Friday, March 13, 2020

Me as a "totally bored" teenager

I remember the day (72 years ago) when I complained to my mother that I was “totally bored “. Instead of consoling me she said, “did you ever stop to think that bored people are very boring?” That really took be aback. I wasn't sure what it meant but I did know that it made ME the boring one !

My mother went on to suggest that I visit our neighbor Mrs. Whitely. She was an 87 year old widow who seldom left her house and I couldn't see how that would fix my problem. However it was better than sitting around feeling sorry for myself so I made up a plate of cookies and, reluctantly, made my way across the lawn.

Mrs. Whitely was pleasantly surprised to see me. She invited me in and insisted that we have a tea party to go with the cookies. She told me to make myself comfortable while she prepared it all so I spent the time wandering around the room trying to make sense of everything. 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 had been widowed for a long time, but she still had vivid memories of the years that she and her husband  traveled the world for his business. Everything in that room was in remembrance of those years and she was thrilled to share it with me.

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

Now I am the 87 year old widow 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 yourself … like visiting a neighbor perhaps ?


Blogger Bonnie Jacobs said...

Thank you for this, Ginnie. I'll be 80 in April, and I don't have time to be bored. Actually, I don't remember being bored even as a teenager. I always had a book ... or someone to play ball with ... or something I wanted to do or investigate. I'm going to get on Facebook and send my friends to read this post of yours. Stay well in this time so many are anxious.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

When I was teaching, kids telling me they were bored, drove me up the wall.

3:43 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

That was so cool of you to do and it benefited you both. I really like her interpretation of being bored as being a 1st world problem. Smart woman.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Linda P. said...

Such a special relationship, to both of you, I'm sure.

6:54 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Nice post which is food for thought. We are too often likely to complain about being bored rather than think of something positie we might do. Thanks for reminding us to be grateful that we have leisure time and to make the most of it.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

This is a wonderful post. Wisdom shared!

5:15 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

I wondered after reading this post, how many will be complaining of boredom during this period of self-isolation. But there are other ways to visit - by phone, email, text messages - when we cannot do so physically. You mother was wise in suggesting you visit the neighbor who surely appreciated the company. I think you did as well, Ginnie.

3:27 PM  
Blogger sherri said...

Great post Ginnie!! Thank you - I've heard you say this to me before, it's an important message - so grateful for your wisdom :)

6:28 AM  
Blogger sherri said...

OMG - Look at you rockin' those hoop earrings!!! So cool :D

8:32 AM  

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