We do not have cable. I mean, literally. I don’t mean we have the most basic package our cable company offers. I mean that we do not have cable. We have rabbit ears. But lemme tell ya, those antennae have come a long way from the old stereotype. These guys we have are large and in charge and even pick up HD channels. Yeah, you heard right. HD. Our TV is connected to a media center PC, so it has easy and immediate access to Hulu, YouTube, and our Netflix streaming account. But even so, I find that I watch a lot less TV this way than I might want to.

I don’t feel like I grew up watching a whole lot of TV. I had my certain shows I watched religiously, and certain nights on which the TV was “mine” to control. A. and I still have our shows we watch every week (always recorded, so we can fast-forward through the commercials), and I have a few shows that I watch on my own. But I tend to want to veg on the couch watching TV a lot more than A. does. That urge strikes me especially when I’m alone in the evenings. I’ll get lonely, and then I’ll get bored, and somehow that combination makes it so that all I feel like doing is staring at a screen.

That’s a lot easier said than done, though, when you have to decide what you want to watch and find it on some online venue! It’s much easier to mindlessly scroll through channels, or watch some miscellaneous show just because it’s on. I have found myself watching Grey’s Anatomy numerous times, even though it’s one of the shows I make the most fun of, because I happened upon it on the TV guide. But if I have to find a show on Hulu, I often draw a blank. Or tonight, I was going to surf our small selection of channels….but the computer was recording Jeopardy, so I couldn’t change the channel. Such is life. So instead I rallied myself and emptied the dishwasher, washed and bagged up grapes, and cut up carrots for our lunches. Much more productive.

When I’m bored, though, I lose all desire to be productive or social, even though those are the very things that would stop me from being bored. It’s so stupid. I feel like I’ve always been this way. One of my most hated things as a child was when I would whine, “I’m boooo-red,” and my mom would retort back with a list of all the things I could be doing. I would usually end up storming off to my room to read a book. Now that I’m an adult, I can and do make those lists for myself. But why is even a good book often less appealing than the mindlessness of the television? I am inexplicable to myself sometimes.

I feel like such a child even admitting that I get bored. I feel like as a reasonable, mature person I should be beyond boredom. I live a full life. I have interests. But when I’m bored, sometimes even my interests don’t interest me. Am I alone in this? How do you deal with boredom? How do you snap out of a random funk and convince yourself to do the fun things you’ve been wanting to do when you didn’t have the time? I ought to go check out my Pinterest boards and see if anything catches my fancy….but I might just read instead.

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman