A Reason Old People Forget Things
Wise and Wily Old People

Crabby Old Lady on (Literally) Dying of Boredom

On Monday's post about Donald Hall's Essays at Eighty, Crabby Old Lady made particular note of a couple of readers who picked up and ran with the poet's thought about what bores him:

”You know what I find boring?” commented Jane. “Bathing and brushing my teeth.”

“What I find boring is cutting my nails,” said janinsanfran. “Why do they grow so fast?”

Exactly. Those same three things, in recent years, have come to bore the crap out of Crabby too. But then, she has a long relationship with boredom, most particularly with exactly those types of necessary details in life.

In her 30s and 40s, Crabby suffered periodic bouts of black depression. Because she had no one to fall back on, she managed to get to her job each day and do just enough work to keep from being fired during the several weeks they lasted.

Other than that, Crabby stayed in bed. She accepted (and certainly instigated) no social engagements. She did not answer the telephone. She couldn't even consider her usual pastimes – books, TV, movies, walks in Manhattan, etc. She hardly even ate.

What Crabby did do when not at work was pull the bed quilt over her head. Since no one can sleep around the clock, that left a lot of empty brain time and how she filled it was with mental calculations of how many times she would need to do the boring things in life.

How many more rolls of toilet paper will she need to buy if Crabby lives to be 70?

How often will she need to drag the bag of dirty clothing, bed linen, towels, etc. down the block to the laundry if she lives to be 80?

My god, how many more dental appointments will she need to suffer through if she lives to be 90?

And then she would go back to recalculate each one (and plenty of others) with different ages at death.

This was, then, and probably is now not the established protocol to battle depression but it's what Crabby did and eventually the depressions lifted, the last visitation being sometime in her late 40s.

However, the number of personal and household chores that try Crabby Old Lady's soul seems to increase now with each passing year. Add to the above, in no order:

Taking out trash
Sorting for the recycle bins
Hair cuts
Cleaning the cat litter box
Changing beds
Folding clean laundry
Vacuuming
Oh, and cleaning the vacuum afterwards
Sorting through email detritus for the good stuff
Charging phone, Kindle, tablet, power packs, etc.

There are certainly more that don't readily come to mind at the moment and in time, new ones will be added to the list of boring stuff that eats up whatever time Crabby has left on earth.

And why do these chores become boring? BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE DONE THEM TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TIMES BY THE TIME WE REACH OLD AGE, THEY STILL WON'T GO AWAY. Even though we have practiced them all our lives and there is noting left to learn about them, we still will never, ever finish.

As she was writing this, Crabby saw a comment arrive by TomSightings on yesterday's TGB blog post. Although he was discussing the day's topic, forgetfulness, it seems to be at least tangentially related to boredom in old age.

First noting that when we were younger, we could leave the house with just a wallet and keys. But nowadays,

”We have keys and a wallet; plus a phone and a camera. Plus glasses - reading glasses, distance glasses, maybe sunglasses too. We likely carry an iPad or a kindle, and an extra sweater in case it gets cold. We go out of the house like we're pack mules setting out across the desert.

“We have so much to keep track of, it's no wonder we forget things!”

And another thing: Crabby is pretty sure the phenomenon of speeded up time in old age contributes to the boredom factor. On Monday, Donald Hall noted precisely this:

”Days are the same, generic and speedy,” he said. “I seem to remove my teeth shortly after I glue them in – and weeks are no more tedious than lunch. They elapse and I scarcely notice.:

So there you have it: boredom from decades of repetition, too much stuff to keep track of and the increased speed of time eating up more and more personal time as years go by.

Crabby Old Lady is pretty sure that if old age doesn't kill her, boredom with the maintenance of daily life will.


At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Arlene Corwin: Negative News

Comments

Another way to look at it is to be thankful we can STILL do these mundane tasks and think on other things while doing them.

