Lost in time… or simply bored?

Boredom strikes:

#1. The clock is ticking, every second further than the previous one. It is impossible but it does feel like it. Waiting for the hour to finish, I struggle to keep my senses awake, while holding my eyes open, grasping a memory of a fading happy attitude. But right now, life seems an endless misery…


#2. Time has stopped, or so it seems. I’ve been focused for a long time, submerged on that paper, not blank anymore, while the breeze is coming through the window with smells unknown and my senses awaken… The night will come soon. Who cares how long does it take? I’m in the zone… The joy of the days is found on those fleeting, forever moments, and life seems frozen in a state of eternal bliss…

Boredom can come in many ways, but there are two forms that I seem to know well: on the one hand, being unsatisfied with the current moment – which can put you in a loop of distress – and on the other hand, the kind that feels like a wave of calmness and satisfaction with the present moment… which spurs creativity.

Routine boredom

There are those times when life gets too monotonous. I know what to expect of the day, of the next hour, of what’s to come for the week… Being aware of the struggles and the exciting moments for the near future without seeing a break-through… It’s a bit depressing, usually as a result of having had too high expectations that didn’t materialise. When it feels just like another week, having the same duties and only looking forward to the next meal… that’s the kind of boredom I’d like to avoid.

Let’s fight it back

Life is too short to live days that you’ll forget. It’s on days like this that we need to dream, but also act. Doing new, different things will keep us young. And you’d say (I’d say), I can’t do better in a day like this, when I’m already tired and busy only aiming to enjoy a small pleasure. Well then, all fine, but what if I choose a different small pleasure today? Just enlarging a bit the comfort zone, just exposing oneself to a lesser known theme or subject (in a book, in any content you consume) or going for coffee in that new place or taking a short walk… There’s a small risk you won’t like it as much as your known experience – or it will not be enough- but it will be valuable (and probably a bit more memorable).

It’s a good trick to break with this kind of boredom but also to get a glimpse of how to get back to being present. When going through the motions of life, even if we are reacting, much of it is automatic. But if we are not running our life, if we are going on automatic, are we really living? Are we really feeling what’s going on? Are we finding new opportunities to enjoy and live and feel content?

We are not playing the Sims, we are living a life, making an impact (small or big, doesn’t matter) not just filling bars and ticking boxes. And luckily, not everything is about the big moments, sometimes it’s enough to be able to experience everything that makes a moment: the smell, the taste, the sounds, the changing lights and sky… We get many of those, but how many do we also lose in the frenzy of daily life?

(un)Active boredom

Then there’s also a kind of boredom that feels kinder. That boredom that happens when I have time to kill. Or more precisely, when I allow myself to kill time. When you find yourself stuck somewhere (due to cancelled plans, bad weather, waiting for an appointment) and you’ve grown weary of staring at your phone, you can enter a new dimension. A place where you can stay with your thoughts, imagine your own stories and be with yourself.

I remember those similar moments back when I was young, work-free, with long summers at home. Some limitations are good for creativity. If I had been entertained and busy all of my summers like most kids do, I may have enjoyed it. Although, would I have had the opportunity to create? To dream and read and try any random interest? I don’t think so. I don’t think I would have had time to explore my inner worlds as I did.

Boredom spurs creativity

And that’s my favourite part about boredom. It forces me to create. When I’m bored for a long time, I end up actually doing stuff. It feels crazy to think it could work out like this. Because usually, I’m just beating myself up about not doing enough. Time is money, why I’m not doing some? Why I’m not working toward some dream or goal or task? There are things on my to-do-list that have been waiting for months! Goes the monkey mind.

When calmed and relaxed, just killing time, the moment is now. Or there is no moment really. The mind works differently and imagination wakes. It will make me think alternative ways to fill my time. I could come up with a place to go hiking, or something I’d like to cook, photography projects… And will surely get inspiration for a new painting. How I miss when I was bored to that point! And knowing that I was gonna be getting more of it. And it’s the main reason I try to say no to a lot of options that life throws. Because it’s really easy to distract yourself these days and find something to do (there are always those urgent and important tasks as we go around as accomplished adults, right?).

Cultivate the right kind

There’s a trick in which, when you slow life, time slow downs. It’s hard to conceive, to even aim for. Seems counterproductive trying to achieve boredom – in fact, nowadays is quite hard to not get distracted. I’d like to pursue more of it thought, without the need for digital detox. Do you know those days, when you fitted a lot in a day, but you were not intentional about it? It even felt like it happened in a sequence of days, because you felt at peace and didn’t rush at all. You did a lot, had fun, enjoyed many moments… Without trying to be productive. I like that, I want to be bored in life… so I can get amazed by life.

Long lived days.

Strive for those.




The photos from this post were taken during a short vacation with friends a few summers ago. I’ve had seen plenty of photos from this place, some rather spectacular at sunset or sunrise, but I’ve also seen this place in movies… And it just makes me think about the old movies my father told me about, the spaghetti westerns that were filmed here in Spain years ago (although not right here). And how inspiring that is, that places from other lands become part of other’s imaginary, far away. I quite like the aesthetic of desert (or semi-desert) regions, the vastness of those places reminds me of the vastness of the sky or, specially, the sea. I’ll probably share more photos or add them as prints soon, I took a lot that I love.

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February 25th, 2024