Since kicking off The List less than 2 weeks ago, I’ve spoken to quite a few people who have been reading along and saying “What a great idea! I wish I’d thought of it!”
You know what? I wish I’d thought of it too! I didn’t though, not really. The idea of a “To Do” list is by no means an original one and I am not the first woman to become deafened by her own internal clock when the dreaded three-oh looms.
I didn’t start The List because I was full of confidence and brimming with fulfilment and keen to kick that fulfilment up a notch. I started the list because I was in a big. fat. 29-year-old rut.
I was not in a rut because life was bad, but strangely because life was so good! I have a fulfiling and challenging job, a slowly improving home, fab family, awesome friends, and the love of my life by my side. Many people would say I have it all, and I’d have to agree. Problem is, the human brain is a fickle beast and just because everything is going swimmingly doesn’t mean it won’t interrupt its own thought patters at intervals to chime in with “BOR-RIING”.
Shut up brain.
I felt, and still feel, like I’m in a holding pattern waiting for the next stage of my life to begin. But, as I have come to learn over the years, the natural enemy of boredom is action, and I decided to do something about it.
I started singing lessons and spending more time with friends, and that really made me start to feel better, but it wasn’t enough. I’ve tried almost every hobby under the sun and I’d literally run out of ideas. I had to think outside the square on this one.
So, I remembered about the “fab family, awesome friends, and the love of my life by my side” and thought to myself “Maybe they can help!” All I needed to do was ask. They did the rest of the work and gave me a whole bunch of ideas to cure my boredom. I’m only two ticks, 17.6km and a bunch of movies in, and it’s already turning out to be the best thing I have done for myself in a very long time.
So now, much like Adele (who can actually sing), I am going to turn the tables on all of you who are feeling similarly bored, lacking direction, or otherwise rut-deep. I want you to take action against the big black clouds of boredom and do something, anything. And I want to help you do it.
I am NOT going to sit here and say “Follow your dreams!” or “Do something you’re really passionate about!” That, to me, is empty advice. If you knew what your dreams or passions were you wouldn’t need me to tell you to go and chase them. Dreams and passions are often elusive simply because we don’t even know what they are. I certainly don’t know what my dreams are. There was that one with the earthquake and trampoline-jumping spiders but I don’t exactly see how that’s relevant (although I can see how those things in combination might cure one’s boredom for at least an afternoon!)
Instead of namby-pamby Oprah statements, I’m going to give you something a little more tangible.
Firstly, I am going to give you permission to completely copy the “Top 30 List” idea and make it your own if you want to. I don’t hold the copyright. After all, even starting this blog was not my idea. You are quite welcome to copy every single list item (apart from number 1 of course) or make a whole different list of your own. What’s mine is yours. Go for it!
Secondly, if that’s not for you, I am going to give you a list things you might like to do, and challenge you to try at least one of them:
- Go via the supermarket on you way home tonight and eat something you have never tried before for dinner.
- Go to an art shop this weekend and buy yourself some supplies, use them, then proudly display the finished product in your home for a minimum of one month.
- Sign up for a class. Right now. Suggestions include Swedish massage, bonsai, pottery, acting and singing.
- Write an old fashioned letter to someone you haven’t seen in forever and tell them why you miss them.
- Bake a batch of your favourite cookies, cupcakes or other treat and then package up half and give it to the neighbours. If they give you a strange look, take pride in the fact that you have just done something nice for someone who was just about to lose all faith in humanity.
- Pick a giant green patch on a local map and go there. Don’t have anyone to go with? Go anyway.
- Think of someone else you know who needs a bit of cheering up (even if it’s just because they’re bored like you) then invite them to get out of the house with you.
- Write a poem or short story and submit it to a local writing competition. Don’t say “I can’t write”. The following poem won The Annual Harold G. Henderson Award for Best Unpublished Haiku in 2011… and $150:
the coyote call
not a coyote
Finally, I am going to offer you one piece of specific information that I want you to think about. It has helped me no end, and I feel like it might just help you too.
Recreation is the act of doing something just for the fun of it, not because it achieves some purpose.
In other words, don’t learn a language because you think it could be useful one day – do it ’cause you bloody well feel like it and you work hard for the money and you wanna spend it on yourself.
So, with my permission now granted, and a bunch of new ideas, you have no more excuses. All I ask in return is that you tell us all about it when you’re done!
What do you do to sweep away those boredom cobwebs? Share your ideas in the comments below!