Saturday, May 29, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
First, I stopped feeling sorry for Larisa, my Siberian forest cat. We got her last June, and she lived indoors until last month when all of a sudden she decided to be an indoor/outdoor, indoor/outdoor, indoor/outdoor cat. She's got long hair and she can't keep up with grooming herself. And I feel guilty when I feel a mat in her coat. Like I ought to be able to fix that. So I comb a section of her every night. But I can't keep up either. So I've squandered enough time feeling guilty, and today I made an appointment for Larisa with the groomer. She's going to get a lion cut. She'll feel like velvet and she'll lose about three pounds of hair and I'll lose about 20 pounds of guilt.
Then, I cancelled my subscription to the magazine, "The Nation". It looked like a magazine I'd like, but there are about six issues in my magazine rack and I don't have the heart to throw them away, but I probably won't read them either. The layout is too dense for me, and the topic is a bit too heavy. So I let go of the guilt, called their Customer Service department, and cancelled the subscription. Several trees will sigh with relief.
Finally - and I admit this is embarassing - I harvested my Farmville grapes and didn't replant. The field is fallow. Farmville (on Facebook) is a safe place, where I have complete control over everything. But I feel guilty when I spend time on my farm. It's pure escape. And my life is interesting enough that I don't need to escape. So - at least for today - I won't be a farmer.
I'm looking at time. I'll have more freed up once I'm not working, but I'll have exactly the same number of hours in a day as I do now. I want to use it well, not squander it on guilt.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
I rarely experience boredom. I made a list recently of what bores me, and I was surprised by what I found. The items are mostly small-talk conversational topics: what people did over the weekend or ate for lunch; cute and original sayings of their kids or grandkids; a great new recipe; their latest needlepoint or quilting or scrapbooking project. I prefer intentional conversations to small talk, and I’m not crafty. So my boredom list makes sense.
When I travel, I get bored after visiting the first couple of cathedrals, museums, pagodas or mosques. Even archaeological excavation sites can be boring after I’ve seen a few. I love to travel, so I’m embarrassed by this admission. But more than once I’ve passed up the opportunity to visit just one more example of something wonderful - and talked to a local instead.
When I’m bored, it’s not because I have nothing to do. I’d just rather be doing something more purposeful.
I’m a busy woman. I live by my to-do list and I get satisfaction from crossing items off the list – and from adding more items to it. The list is a reflection of my active life. Right now my to-list includes updating a spreadsheet of financial resources, ordering season tickets to the theatre, signing up for a fitness program, enrolling in mediation training, making the final payment on a September schooner cruise, writing an article about my potbellied pig, and planning a trip to Nebraska to visit my great grandfather’s family farm.
Recently, I’ve been experimenting on weekends with keeping the to-do list short on purpose, and I’ve found unexpected pleasure in the random activities that come along – walks in new neighborhoods where I chat with people I’ve never met, phone conversations with people I haven’t seen recently, a visit with a neighbor that turns into helping to fertilize a small garden.
The activities I pursue may be planned or spontaneous, but they engage my mind, or pique my curiosity, or exercise my body, or satisfy my spirit. But I know these same activities may be boring to someone else.
I have an old friend who tells me I’m too busy. “You should slow down and relax,” she says. “Why do you always have to be doing something?” She’s been retired for several years and says she’s joined the “idle and proud of it” club. She has a good brain and a healthy body. I would expect her to be as active in her life as I am in mine. From my perspective, her life seems boring. Just out of curiosity, I may ask her what boredom looks like to her. I expect to be surprised!