I haven’t been bored since 2005. Yet here I am, swinging in a hammock, waiting for the Covid brain fog to dissipate. Sure, there’s plenty of work to do, but I find I can’t concentrate for long. So, I take breaks. I lay in the sun. I listen to the birds. I count the leaves in the tree above me. I think about nothing and everything and let my mind wander through the wilds of my imagination.
I’ve forgotten that blessedness and boredom go hand in hand.
I’ve been in isolation since I tested positive for Covid on Saturday night. Between sleeping, binging Outlander, coughing, trying to work, and sleeping again, I’ve had plenty of time to ponder my aversion to rest. I’m the person who is making every moment count – folding laundry while watching TV, planning meals while stuck in traffic, running through tomorrow’s to-do list while getting ready for bed. I am terrible at rest. The truth is, the only times I really rest is when sickness knocks me flat and I have no choice but to lay in bed, bored. And even then, I usually make those moments productive. I use sick days to catch up on reading or clear my email. I once preached two services while sick with the flu. Yep, I’m that bad at resting.
As a clergy person, I know that God commands us to rest. It’s a non-negotiable, in fact. To rest is divine. Resting is how we return to the heart of ourselves, which is why blessedness follows boredom. To be bored is to embrace the good news that I am more than what I do, that I am loved for more than what I can accomplish. To be bored is to unwrap the gift of living, to cherish the miracle of my breath, the splendor of dappled leaves rustling in a cool breeze, the glory of birds chattering the afternoon away, the joy of letting my mind freely wander and wonder.
Today I am proud of myself for lounging in a hammock, allowing myself to be bored. I’m proud that I didn’t work myself back into exhaustion, that I didn’t try to squeeze usefulness out of every moment. It was an unexpected gift at the end of this week of isolation – to come home to myself again, even if just for a few moments.
One thought on “The Blessedness of Boredom”
Laura!!! You hit the nail on the head!! Go back to the hammock, grab your book and thrill in the birdsong before you doze off..I am so proud of you and I love you more than words can express ❤️❤️❤️Wowo