Sunday, July 01, 2007

or, What lawyers and Mormons have in common besides dressing up in conservative suits and ties

I have come to realize that one reason for my happiness and contentment in life is I have adopted a sort of policy against being bored. I've remarked on this from time to time over the past decade. Some people have expressed their feelings of boredom and I have said I couldn't remember the last time I was bored. There's just so much -- too much -- I want to do, and no reason to not be in pursuit of it, I think.

Now, as a child I most assuredly experienced boredom on a regular basis. For starters, my family used to routinely make me watch The Lawrence Welk Show. Also, during my unfortunate (incarceration) churchgoing years I was guaranteed at least three hours of boredom every Sunday. There was just nothing there to intellectually, emotionally, playfully, or otherwise stimulate me, with the possible exception of my best friend, but we'd get in trouble for talking when we dared to entertain each other. Same deal at elementary school from time to time, though I could sometimes find ways to quietly entertain myself such as writing notes or stories, working ahead, being the teacher's pet, who knows. When those failed I got in trouble for talking there, too.

But during teenage and twentysomething life you get to assert control over yourself and even though you get to make lots of mistakes while doing so it's all so interesting. This, I think, is why I so hated that god awful Tues-Thurs afternoon low-level six-year-olds class I suffered through in Korea. It was the absolute worst part of my week and I used to count the minutes until it was over. It bored me to tears and I greatly resented that.

All right, so am I spoiled? Are people going to say I suck and I haven't known true hardship like working a mind-numbing factory job or living in poverty? Fine, maybe I'm spoiled. But I think everyone around the world in every situation creates leisure and diversion, whatever our means, because there is a natural tendency to avoid boredom. Actively. Intently.

And my second semester of law school was realllllllly boring.

The first semester was not. The first semester I had things like Professor Walker's enlightenment via Torts. And Criminal Law, which Professor Capers and our textbook made infinitely interesting. But second semeseter I was so bored every time I went to class that I thought I was going to watch my brain leak out of my ears. So I went elsewhere all semester -- intellectually, emotionally, playfully.

I'm not sure what to do about this realization. I'm having a hard time grappling with this. I kind of get the impression nobody else much cares; people have accepted boredom as a part of life. Isn't that why god made remote control? Let alone the entire anti-depressant industry, dedicated to the proposition that all emotions can be brought under equal control.

Maybe it's not "boredom" that's so dismaying, because also weird is the procrastination/boredom connection. You have something boring you have to do, and then you do anything to avoid doing it. Either way you're seeking random activities to avoid your current state of mind, but with procrastination you prolong your misery instead of cutting it short. I say, a procrastinator such as myself should avoid putting herself in situations where she has to do boring things to begin with!

Do I need to be slapped? So slap me. I refuse to take this boredom sitting down.

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