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Boredom

My friend Lyrissa, who is a law professor, writes about boredom. She queried her colleagues as to whether they should reveal to law students that boredom is part of the job. She accepts that they get bored in class; she admits getting bored, too. In medical school, the same applies. It wasn’t the professors fault, although some of them has personalities to suit a spleen, some class subjects cannot be taught with flair or panache. We managed to make microbiology interesting by writing limericks and fairy tales using the bacteria’s names and their presenting symptoms. All I can recall now of those vignettes is a vague association between Chaga’s disease and lyrics from a Chaka Khan song and the heart (Chaga Khan). I would give real money if any of my med school classmates still had those study guides.

But much of LIFE is boring, mind-numbing and monotonous. Seriously. I can list but a few:

  • Waiting to catch a plane or worse, sitting on the tarmac waiting for the tower to give clearance for take-off.
  • Elementary school Christmas recitals. Honestly after kindergarten, the cute factor is gone. I know this gets me nominated for the Bad Mother club.
  • Wedding ceremonies for obscure relatives, in-laws or employees
  • Accompanying someone else who is shopping for a specific thing(bathing suit, prom dress, wedding gift)
  • Passenger¬† in any car that is headed on a road trip lasting more than 100 miles

So much of learning to live your life well is learning to utilize the dull parts to your advantage. Lyrissa calls it multitasking. But it is necessary at times to combat the sheering effect on the brain. A stellar mind cannot withstand the yanked up emergency brake that grinds it to a halt when you have to attend a CME convention and sit through hours of Who-Gives-A-Shit lectures. Of the 26 hours of gained time, maybe 30 minutes of that will have useful, applicable, even vital information to take home and share with colleagues. The rest, you have to learn how to sit through and filter so as to catch the good stuff. So…you learn to play Texas Hold ‘Em on your iPod or grade some papers or crochet while the Talking Pineapple fiddles with the laser pointer and flounders waiting on the AV guy to bring batteries.

If students….if we…think all of life is supposed to be exciting and thrilling then no wonder my office is packed with people who can’t quite figure out why they feel bad. They aren’t really happy; they are fatigued; they are discontent; they can’t place their finger on it…..basically, they are bored or disturbed by how boring living can life can be. There was no slight of hand. It is not trickery. The seduction happens when we buy into the notion life (if lived right) is always LARGE and paparazzi worthy. That’s crap. Life is simple. Meant to be simple. Life, lived right, is sitting at your desk in the late evening, a cat asleep on one foot and a dog asleep on the other, your family asleep in the other part of the house,¬† a nice cup of coffee or a glass of wine and a mind clear enough to write a blog post.

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