learned over the past two months. We need other people in our lives… and I’m talking biological need… way lower down the Maslow Pyramid than I had previously believed. We need human interaction in our lives and, yes, there is such a thing called “touch starvation” (when you go for long periods of time with minimal or no touch from a human being). I digress.
Still, I have no doubt that this is “mold that you can turn to gold”, as I like to put it.
Spending hours upon hours by yourself, not being distracted by social interactions and having that peace and quiet that’s so essential when it comes to cultivating your inner life… that’s not time lost. That’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. If you’re bored, you miss the train. Simple as that. All you d is discipline and motivation.
Boredom is poverty
Anyway, what is boredom after all?
I’ll tell you what it is… It’s poverty, not in the sense of material wealth, but rather of spiritual resourcefulness.
I’d like to think that those who complain about being “bored” are actually confusing the term with “loneliness”, which can be tough at times to overcome. Loneliness can actually hinder your IQ, negatively affect your sleep, and make it much more difficult for you to focus. The fight is real and we should be more compassionate of those who are going through it.
I’m not talking about those people. I’m talking about those who are simply complaining that they’re getting bored from staying at home and not being able to go outside.
Of course, that’s another example of lacking creativity. If you truly want to go outside, you’ll darn well find reasons that are legit, safe, and true at the same time. Unless you’ve been quarantined, you can go jogging, shopping and you can easily visit friends.
Most of all, and this is actually where I most wanted to touch upon, you can grow as a person during this period. You can learn a new skill, work on your business, hone in on your current ones, learn to cook, read more fiction, check up on your loved ones every now and then… you name it.
Being emotionally negative is useless
This is not the time to feel bored, but rather the time to spend time with yourself and appreciate your own company by getting creative.
As weird as this sounds, try to be grateful for this crisis and the positive change that it can potentially bring.
And remember this… while others are complaining about boredom and counting the days when they can go back to their comfortable lives, you’ll be going to bed with a satisfied grin on your face knowing that you were strong that day.
bored man image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Outdoor exercise image by Stan Petersen from Pixabay