Boredom Isn’t Just for Dusting

Yesterday was my mom’s 70th birthday. As careful as I’d been about hashtag staying home hashtag stay safe stay home life hashtag doing my part, there was zero chance I wasn’t going to see her. I figured as little as I’d been moving, surely I was even safer than she was (she’s always had a bit of trouble staying still).

So anyway I was home, at her house, in the bathroom, as will happen, and I noticed that her little seashell shelf (say it fast and successfully, I’ll wait) needed dusted. And THAT threw me into a whole flashback about the dangers of my siblings and me saying “I’m bored” within earshot of my mom.

Her answer was always a variation of, “oh, you’re bored? Well, now you’re dusting/cleaning this thing/dishes need unloaded/feed your damn dog,” which taught us SO QUICKLY to keep our minds and bodies occupied. It’s probably a big reason I joined everything I possibly could as a kid/teenager/freshly-minted adult. And I’d say it’s why I hate dusting to this day, but I’m pretty sure literally everyone is born with an aversion to dusting. If you love to dust, please drop me a note in the comments and tell me the one simple trick that makes everyone hate you.

Anyway, I dusted the seashell shelf as best I could with toilet paper and water because I’m a really great kid who is also exceptionally good at half-assing tasks. Not to toot my own conch or anything.

And then, the next night as I was driving back home, I listed to Manoush Zomorodi’s TED talk on how boredom can lead to creativity.

To boil it down, having a cell phone has really crushed the luxury of boredom. We grab these pocket computers instinctively, automatically, almost unconsciously, and spend minutes, hours, and ultimately years (did you know that we spend close to two years of our lives, on average, exclusively on Facebook, for example?) on social media. I don’t even want to know how much time I’ve spent on Yahtzee.

So today, I put my phone down. I had real things to do. Virtual trivia hosting was at 2:00. I had two resumes to knock out. I’m going to be on a great show, Splice It, tonight at 8 p.m. and I needed to make sure my t-shirt was clean since I just found out dickies DO still exist, but I don’t have any TODAY. Plus, I needed to work out.

And what’s crazy is that it’s 4:15 p.m. and I’ve done all of that. The resumes are done, I hosted my first no-last-minute-errors-due-to-lack-of-preparation-trivia, AND my t-shirt is clean. I even cleaned the mirrors in my house.

Boredom also took me in an unexpected direction. My segment on Splice It tonight is about Oscar winners. I started to think about how I don’t know nearly enough about Oscar winners, and I should really try to learn, but I really only love comedies and documentaries. Then I started to think about how it was a real shame there wasn’t a huge documentaries award show. It could be called The Docs, and the statuette could be like, Bugs Bunny-shaped, and he could introduce the Best Doc award every year at the end, and then maybe the In Memoriam could be called the Doc Holliday In Memoriam, and Dr. Phil would never be invited.

Anyway, to the Academy, maybe think smaller, okay?

For those of you interested in watching an Instagram Live show hosted by puppets, Splice It starts tonight, at 8pm CDT!

After this week, it moves exclusively to Twitch, so definitely check it out!

Movie of the day: Arkansas, Prime. I love Vince Vaughn when he’s not just playing for laughs, and John Malkovich is always welcome.

Show of the day: The Masked Singer, Hulu. I only started watching this on Season Three, and I’m terrible at guessing, but I DID KNOW WHO TACO WAS.

Flower AND song of the day: Scarlet Begonias. This is not only a song I love from The Grateful Dead, but also a beautiful little pop of life and color. I’m planting some today, so I thought I’d do a whole two birds thing.


I start every day vowing to become healthier and end every day by zeroing out my fridge.
That's the kind of self-sabotage that forms the core of my being.
You know what I'm good at, though? Spinning words into a magical skein that envelopes you in success. Let's talk about that first, and if snacks end up happening, so be it.

You may also like...

Popular Posts


  1. XOXO

  2. Sue Ellen Novak says:


Leave a Reply