Most days I can get through the routine, daily boring stuff if I can look forward to a kind of reward later....a good book, knitting or (my latest) drawing with colored pencils.

I can't pretend to completely comprehend everything in the weekly blog called "Brain Pickings Weekly", but I have found so many articles causing me to pause and reflect that I have hope I can continue to learn. I recalled a segment on boredom as an essential part of the human condition and capacit for life, so I went looking for it. I hope it might be of interest: http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/06/19/adam-phillips-boredom/.

I used to enjoy housecleaning -- no more. I've wondered if the reason old people neglect housekeeping and laundry has nothing to do with incipient dementia and everything to do with (a) boredom and (b) the certainty that it's far less rewarding than, say, watching the squirrels chase each other outside your window.

And emptying the dishwasher, First world problem, I kpnw, but still annoying.

If Crabby is tired of doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, taking out garbage and all the other things that independent people do, then I would suggest that Crabby come and join me at the assisted living facility where all of that is done for you. Yes, you will lose your independence, freedom and a goodly number of brain cells and your cat, but at least you won't have to put up with all the boring stuff.

Every once in awhile a line or two from the "Old Man River" song comes to mind.

Bathing and brushing my teeth: bathe when I can't stand myself any longer; am thinking of shaving my head;
brush my teeth an extra time when they feel fuzzy or I have to go out.
• Taking out trash -- not until it's full to the brim
• Sorting for the recycle bins --read, below
• Hair cuts -- just lop an inch or so off my pony tail from time to time
• Cleaning the cat litter box -- trying to train cat to go outside
• Changing beds -- once a week in a mad frenzy
• Folding clean laundry -- almost never; I dress out of the dryer and don't care it it's wrinkled
• Vacuuming -- rarely
• Oh, and cleaning the vacuum afterwards -- change the bag when it starts to get puffy and smelly
• Sorting through email detritus for the good stuff -- don't let it in the house; drop in recycling bin
• Charging phone, Kindle, tablet, power packs, etc. -- have the minimum number of such gadgets.

I shouldn't laugh. Washing dishes is my most hated boring act. Now that my dishwasher is dead and the part order, I once again am washing dishes. LOL

Perhaps we both need a full time housekeeper.

I couple of years ago I got so bored with doing housework I sat down and calculated how much of my life was getting eaten up cleaning the house. I figured that if I quit doing it I'd save enough time over the rest of my life to take a trip around the world. The next day I called a cleaning service and haven't looked back. I love not having to scrub toilets and floors or change the sheets and all the other boring stuff that makes my house sparkle. I may never go around the world but why waste time doing things I don't enjoy when I can afford to hire it done?

Food for thought: just think someday you will not have to be concerned about boring stuff forever more.

Where Crabby Old Lady lives, one must be far better off financially, if not wildly rich, than she is to afford even a weekly cleaning service.

So it is not an option for someone who just gave up cable television to save a few bucks.

Love this post that I read from under the covers in broad daylight. This day after voting in Israel has been beyond depressing.

Your post and the comments are wise and witty. I LIKE boring chores, always have. My own meditation program: mindless, quantifiable discrete tasks/doings.

For sheer boredom, consider the act of cleaning out the refrigerator of all the stuff you didn't manage to consume or the stuff that's past the shelf-life dates. I hate this task and have to do it every time we travel and return. (At least once per month.) I don't mind laundry or even ironing or taking out the trash but cleaning the fridge makes me nuts.

Oh the guilt! To be throwing away food is a terrible waste. To be using valuable clean water to rinse all the bottles and the containers is more waste. Then you have to use the disposal (electricity) to grind up the stuff. You may then have to run the dishwasher (more water and electricity) to clean the containers.

A confession: sometimes I eat questionable items just to assuage the guilt a bit.

And I'm still breathing. Thank goodness!

