Is boredom good for you? Yes, it can be a starting point.
This week, I learned that intentional boredom is the elixer of the gods when it comes to self-awareness.
Fun is fun, and busy is successful, but boredom has benefits.
This week I've been sitting in my room. I find myself working during the day, and without the 'water cooler' talk and random drop-ins from coworkers, I am getting bored.
When work stops, man, now I'm really getting bored.
But I like it, I've been preparing for this for the past 7 years.
Usually when I get bored, I get unstuck on problems. I figure out what I actually need to do or maybe realize that what I am doing is not actually solving the problem even though I think it is.
That's why I'm doing it right?!
Sometimes I figure out what I am 'escaping' or running from... or what I am subconsciously seemingly sabotaging myself with because it is what I am actually wanting to be working on.
What I mean is: while it all looks like watching Netflix, sometimes you watch a show because you need human connection, or because you want to feel excited, or because you need to relax your brain after an engaging day.
Sometimes being bored can help you figure out what 'it' is that is making you feel 'off'.
Potentially, you can then call a friend, work on a cool project, go for a run, or do a mindless task like wash the dishes.
Lastly, to be clear, I am not talking about mindfullness or reflection, I really am talking about being mind-numbingly bored.
1. Quick, interesting read
Some really good headlines. I found two super interesting headlines, skip the article --the headlines were so damn good. Read the headlines and meditate on them.
In Defense of Good-Enough Gadgets - Christopher Mims at WSJ
Resist the urge to buy the latest, shiniest smartphone. Like cars, the functional difference between this year’s model and last year’s has never been smaller. One result is a growing marketplace for used electronics of every kind.
The Case for Bad Coffee - Keith Pandolfi, for Serious Eats:
"...I look toward the automatic drip maker to my left and feel a pang of sympathy for its cold carafe that once gurgled and steamed each morning with the best coffee money could buy. On top of the refrigerator, my old friend the French press has gathered dust. When I notice a dead housefly decomposing inside it, I wonder what the hell has happened to me..."
2. Productivity tip
Actually enjoy stuff instead of making everything a triumph of determination and willpower.
Since the shutdown, I have been running on the track once a week, on Tuesdays. This run ~was designed~ serrendipitiously had sustainable aspects* to it.
This week it was feeling like a drag. I thought I would not go. I would not have gone without the people to run with (I live with them). Then, bam a damn. We went to a new place and it was fun again. I did not run as hard or as fast, but I ran.
Every week I want to not go, and every week afterwards, I think, man I sure am glad I went.
(*) 'Group', designated time, designated activity,
3. Cool photos
In the early 2000s, a fashion industry insider, now-defunct blogging platform, and the burgeoning street photography scene all came together to create The Sartorialist. It was a web log housed on blogspot for years even after it 'became successful'. Like Bill Cunningham it allowed the photographer to shoot street style, but he added a romantic, fashion sense. Unheard of at the time.
Here is a link: https://www.thesartorialist.com/pitti-uomo-florence-2/
4. Unique product
I have to mention this camera: the OMD EM10.
It was a dream camera of mine, with all the specs before I knew it existed. I could not justify the cost and now it is $299 new with a starter lens. You could build a whole career out of this camera. Of course, you could build a whole career out of the camera that is on your phone as well.
Anyway, it is basically all anyone could ever want in a consumer camera for travel. Why not a DSLR? Size. I do not take it out because it is so big. Believe me, I have tried. This one you can actually carry. That makes all the difference. Seriously. The lenses are also standout.
Here is a link: https://www.adorama.com/iomem10m3bk.html
This week, a running workout. Running as a workout is pretty unbeatable as cardio, and it is low on gear and facility requirements. In home calesthentics, weight lifting, and running have been an okay temporary workout for me without access to jiu jitsu.
Here is an example workout:
Warm up - jog about 10-15 minutes.
Run* 800m aka 1/2 a mile aka 2 laps around a standard 400m track. Strong. 80-85% of effort.
Walk for 200m aka halfway around the track or along the diagonal.
Repeat 5 times.
Afterwards, stretch your legs for 30 minutes. Make it more fun by watching a TV show or listening to music/podcast. Alternatively: while stretching, be bored 😛