Friday, 18 February 2011

The bored list

I don't know if you ever made one, but when I was younger - twelve, thirteen - I used to make 'bored' lists all the time. Growing up in a city where the electricity went out often and you had to rely on non-electrical means of entertaining yourself on long afternoons (no TV, no computer, no CD player), I had to have a handy list ready to consult every time I was bored.

I unearthed one of my old lists the other day, and was rather surprised to see what was on it.

1. Write stories just for fun.
2. Go for a walk.
3. Call Amina and chat*
4. Look through memory box**
5. Play a game with Sid***

*Amina was my best friend at school. But really, you could substitute #3 with 'Call a friend and chat'. 

**My memory box was a box of old things I'd collected over time: photos, birthday cards, old stories I'd written that now made me laugh, notes passed in class, a poem my father wrote for my four-year-old self, a 'secret admirer' Valentine's card my aunt sent me to make us giggle, and so on.

***Sid is my younger brother. But when he wasn't home, or didn't want to play a game, I easily substituted that with 'play a game by myself'.

The amazing thing about that list is that everything on it is good for you. When you're feeling cooped up and brain-dead from too much work, a walk can be an amazing thing. When you're stressed, play a game, giggle, be silly. Call a friend and have a chat, catching up can be so much fun, especially if you're having a lonely day. Look through the old things you've collected, or old photos of good days, and remember wonderful things you thought you'd forgotten. Do something just for fun, and not because it's work or because you have to.

Apparently I was much wiser as a thirteen-year-old, because these are things I don't do often enough. And I should.

What would be on your 'bored' list?


  1. A "bored" list. I love it. I think as we become adults, we become brittle and set in our ways. As children we are open and flexible to look for new ways out of old problems. Always a good posts, Roland

  2. Those sound great! It strikes me as interesting you should have felt a need to list them... You make it sound as if you were a very methodical child, which probably became an asset for a signed author such as yourself. : j

    I never had a bored list... Can't recall ever being bored either. To many books to read, trees to climb, dreams to dream, games to play, deliciousnesses (words to invent?) to create, etc.

  3. Roland, that's so true! I think I could learn a lot from my more flexible younger self!

    I know what you mean, Alesa! There's always so much to do, but I found myself bored anyway, maybe because the options were limited when you were in the middle of a city. I just can't believe I never put 'read a book' on that list!

  4. I'm not bored often, but usually a movie does the trick.

  5. I've never thought of a bored list, there's always a to-do list going which does bore me as it's always listing things I should do but an to idle to get round to. xxx

  6. I was a great list-maker as a child; mostly things I wanted to do. When summer break came around, if I ever voiced any signs of boredom, my mom's stock answer was always, "read a book."

    Your list is charming.

  7. I think if we had no electricity I’d end up doing the chores that I put off because there are too many other interesting things to do with things that plug into the wall. There’s always cleaning to do but top of my list would be to fix the doors to the kitchen cupboards. The wood glue has now been located and is just sitting there waiting on me being bothered to actually do something with it. If the power did go out I’d probably end up just reading. I have so many books to get through. I’d really need the power to be off for about a month to catch up.