This past week, I’ve been feeling very guilty because of all the things I haven’t done. If you share that experience, I hope this can ease your guilt. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine without it.
It is no secret that the past few months have been uniquely peculiar. For all of us. It is rare to be sharing an experience with so many people, across so many cultures, countries, stages of life.
It humbles me. It simultaneously enthralls and terrifies me.
It is important to note that even though the enemy is common, the battle is not. Everyone fights this fight in a different, and differently difficult way.
However, amongst my peers, there is a stunning similarity.
Yes, you guessed it. Boredom.
We have baked and we have cleaned and we have sent messages to the family. We have watched all of Netflix and written journals and played Candy Crush again and yet, the more we seem to be doing, the more this monster of leisure seems to be craving.
Of course, this isn’t simply an urge to accomplish something. It is a need to forget. To ease the anxiety, the fear of the unknown. We can’t pass the days worrying from sunrise to sunset about something that is utterly out of our control. Unfortunately, neither can we compartmentalise in the ways we are used to, by going to school, the office, the gym, the bar, a friend’s house.
And so, right when we need it the most, distraction is a limited resource.
So, let me make this abundantly clear. IT IS OKAY.
It is okay to be bored, to feel bored. It is okay to lack productivity. It is okay to be frustrated and anxious.
It is okay that you gave into the hype and watched that reality show and it is okay that you didn’t finish that book.
It is okay that you haven’t been exercising everyday and that you’ve been snacking at strange hours of the day. It is okay that you’ve been going to sleep later than you’d like and it is okay that you haven’t been focusing at work as much as “you should”.
I keep listening to friends giving themselves a hard time because self-isolation has not been the productivity jack-pot they expected. The conditions in which we are living aren’t normal. Staying positive and functioning is a wonderful objective, but let’s not pretend it is easy to achieve. (And don’t be fooled, I have called friends on many occasions, complaining that I have yet to read Jane Eyre. Because that is what I need more of right now; Victorian literature.)
This is a difficult time. For everyone. We have to acknowledge that. So be bored. And let this realisation wash over you. You will be bored for a little longer. And that is okay.
*Photograph by Oumayma B. Tanfous