I don't understand how people have the time to be bored. How are they unable to entertain themselves? To keep their minds occupied? How do they not have a massive list of things to do that constantly get pushed to a later time? I don't get it. I don't think I am exaggerating when I say that I don't think I have ever really been bored. There is so much to do, to see, to learn, to enjoy, to hear, to make, I really don't get it. I know we live in a world where over-stimulation causes us to never feel satisfied. But it doesn't take much effort to see through that and be able to mentally adjust.
I could make a list of things to do when there is danger of boredom. Actually, I will. And I am confident that virtually anyone can find something to do on this list that would instantly end any potential boredom. Some are chores, some are geeky sure, but many should be universal, no matter what you're into...
1. Read a book. I know, I used to think reading was lame, and a waste of time. Now, I don't have enought time to read all the books I would like! Seriously, just try it...pick up a book on a topic that interests you. Pick a topic. There's a book on that. You can probably read it for free. You know, that socialist institution called a library. You're paying for it already. Use it.
2. Take a walk. Seriously. Leave the car keys at home, it's okay. Just take a walk. No real direction if you don't have a place to go. Just walk. Think about things. Or watch the people around you. Listen to the place.
3. Bike ride. Obviously this doesn't apply if you don't have a bike. But if you do and never use it, there you go. Check the tires, pump some air. And go. Just to feel the wind in your face. Just because it is something you don't usually do. Why not?
4. Get lost in an album. Everyone claims they looooove music. They can't live without it. It is the soundtrack of their life. They love their iPod. You get the point. So how can you be bored, with music around? Lay down, play your favorite album, louder than usual, preferably in some awesome earphones or isolating headphones. Stare at the wall(or close your eyes), and just listen! If you need suggestions, Pink Floyd's 'Animals' is perfect for this! Tool's 'Ænima'! Radiohead's 'Hail to the Thief'! You get the point...don't just hear it, listen! Absorb it! Submerge yourself in it!
5. Watch a documentary. In the age of netflix, youtube, vimeo, PS3, and countless other ways to stream video, you don't even need to leave the house to find something to watch. And why not learn something new?
6. Stargaze. You don't even have to have a telescope. Binoculars will do nicely. Even nothing is fine. When was the last time you actually looked at the night sky? Most cities are light polluted, but you can still google what planets are visible that day and those are usually bright enough to be spotted with the naked eye. If possible, get away from the city lights. In El Paso, that is not difficult. The northeast and east side are close enough to the outskirts to escape the lights without too much difficulty. It will be worth it. The night sky is spectacular...
7. Take a picture. Or lots of them! Grab your camera, and go outside, or stay inside. But take pictures. Of things you normally wouldn't. Find
8. YouTube it. Anything. I'm serious. It is probably on there. Think of a song you like and haven't heard in a while. It is on there. Want to learn how to do something new with a program? I am sure it is on there. Photoshop tutorials. MS office tutorials. Computer programming tutorials. You name it. Video game cheats and walk throughs. Stand up comedy clips. Debates on just about any topic. Funny commercials. Sports highlights. Religious debate videos. Political commentary. Just pick something. Watch it. Then that will probably link you to something else you might like. Repeat. For added laughs, read the comments on the videos! This can consume unpredictable amounts of time, so be careful. But then again, you need something to do, right?
9. Call your parents. If you live with them, well this doesn't apply. But other than that, I think most of us don't hate our parents. So why not call and say hi. See how they are doing. Catch up.
8. Wiki it. Similar in principle to the YouTube one, but this is an online encyclopedia. Wiki something you are curious about. A person, place, song, band, device, activity, event. Seriously, almost anything, and something is bound to come up for it. Read it, and it will probably have links to something else, that since you were reading about it, probably interests you, or baffled you enough to click on that. Repeat. You started by looking up the members of a band, and ended up reading about danish pastries. It happens, but in the process, you read something interesting, maybe even learned something. If not, well, at least you killed some time. You're bored anyway, right?
9. Bake something. You obviously have a lot of time that you don't know what to do with. Google some recipes for some cookies, or a cake, or something. Doesn't have to be complicated. Almost everyone has flour and sugar, right? Those are the main ingredients for most cookies and cakes, so google away, find a recipe that sounds good and easy, and feel productive while becoming everyone's favorite roommate.
10. Clean. Okay, probably not our favorite activity. But usually, the hard part is stopping what you're doing to clean instead, since whatever it is, it is probable more interesting and fun than cleaning. But you're bored, so that's not the case. You kill boredom, and become productive at the same time. Play some music while you clean, that makes it less of a drag for me.
