Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Bored Education

It's late at night, and I'm in a Colorado Springs hotel suite with lots of entertainment options.

As you might expect, there's cable in the room. What you might not have expected was there to be TWO TVs (I know I didn't expect that, because the definition of "suite" is unknown to the hotels I usually stay at). I'm sure each TV has lots of channels. But to be honest, I'm really only making an assumption there, since I haven't bothered to turn on either one. For all I know, they could be the cardboard representations of TVs that you usually only encounter at furniture stores.

There is a VHS player attached to one of the televisions. When I checked in, I did notice at least a hundred movies down in the lobby free for the borrowing.

In addition, I have my laptop with nearly 100 applications inside. Everything from Sudoku to a sound studio, from Google Earth to graphics programs. Plus, there's a free high-speed internet connection in the room.

Oh, and my laptop also has a built-in DVD player, in case I decide to watch one of the twelve movies that one of pastors brought with him (I actually borrowed one, just in case).

And let's not forget my iPod. It's got almost 3,000 songs and a few dozen podcasts which I've faithfully loaded, but not yet heard.

Less technological options to pass the time in here include receipts to enter into the checkbook, three books I brought with me (plus another given to me at the conference), a teaching CD I've been meaning to listen to, and a new unread copy of PC Photo magazine.

But there's nothing to do.

I'm bored.

Somewhere along the line, I learned that bored is a mindset. It's simply a perspective problem. You've no doubt seen this point of view from teenagers. They can open up a fridge full of food, stare at the contents for a minute or two, and then close the door, sighing, "There's nothing to eat." Same deal.

Bored is a state of mind. Because frankly, there's always SOMETHING to do. Even being stuck in the waiting room at the doctors' office doesn't HAVE to be boring. You can people-watch. You can try to guess why each person has come to see the doctor. My personal favorite is to select a disease to apply to each person, and then imagine the scenario by which they might have contracted it.

One great thing about being an overthinker like I am is that you rarely have opportunity to be bored. Even when having to wait on line at the bank, for example, there are so many things to be worked out mentally, and solutions which remain yet to be discovered, that there's no time for boredom.

But in spite of my aforementioned brainpower and ability, I must confess tonight to my absolute boredom. Even with all the options for things to do, I'm drawing a complete blank. I'm experiencing the activity version of "There's nothing to eat."

And so now the self-proclaimed expert on boredom solutions asks himself, "What do I do when I'm bored?"

I know the answer. Do you?

Duh. I write in my blog.