Drill through all the boring stuff (dishes, laundry, toothbushing, garbage etc.) and you get to the really boring stuff.My dad coined the slogan "Life Begins at Forty" when he was 35. He didn't have any idea then but he sure got the picture bythe time he was 60.
Yesterday I ran accross an article that illustrated how our cognitive abilities diminish so drastically after 50. So at 80 I ask myself "Ifall we have to look forward to is boredom - what's the point? Aside from the stupid laws prohibiting assisted suicide,why shouldn't we just check out while we can still do it?

Along the lines of Wanderer's comments, it can be surprising what can be let go of and life still continues, in fact is richer for it, if you put the time formerly invested in less satisfying things into more f what you enjoy. For me that's reading, getting out in nature, doing volunteer activities, taking online (and free)courses in interesting things I'd never studied before but have always wanted to.

Periodically, I go around like a whirling dervish beating back dust and disorder, but the housekeeping police have not come and taken me away. We have been healthy, as I maintain high level of attention to food sanitation and other things that can't be slacked off on, but much really can.

Like studies that report children's increased allergies may be related to living in too clean environments, the maintenance of very high housekeeping standards may be making many of us ill in other ways.

As far as possible, doing more of what you enjoy and get satisfaction from and less of what you don't seems to help keep boredom at bay.

Ya, life can be a bore . . . sometimes!

The wife and I take life more easily now and share the mundane tasks; ie making coffee, then having to clean the pot, make the bed, and go for those daily, miles-long, boring but therapeutic walks along the ocean beach. (If it weren't for all that sand, sea shells, sun, and new friends we meet - this would be a good thing!)

What I hate is the time that the clerical duties I must do, without pay and under threat, for the government, taxes and, I dunno, breathing, takes from my very own life and for which, I get no reward. Not boredom, exactly, more like fury-- which, for me, boredom often masks.

I do get a reward for flossing and brushing my teeth every day and the like. The reward keeps the boredom at bay.

Venting is good for the soul, but it sounds to me like Crabby Old Lady needs to consider what Bruce Cooper wrote in his comment: come and join him at the assisted living center, and see how you feel when everything has to be done for you by others. Whenever I start to resent my station in life, I remember that I am not in a wheelchair, not required (yet) to use a walker, not a victim of cancer, not suffering from Alzheimer's or another chronic debilitating disease, not homeless, not addicted to drugs, and so on. I am grateful that I can clean when I feel like doing it, can do my tax preparation, can do my grocery shopping and cooking, have the adoration of a cat and a dog, live in a warm home, and get to read great blogs on the Internet every morning to give me perspective. Courage, COL!

Yes, yes, yes! to all of the above! Add to the list: weeding! The gardening gene missed me...I love the end results but 90% of my effort goes to pulling weeds. If not for the fact that living in a Sr community we have to "keep up appearances" I'm afraid I'd be living in a weedy jungle even tho' I've "planted" mostly bark and rocks! I try to tell myself it's good exercise-and sometimes that helps. Thankfully I'm able to afford help 2 or 3 times a month that doesn't cost an outrageous amount.

Anyway, thank you Ronni for bringing these subjects to light, and I thank everyone for their wise and witty comments. This blog is better than group therapy! I look forward to it every day...Sometimes it reminds me of Bob Newhart's group from his old Tv show...some good script here!

FROM 15 TO 90:
My razor does it for me, - -
Tho I think it's to bore me.
But who wants a beard to the floor?
My 5 minutes in the morn'
Can really be bor'in
7 months is my total of 'bore'.
16 hours each day when we're awake - -
(The key number to use when we calculate.)
My years total Eighty,
So I haven't much time,
To explore, to love, and yes, - - to rhyme.
The gift of each day,
- - like the rising sun,
So why 'quit' so early?
When each day is such fun.

Repetitive chores are the ones that are boring. Most of life is made up of them and by old age we are tired of doing them. But the alternative is still worse, so we muddle on as best we can.

I am seldom bored. Mostly I am glad that I can still do the routine maintenance on myself and home. Besides, I have 4 cats to keep me entertained.

