Give Yourself Permission to be Bored

You need it.

Declan Wilson
Declan’s Blog
Published in
3 min readMay 6, 2020

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Photo by Min An from Pexels

“Boring people are bored.”

The lovely Mrs. Betty Draper told me that. I know it comes from those times when advice was black and white — put a coat on or you’ll catch a cold, no pain no gain, respect your elders!

Of all the 1960ish life advice I agree with, Boring people are bored is kind of spot on. I look around at what we have today to distract us from our boring lives — Netflix, iPhones, Twitter — and I think about how we’ve forgotten how to to be bored with simple things: taking a walk, talking to our spouse, making dinner.

We can’t let those simple things be simple things without peppering in dopamine hits here and there.

I’m rarely bored, but it’s only because I keep myself busy. I’m a work-from-home parent of two boys who eat up most of my day. The few luxurious hours I get each day for myself are typically taken up by writing, reading, or exercising.

When I do have a few free moments — and I’ve had a lot more of those lately — I struggle. Time, to me, needs to be utilized or else it’s wasted. I don’t do boredom well, and I’m pretty sure a lot of other people don’t as well.

I say we give ourselves permission to be bored. Let’s make a pact:

I promise the next time boredom rolls around I’ll embrace it instead of shunning it.

I already tried it the other day. I sat in a chair. Just sat. No phone. No T.V. I sat and stared at the wall.

I can’t remember the last time I did that.

Time isn’t always money

I haven’t looked at time the same way since I left my full-time job 3 years ago. Back then I received a paycheck every other Friday no matter how much or how little I worked.

It’s different when you work for yourself.

When you work for yourself every hour you spend is either costing you or earning you. It’s a tough reality to live with. Especially when your kids want to play, Do I play and lose $100 or work and earn $100?

But I think I’ve been looking at it all wrong, or at the very least, I need to look at it from a different angle:

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Declan Wilson
Declan’s Blog

Stay-at-home dad. 9-to-5 escapee. Aldi aficionado. Me in a nutshell→ declanwilson.co/start-here