Today’s Daily Prompt asked what bores me…
I hate knowing what happens next. I used to evaluate screenplays for movie studios, and at a rate of 10 per week, it got so that no plot twist could surprise me. That was a long time ago, but even now, gratitude wells up whenever a book or movie surprises me, even if I otherwise loathe the piece. One reason I loved the Harry Potter series was that in all those thousands of pages and hundreds of plot turns, there were only a scant few that I saw coming.
Curiously, although I prefer surprises and novelty, I have spent most of my life as a control freak. (Working on it! Working on it!) Perhaps as my aging memory worsens I will be able to have it all: exert control, forget I exerted control, enjoy surprise at the events I caused to unfold.
Am I kidding? Control freaks never unfold events. Control freaks have only an illusion of control.
The predictable bores me, and I detest being bored. Being bored. Saying it that way suggests that an outside force imposes the boredom. In fact, whether I get bored or not depends on me. To cop a phrase from a recent movie trailer, boredom is a choice. If I’m bored, I should be able to redirect my attention or reconstruct my attitude and eliminate the boredom.
Which all sounds fine in theory. Routine repetition is the deal-breaker.
Typically I avoid that kind of boredom by tuning out and looking inward. This has some good consequences. For example, I tune out the mind-numbing repetition of brushing my teeth – day after frigging day – and while brushing my teeth I have excellent writing ideas. Moral of that story: if your writing stalls out, brush your teeth.
I tune out while driving. I’ve lived and worked in the same places for several years so I long ago exhausted all the new ways to commute. But the space-out can be too complete. On my way to work and suddenly I come to and I don’t recognize where I am. The adrenaline jolt certainly fights boredom, but the backtracking and rewinding do not start my day well.
I still remember the first time I experienced boredom. I was a kid, it was the dregs of summer, my friends were elsewhere. I lay on the floor of my room, picking at the bedspread, overwhelmed by there being absolutely nothing I felt like doing. I don’t remember all that much about my childhood but that moment is indelible.
Do you remember the first time you were bored?