Many years ago I had the opportunity to talk with a well known concert pianist. He was particularly known for performing Beethoven's Emperor Concerto. Undoubtedly he had played it in performance hundreds of times and in practice even more. How, I asked him, did he manage to keep it sounding fresh at each performance? He replied that each time and with each different orchestra he discovered something he had not noticed before. But, he cautioned, you must pay attention. If you play on auto-pilot you will miss it.

This advice does not translate easily to cleaning the bathroom... but it does to many other repetitive tasks.

Baruch HaShem - Syd and I will be wed 52 years in April. We stay home a lot but that is due to living on fixed income but boring it is not. He has his writings two poetry books on Amazon and he does a great deal of the boring chores laundry and dishwashing and even plays my butler. We are so blessed that in our 70's we are still compus mentus. Have to watch HOarding because I can't believe what I see and some other real life shows like forensic files and lockup. Have my books on tape and tablet and a routine each day that makes me say B"H.

Lots of the things mentioned I'm not crazy about doing either. About 50 years ago my mother complained about all the dishes to wash. I went out and bought paper plates. Still
a staple in my kitchen.

I find that doing repetitive or "boring" chores is not that bad because my mind drifts to other things. I also
have interesting chats with myself then which I count as multitasking.

My work consisted of a lot of boring chores and way too little control, so I got good at "managing" the dullness of the grind.

Two things that help:
1) As much as you can (and then a little more) downsize, declutter, and simplify.

2) Set a bearable time limit: Only an hour of filing, or only 30 minutes of dusting. Promise yourself a "treat"--TV show, cookie, long soak in scented bath, walk around the mall--if you endure for the "duration."

. I hate doing my hair and putting makeup on. I have to do my hair whenever I go out. Even with a good haircut. I am so tired of doing this! But short of shaving my head. I suppose I have no choice.

I couldn't have said it better! I absolutely LOATHE doing all those things, not to mention cooking (it's so damnd daily!), washing dishes, and all the paperwork minutiae that comes with life in the 21st century. I want to be filthy rich, only so I can hire someone to do all these things for me, so I can just do the enjoyabloe things in life!

Maybe shake your life up a bit. When I was younger I moved, changed jobs, got a new man every 7-10 years. Once I meet my husband and settled down --we moved a lot--

Maybe once a year do a house exchange or some thing of the sort. You plan it--you do it --you are glad to be home--repeat same

I think when you are challenged, things are still boring but you don't notice so much because your mind and body have other things to think about?

FABULOUS piece today, and MARVELOUS comments!

I have spent my fair share of time being bored in my life. But--not so much any more.

I am a longtime recovery member, AND a Zen student, so I've had quite a bit of training in focusing on the possibilities of the present instant. That almost certainly has changed the way I see the things in front of me that I think I "should" do. Instead of experiencing a stab of anticipatory guilt--which is guaranteed to make it much harder to actually do the thing--I just do the thing. My housecleaning is light-years better than it used to be, because I just do what's in front of me, without feeling that it has to be followed by a complete sterilization of the entire house. In the time it takes to really notice my resentment about having to brush my teeth, I can actually get the job done. Ditto showers, dish-washing, etc.

But. Many years ago I discovered that doing the dishes makes me feel instantly virtuous and ready to meet any situation. And showers actually feel good. I confess I still drag my heels (figuratively speaking) about brushing my teeth, but, really, so silly, see above.

Full disclosure: I think my almost complete liberation from boredom may be the effect of age in and of itself--I just don't feel bored anymore. What's to be bored about? Look, over there, shiny! The squirrels, the dog, the internet!

Oh, and I also just bought a Roomba, and the house is going to be clean enough for use as an operating room any time now.

I recommend thinking of chores as recreational rewards. Because, then they will be.