11. Read the news. At least the headlines. In order for a democracy to function properly, the public needs to informed. Not all news sources are created equal of course, but your local newspaper is a good place to start. Online if you want. CNN. Alternet. Fox news even, if you want to laugh. Whatever. Just listen to the world around you.
12. Cook something. Why not? Google a recipe. See if you have the ingredients. If you don't and you really want to make it, quick trip to the store fixes that(you got time anyway). Who wouldn't like some food instead of some boredom?
13. Exercise. Seriously. It relieves stress, it is good for you, and for some people, it is even fun. Anything. A fast walk, go jogging, dust off the gym card and go use the machines there, go for a swim, gather some friends and play some soccer, basketball, whatever.
14. Read blogs. You're doing that now, and hopefully not dreading it. There are millions out there, on just about anything. Find one, or several you like, and subscribe. See what others are saying.
15. Learn something. Anything. Ever wondered why we only see one side of the moon? Find out. Why do (most)cars need spark plugs? A google search away. Why do antibiotics work for bacterial infections, but not viral ones? You can't know if you don't look it up. Why is the summer in the northern hemisphere, winter in the souther hemisphere? You get the point. Just find a question, look up the answer.
16. Write an email to a friend. You're bored, right? Look through your contacts. Say hi to someone you haven't in a long time. Or to someone you still talk to, but not as much as you'd like.
17. Call your grandma. Just to say hi. She will like it. And those who no longer have their grandma, can agree that you should. Just because you still have her, and it would make her smile to talk to you for a bit.
18. Find out who your congressman and senators are. Most people don't know. See what their voting records are on issues you care about. You may not realize how much power they have, and you may find that you really don't(or do) agree with them, and who knows, you might become a more informed and active citizen in your community. You said you were bored, I am just making a suggestion...
19. Donate something. Look through your stuff, fill a bag with thing you don't want or need. Take it to goodwill. You might need to clear some of the clutter anyway.
20. Draw something. Anything. Even if you think you are not an artist. Especially if you think you are not an artist. Just try it. Draw your friends and/or family. Then mail it to them(or if you are into technology, scan it, and put it on their facebook wall).
21. Watch a movie. On TV. From your movie collection. Go rent one(does blockbuster still exist?). Stream one.
22. Look up how something works. Interested in cars? Look up how a component works. Or who invented a certain component. Interested in photography? Look up how the modern camera works. How it used to work. Its history. Interested in video games? Look up the first consoles, and how they work. You get the point.
23. Look through old pictures. That's why you took them, right? So what better time than now? For added nostalgia, scan them and put them on facebook, and tag away!
24. Learn/play chess. Already know how to play? Play people online(chess.com anyone?). Learn if you don't. Plenty of tutorials and other new players online. It is a classic game of strategy. And lots of fun once you get the hang of it. Online, you have the added benefit of just playing strangers. So no face-to-face embarrassment, you can try new things, and learn by losing.
25. Clean up your PC. You said you were bored, so why not? Most of us never do this(I work in IT, I know!). You don't have to know much about computers. I just mean delete old stuff you don't need, get rid of the clutter. Uninstall programs you never use. You know, what is supposed to be part of "regular maintenance".
26. Play some video games. I know, at #26?! Well, it only just occurred to me. But there are tons online, or dust off your old console, or if you are a regular gamer, revisit an old game.
27. Look up NASA images. Seriously. Go to the Image of the day gallery. look around. Previous, previous, previous, previous. And be impressed by our universe. Or maybe it's just me...
28. Browse the National Geographic Picture galleries. They are impressive as well!
29. Just browse the web. Seriously. If you can't find something to interest you there, then perhaps you should be bored. If the largest repository of information is not enough for you, then what can I say?
30. Talk to someone. There has to be some fellow humans somewhere near you. Stand up, walk towards them, and ask them something interesting. Not your usual small talk. Especially if you already know them. Surprise them with something they don't usually hear from you. You might need to do something such as #1, #5 or #11 first if you can't think of anything that is not the usual small talk. Or better yet, just listen to what they have to say.
Okay, you get the point. There are no excuses for boredom. Any. Zero. None. Carry around a tiny MP3 player and a book and you are set, should boredom threaten to invade your space again. If you need more suggestions, I will be happy to oblige. But seriously, how lazy do you have to be to live at this day and age and find this amazing world we live in not stimulating enough for you???