So many times since I’ve been staying at home people have asked me, “What do you do all day? Don’t you get bored?”
No, I truly don’t. I don’t even really understand the concept of boredom. It’s not something I can relate to. I think the closest thing I’ve ever felt to boredom is the annoyance of being in a situation where I have to do or pay attention to something I’m really not interested in. But if I’m not doing anything, I don’t feel bored. There is way too much going on inside my head for me to feel bored. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have the tendency to space out and just think my own thoughts. I am completely content doing that.
But other than my spaced-out episodes, I’m rarely doing nothing. Even without a job, there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything I want or need to do. I think part of it is that I work slowly. A sink-load of dishes that would take my mom ten minutes to wash takes me an hour. Writing a blog post like this can easily take me an hour or two.
I do a lot of writing and reading. I’m a news junkie and browse the headlines and read a lot of news articles every day. And I take a lot of free online courses through the public library and Coursera. I’m learning Norwegian and French on Duolingo. I talk to my parents on the phone three times a week, and each call usually lasts for about an hour and a half. I don’t have a car, so when I run errands it takes me longer than it takes most people. I also walk on a treadmill for 40 minutes most days of the week.
I think my nervous system is so sensitive that I need very little stimulation to be comfortable. And when I am in a situation where there’s a lot of stimulation, like in a noisy, crowded, or busy environment, it takes me a long time to recover afterward. When I was working, I was overwhelmed and stressed out to the point of illness and meltdown.
Under my particular circumstances, I don’t know how I could ever be bored. This is something “normal” people don’t understand about me. “I would go stir-crazy if I didn’t have a job! I would be so bored!” they tell me, and I get the impression they consider that a virtue. I don’t know what to say. I don’t have the same experience.