This is a revelation to me! Here I thought I was the only one who found brushing my teeth so excruciatingly boring, that I generally wander around the house and peer out the windows as I brush, while toothpaste runs down my chin and drips onto my shirt. Not a good look.
And I won't even get into the boring-ness of housework, which I used to enjoy and now ignore. Thanks Ronni (and everybody else), you made my day.

It frustrates me to have to spend time doing mindless, repetitive, boring things that will only need to be done again in the not-too-distant future. I have a brain! And a million places to go! And interesting things to do! Anything else would be a better use of my time than housework. After all, how much time do I have left? Is this how I want to spend it? And the mindless tasks just lurk in the background, waiting, getting harder and more time-consuming ...

I used to hate washing dishes by hand. Now, oddly enough, I like it. There's just the two of us, so we never have all that many. I do run the dishwasher, mostly empty, once every two weeks or so, just to keep it fresh inside and clear all the spots off our glassware. When I do, it's irritatingly noisy and takes forever to finish the job. The rest of the time it's a nice, quiet, out-of-sight drying rack.

I think what made the difference for me was getting a new set of dishes that I really like. Every time I wash them, there's enough pleasure just handling them that it carries over to the cutlery and pots and pans.

And then, of course, there's the virtuous feeling Kate talks about. "I DID THE DISHES! Look, the kitchen's ALL CLEAN!" (Poetic license, but hey, it's way better than it was twenty minutes ago.) "I am SO AMAZING!"

I have a very long list of things that I say - if I'm really bad and go to hell then I'll have to do such and such or live with ...or never finish.. or never stop participating in...
Oh, it's long and varied. One of our granddaughters has started too. It does amuse those I tell but I mean it!!

This entire litany on boredom just makes me upset. I figure we have a choice...we can either choose to be bored with our daily routine or enjoy the moments it takes to do our daily tasks. My husband had an aneurysm 21 years ago and has been in a nursing home for the last two years...He has lost all of his executive skills and his sense of the temporal. He would give anything to be able to stand up, write a letter, pay bills, do dishes, take out the garbage, brush his own teeth or dress himself daily. We should be giving thanks when we crawl out of bed in the morning that we can put one foot in front of the other and complete all of these "chores" without having to wait for someone else to do it for us. We are so blessed to have these daily activities of living to complete on our own!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you,
Your site is better for me than anti-depressants or visits to the Dr. Knowing that these strange changes and ideas I have are common to at least some portion of the oldsters is sooo comforting to me. I love all the comments.

I have actually been living in fear that someone will notice that I do not want to brush my teeth, or cut my toenails. Now I am free.

Know what I think is boring? Eating, cooking, getting food. Eating in a restaurant - Boring, cooking for others, boring.

Cheryl Stewart, The Dalles, OR, formerly of Portland and Miere and Frank's training bra dept.

Although you would still have to take care of personal hygiene, there are senior housing places where all the housekeeping, cooking, and laundry are taken care of by staff. You could sign on to one of those places. A friend of mine said she couldn't imagine living in such a place as it would be so boring. To each their own.

I will come back to read on of the comments. Did anyone ask if Crabby Lady was bored with writing this blog?

I have gone through some really bad times, so do understand the going to bed and pulling the blanket over my head.

I also understand boredom. But most of the time I can find something to smile about.

I try to see beautiful sights and people, create, read, have interesting conversations, volunteer,
listen to music, etc. as the substance of my day. Devote an hour to the mundane and let go what doesn't get done in that time. Doesn't always work out, but having that kind of life as a goal help me a lot.

Of course, a lot of personal hygiene chores are boring and repetitious; household chores even more so. And yet ... I still like taking out the trash. Gives me a sense of accomplishment. And how can you not like taking a nice hot shower? Feels great!

Yes, I do stand in front of the mirror thinking, ONE (that was flossing), TWO (brushing), THREE (oh for f*&# sake). But on the plus, thanks for recommending the Hall book. I'm very much enjoying it.

