I was thinking about boredom this week as I shuffled papers and appointments, trying to make the list of tasks fit into the time I had available. The question was asked, “How much time is spent on academics because I don’t want my child to be bored.”
And so I talked about balance, about the need for children to sometimes be directed by the teacher and other times take responsibility for their own direction. Balance. It is not my one little word but it seems to be a word that I am struggling to invite into my life these days.
I remember a time when the girls were in high school and we talked about making choices, which group to join, which to pass up for a season. I need that pep talk. So many things to do, a life so full of opportunities. Some things require more of me physically, others demand time for silence and quiet.
I think of families with young children. The boundaries are so blurred these days. The information age has tricked us into thinking we need to know everything, every fact and detail, each little piece of a story. No room for surprise or privacy. Parents are up against a culture that has them scheduling too many minutes in their child’s day, leaving little or no room for imagination, exploration, or even that dreaded boredom. Maybe we could think about boredom in a new way. Maybe we could let boredom be an opportunity for new thinking, for creativity. Maybe we would be surprised at the choices our kids make when they know we have confidence that they can make choices.
There is another word I am keeping company with lately, Maybe. Good words are pushing my thinking. I can’t remember the last time I was bored.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.