On your first birthday, while you are wobbling around corners and into the places that have your father on the verge of an anxiety attack, I want to talk to you a little bit about the word BOREDOM. The formal definition states simply: "The state of feeling bored."
Oh my little peanut, this is one of those feelings that I encourage you to steer clear of, as it is much more than just a state of mind. It is, indeed, a character flaw.
Boredom infects those who have lost hope. Those who have stopped asking questions. Those who have given into the notion that the world is a stagnant place that we do not have the power to change. At the age of twelve or so, you will start to say, "I'm bored," when your parents have taken away your cell phone, your homework is done, and/or when your favorite shows aren't on television.
Before you utter such vulgarity, I want you to think of this beautiful word: Create.
The most interesting people that have graced this world have been those who resort to the art of creation when they find a few free moments to spare. My mother, your VoVo, used her time to cook the meals and bake the cakes for her family. Stirring pots and mixing ingredients to conjure up the aromas that had us running into the kitchen licking bowls and sneaking tastes on tiny forks.
Others have designed inventions and solved mathematical equations. Have written the melodies that you'll hum while tucking the sheets of your bed. Have painted the canvases that grace the walls of museums. Have thrown rocks on a roaring river and counted the skips. Taken long walks in the rain, barefoot, and open-hearted. Each of these things were done when someone had nothing to else to do.
Tessa B, you are going to create something wonderful someday. In just 365 days, you have had our entire family spinning in a love that did not exist before October 14, 2012. How amazing is that?
Boredom is not a problem, it's an opportunity to make, to build, to solve, to dream, and to find yourself. And when you can't think of anything to do, here are some ways to be creative:
When we are still enough in both body and mind and to get lost in an adventure, to make mistakes, and seek to understand something new, we can create. My love, so when you are bored and can think of nothing else to do, call me. Know that hearing your voice will put a smile on my face that wasn't there before. You are the best of the creations that I have encountered
I love you. Tongue wagging and all.
P.S. Here are some practical ways to be creative:
1. Pick a word, look up its definition, and doodle in a blank paged Moleskine about it.
2. Sing in the mirror to your favorite song.
3. Teach yourself something; attempt to solve a challenging chemistry conversion or learn how to tie a sailor's knot.
4. Play with makeup.
5. Make and edit your own artsy video.
6. Cut an image out of a magazine and write your own article about it.
7. Bake a cake from scratch.
8. Interview an older relative, as if they were a complete stranger. Ask personal questions. Ask about the hardest times in their life. Ask about what has brought them the most joy.
9. Take pictures of all of the items in your bedroom. Which ones represent you? Which ones can you do without?
10. Plant a seed.