I play games like set my phone for fifteen minutes and work in the kitchen, and then give myself permission to break and read for thirty minutes. I sometimes wander about the house grumbling to myself, "Is there no respite?". Sometimes I laugh at how silly how sound, and sometimes I remind myself how lucky I am to be able to walk and bend and see. One day it will all end. The thing that helps me most is to work to music. I'll work for say ten songs, and then if I want, I'll do something more fun. Involvement precedes interest though and often I get into the boring task.

I'm starting to understand why as a child I always thought my grandparents and their house smelled "like old people".

I saw a one man play once called "Life is Maintenance". So true.

I can only imagine how boring life was before we could use electric lights to read at night, listen to the radio or TV, or even go to movies. One can only drink, play cards and snooze so much.

"This entire litany on boredom just makes me upset. I figure we have a choice...we can either choose to be bored with our daily routine or enjoy the moments it takes to do our daily tasks."

To Diane: You are absolutely right of course!! And having also known the pain of watching a loved one struggle with daily tasks for many years, I just wanted to...I don't know, for lack of a better word...reassure you that I think the discussion of boredom doesn't necessarily imply a lack of appreciation for the ability to still get around and do things. Weirdly, I think those two things, boredom and appreciation, can and do co-exist side by side in consciousness. At least they do in my consciousness. I wake up every morning totally grateful that I can climb out of bed without the monumental struggle that my mom experienced at my age; that I can get dressed and go walk the dog in the early morning, when she could only collapse into her wheelchair, wishing for such things. But then an hour later I'll still think "Do I really have to brush my teeth?". Probably the giant hand of fate should reach down from the heavens at that moment and smack me upside the head to bring me to my senses :-) But so far it hasn't, so I carry on.

For me, the discussion of boredom isn't so much in the spirit of justifying feeling bored, as it is in puzzling over "why the heck AM I so bored anyway?" To realize that many other people feel the same way and that it seems to be a normal part of aging is a revelation and makes me feel so much better. In fact I'm already feeling less bored about teeth brushing, knowing that other people feel the same way! We humans are so perverse...speaking for myself.

The first thing that sprang to mind when I read today's post was a saying I read in the early seventies - I'm paraphrasing here, but words to the effect of why spend your lifetime fighting against dirt, only to be buried in it at the end?

This may explain my lackadaisical approach to housekeeping most of my life; I could always find something else more interesting got do.

Now that I am 2 months from retirement, I am asked "what are you going to do when you retire?" My answer is always the same: clean my house. Go figure.

Just wanted to correct "Crabby Old Woman's" comment/assumption that I have a cleaning service once a week. My house barely needed it at every two weeks and it only takes the woman two hours. If I do it myself, I have to break it up over three days just to have enough energy to do it all. We all have different priorities when it comes to giving up stuff like you're giving up cable TV. I easily gave up coloring my hair and I don't get manicures. For others, these are essentials yadda, yadda yadda.

Katie: Thank you for the understanding and the depth of your thought. I think that those of us that observe on a daily basis someone struggle with the very small tasks of daily living have a bigger appreciation of the routine chores that make up our days.

I would also like to pose that perhaps the very purpose of boredom is to help us grow in other ways. I have had some very quiet days that have generated some really creative ideas!!!

Thank you to Ronni for her articles that always inspire us to think things out. Thank you to Katie for your comments!!

And as for leaving the house, you have to add the bottle of water to the pile! Maybe the problem is not insufficient memory but not enough hands;).

What would happen if we stopped cutting our toenails?

Imagine the senior sword fights!

"Come over here and say that, sonny."

LOL, doctafill!

When I retired, someone asked me what I was going to do with all my free time. My instant response was, "Indulge my short attention span," and that's pretty much the way it's turned out. I've taken classes in a variety of subjects, tried being a naturalist/docent, participated in a number of public music performances, gone through a counted cross-stitch phase. The maintenance stuff gets done if it can be routinized and done in my sleep; otherwise it's ignored until it becomes life-threatening, at which time it's no longer boring.

