Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A lesson learned … about BOREDOM !

When I was a youngster I complained to my mother that I was totally, totally bored. I will never forget her answer and how it has affected me for the rest of my life. She said, “did you ever stop to think that bored people are very boring?” I didn’t like that answer. Not only did it make a lot of sense … it made ME the boring one !

Then my mother suggested that I take a plate of homemade cookies to our elderly neighbor Mrs. Whitely and, reluctantly, I did so, wondering how this had anything to do with my boredom problem.

Mrs. Whitely was surprised and pleased to see me and she insisted that we have a “tea party” to go along with the cookies. She told me to make myself at home while she steeped the tea so I spent the time wandering around the room. I felt like I was in a museum and, in actuality, I was.

To make a long story short that was the beginning of an amazing friendship. Mrs. Whitely was in her 80’s and, although she had been widowed for many years she recalled how she and her husband had traveled the world for his business. Everything in that room was in remembrance of those years and she was thrilled to share it all with me.

When I told her how “totally bored” I had been before coming to see her she (gently) scolded me, saying: “Boredom is a luxury that millions of people in the world do not have. They spend every hour just trying to survive. You must never squander that luxury.”

Now I am the one in my 80’s and I reminisce about those magical days spent with Mrs. Whitely. She was a very wise woman, as was my Mother. They taught me that boredom is a trap and the best way to avoid it is to get out of ones self … like visiting a neighbor perhaps ?



Blogger kenju said...

Your mom was smart and her suggestion was a good one! I am seldom bored, as all I have to do is pick up a book.

5:38 PM  
Blogger possum said...

Somehow I cannot imagine you ever being bored - or boring!!!!!
But, you were young, so I guess that is understandable. I have a feeling that was the last time you were ever bored, too!

5:40 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Oh, Ginni--this post resonates on so many levels.
First, that conversation between parent and child: I'm bored. I would answer my children that saying "I'm bored" is only an admission about yourself. No one SHOULD ever be bored. I would send them off to read--how can one ever be bored with that prospect at hand.
Second, and more importantly, I love the budding friendship you describe. You no doubt brought immense joy to Mrs. Whitely. Of course, she was quite right--boredom is a luxury. So I love her wisdom, but much more I love that you and she became friends. You must have brought much joy into her life, as she did into yours.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If only every one of today's "soooo bored" kids could have a Mrs. Whitely to visit.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

You were lucky to have two wise women in your life. How special of you to not just drop the cookies and run but to stay and enjoy someone who had a lot to share. Well done.

12:43 PM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

What a wonderful story, Ginnie. I will remember those wise words to pass along.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

You are to be congratulated for learning the lesson so well and so early in life.

5:41 AM  
Blogger joared said...

Wonderful lesson to learn. So many ways to avoid boredom once we realize doing so is something we can do for ourselves -- even if sometimes it's just being quiet, within our self, absent external stimulation including TV, computers and other tech gadgets, etc.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Being bored is something I have rarely experienced, but seems to be a common affliction of many, young and old. Your mother and Mrs. Whitely were very wise and now you are sharing your life stories as she did...paying it forward so to speak.

4:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generally, I am never bored, but enforced recovery from surgery is taking its toll. Besides, my PT is painful. I liked visiting seniors when I was younger. Now I visit them all the time. They have tales to tell, some of them, but others are boring. I pick and choose. You made a lucky discovery here...or was your Mom very wise?

9:56 AM  
Blogger Chancy said...

Hello Ginnie
What a touching story. Now that I am almost 85 years I do appreciate the joy. You and the plate of cookies brought to your neighbor
Janet aka chancy

1:44 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

My cousin and I would go and visit with an elderly friend of my grandmother. She told me many things about traveling abroad and also taught us to play cards. This made me remember a really nice lady who was kind to me.

7:02 PM  
Blogger MissDazey said...

Good morning,
This is the first time that I have read your blog. This post on being bored is just what the doctor ordered this morning. I have been feeling like I would simply die from boredom. Your statement about "bored people are boring" jumped out and hit me in the face. I do not want to be a boring person. I need to find a way to correct this.

Have a nice day,

3:54 AM  

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