On being bored

I remember a few years ago proudly proclaiming that I couldn’t remember ever being bored.  I had a diary that so rarely had a free evening in it that I wouldn’t know what to do with myself when one came along.  Weekends would be booked up months in advance.  I’d have to schedule date nights with him or we’d simply never have any time together.  I’d fall into bed exhausted, rarely getting time to read; and the only time I had to myself was on the long commute to work.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Living on my own has certainly taken some adjustment and has given me an enormous amount of freedom and time for reflection.  The one thing that I have struggled with increasingly over the last few months is how often I find myself being bored.  Sometimes whole weekends will go by when I won’t speak to anyone (except for via Whatsapp) and I have no real plans except for ones I create myself like going for a run or to the gym.  I have a few close friends nearby but I also have a lot of friends who live too far to see in the evenings, and of course as you grow older people have their own families and our lives change and people fall out of touch.  Instead, I’m usually home by 6pm with the evening stretching out ahead of me – which can feel equal parts comforting or lonely, depending on the day.  I know that many of my friends with small children and demanding jobs would love to have an evening to themselves to read or catch up on Netflix, and I know I’m lucky to have a space to myself to relax.  But the one thing I’m frustrated with myself about is just how often I’m bored nowadays.  Sometimes I go to bed at 9pm out of sheer boredom.  Sometimes at the weekends I nap in the afternoon just to pass the time.  It doesn’t really feel like living, and I know I have to do something about it.  Otherwise I feel like I’m just passing the time until it’s time to go back to work.

I watch a lot of Netflix and read a lot of books.  I take a lot of baths and spend an inordinate amount of time scrolling through Twitter and instagram.  I go to the gym and run but I tend to be fairly tired by the evenings so I usually get these out of the way in the morning; meaning my evenings are nearly always free.  I go to bed at 10pm as I usually just run out of things to do.  I’ve tried to find hobbies to get me out of the house but sometimes it feels a little lonely doing things on my own – I bought a paddle-board but it’s really no fun going alone! (It is lots of fun going with friends however).  Tomorrow I’m going to try a Back To Netball group as I think it would be useful to have a little structure to my week and something that I do on a regular basis, but it’s very nerve-wracking doing something new! (In other exciting news, I get Bodhi dog back on Wednesday which really changes things for me and always makes me feel less lonely).

I’d love to hear any other ideas for how to quell boredom – what would you do if you had more time?