Boredom? I can't remember the last time I was bored unless it was when sitting in a doctor's office waiting for an appointment and even with appointments, I can now play games on my phone to pass the time. For me, there is always some new experience beckoning me to try it. There are never enough hours in the day to do all I want to attempt to do when my feet hit the floor. I think my "minimalistic" life helps. I purged, a few years ago selling my home and most of my material belongings and hit the road in an RV. Never a dull moment and far less boring chores to do..less space to clean, less "things" to take care of and NO yard work! I agree with Cathy, "As far as possible, doing more of what you enjoy and get satisfaction from and less of what you don't seems to help keep boredom at bay". Sometimes it just requires a major change in a lifestyle which many are reluctant to change, staying instead in what they consider their comfort zone and continuing to do the same mundane tasks over and over. Of course, there are situations for some where certain tasks can not be ignored. Also, in my old age, I don't feel obligated to attend functions that I know beforehand I will find boring.

I keep coming back to read more comments. Thanks, Ronnie---great post!!

This comment may sound ridiculous to NON cat-people, but I'd rather be bored up the wall than have to live somewhere that wouldn't accept our two well-behaved senior cats! As Bruce Cooper noted, he was forced to give up his cat when he moved to an ALF. Our cats are members of our family, and part of my reason for trying to stay healthy and alive is so I can care for them until the end of their lives. Without my spouse and our beautiful cats, I'd have to ask the same question that Ned Smith did.

I so agree with you, Elizabeth Rogers. I have three beloved cats and have calculated that I must live to be at least 80, so that I can care for them until their deaths :) I have also left explicit instructions to my family as to their care if I should die suddenly. Also, I think it's both outrageous and heart-breaking that old people are separated from their pets. It should be the other way around, we should be pairing up elders and animals in need of homes, so that both could be living happier lives.

As always, the comments you get are wonderful. I'm in Las Vegas and not bored.

An age old problem it seems...A quote from Anton Chekov: "Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out."

A day late to the party but for me, boredom involves having to pay attention, over an extended period, to something I'm not the least bit interested in. Almost nothing on Ronni's list requires that much investment in time to warrant my boredom.

Sure, there are some household chores I don't enjoy a whole lot, but I wouldn't say they are boring. That experience is reserved for conversations with people who never stop talking, or most Powerpoint presentations.

I find many chores are part of the rhythm of daily life and somewhat satisfying for that reason alone. Something gets lost, I believe, when we outsource our mundane tasks to other individuals or machines -- the richness of life, for example, and our connection to the physical aspects of existence on which we depend.

I do have one question for Ronni though: Just how often do you find yourself "changing beds"? At some point in our lives, that could have been lots of fun :)

I agree with Kate. I splurged on the famous if pricey Roomba. That removes the issues of vacuuming for the most part.

So now I play the role of the spoiled brat whose mom is always cleaning up after him. And the cats and I are surprised and entertained by it.

Oh, yeah my runny nose has been a lot less frequent lately, too.

Deborah - terrific article. I began reading "Brain Pickins" about 6 months ago, along with "Colossal"(mostly visual arts displaying wonderful creativity) and "Open Culture"(offers free articles, books, interviews, etc). One of those three sparks an interest, desire, or spark of some delight if boredom wears me thin.

Usually I don't mind boredom, as a large part of my time, as expressed by my 5th grade teacher, is that I'm an active daydreamer. I can get lost for hours in my own scenarios whether I'm doing chores or pulling weeds. Often when doing chores or waiting in line, I also do them while also exercising (knee bends when unloading dishwasher, piece by piece; balancing on each foot while in line).

Some years ago, I needed to turn most of my attention to getting in shape to stave off diabetes and other problems. Long story short - I informed all that my former chore/hobby of cooking was mostly over, and my husband has taken it well, knowing he had no choice. And any guilt was shelved.

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