Growing up my mom had one pretty big rule: If you use the word “bored” you will be scrubbing toilets.
That pretty much cured me of using the “B” word and subsequently made me dread ever having to be the one to clean toilets.
My life is pretty much filled with toilet cleaning now.
But I do find myself acting the brat and complaining about how bored my life is quite often.
I am not walking around like a spoiled teenager hanging my head and proclaiming in a whine, “I’am booooorrrred.”
But it has been something I talk to myself a lot about. It is one of the reasons I eat too much, drink too much coffee and sink into depression.
I AM bored. (Sorry mom. I will be over to scrub your toilets later.)
Dishes, laundry, cooking, driving, driving, driving…
Bored. Bored. Bored.
But recently there has been a lot of pain and turmoil in the lives around me. It has caused me to look inside and examine a lot about myself. Even more than that…it has given me a new perspective.
Boring is not a bad thing.
It’s more like I am CONTENT.
Not happy. Not blissful. But CONTENT.
Last summer I gave up routine and boredom and it did not serve me well. Not at all. I spent the summer in a state of uneasiness and selfishness. It was certainly not my finest hour.
What I need is the very thing I was fighting against, routine.
Since having children, I have learned how much they need routine. They thrive on knowing what is to come. They also need time to do “nothing.” They like being bored. A lot of creativity comes out of doing nothing.
When I worked as a preschool teacher, routine was often the only thing that saved us. Just keep moving forward and they will eventually join you.
I am great at routine for my children. Bedtimes are a breeze at our house because we have stuck to the same routine for so long it’s like second nature to all of us.
Where I am NOT consistent is my own time. After I drop off the kids I often feel lost and unclear. That freedom I have whined about for years is actually a bit unsettling for me. I need structure.
I also need to relax and stop being so hard on myself.
Not sure how to do any of that.
Next year my kids will both be gone all day. There is a part of me that screams “Freedom!” at that thought. Another part is scared out of her wits.
I want to take that year to write and work on myself, but I need to have a plan. A consistent routine that becomes second nature in no time. I’ll get there.
Part of my journey involves finding joy and gratitude in the daily routine. Not fighting it and always wishing I was somewhere else.
I am making some progress.
Since the first of the year, I have been taking daily pictures as part of Project 365. Basically, I have committed to taking a picture of something that makes me happy or grateful for the entire year.
Its been 43 days and I have noticed a big shift. I have found that mindfully looking for something to be grateful for each day makes me aware of so many amazing things in my life. It frames the way I look at my day.
I have gotten into the habit of reviewing my pictures every night before bed. Although so much is going on, this little act grounds me and makes me feel peaceful.
My “boring” life is actually filled with so, so much.
I am putting the focus where it needs to be and banishing “bored” from my vocabulary again.
Too bad I still have to clean toilets.