I live in the heart of Chicago and there is ALWAYS stuff to do here. Always.
Every damn weekend there’s a festival celebrating some arbitrary milestone in some obscure neighborhood. And when there’s not an excuse for social cocktails, there’s a sports game to root for (translation, drink your face off). It’s hard to be bored in this city, but after a couple years of living here, I was exactly that — bored out of my damn mind.
Because there’s a big difference between keeping busy versus creating adventure by engaging in your life mindfully. A huge fricken’ difference.
I found myself out constantly — shaking hands at networking (hate that term) events and toasting over a Cubs victory with a serious case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). But those pretty parties didn’t light my fire, because my actions were rooted in time occupancy vs. adventure. Those activities kept me in motion, but not engaged. And then it dawned on me:
An exciting life doesn’t unearth over schmooze-fests and cocktail parties, it has to be created mindfully every day. Holy hell, what an A-Ha moment for me.
So my mantra became: JOY EVERYDAY. Even when I’m PMSey or tired or in a stressed-out funk, I make space for fun and turn ‘awesome-living tour guide extraordinaire’. [not too shabby of a title.]
I’ve had more clients than you’d care to imagine, tell me “I can’t stick with this healthy lifestyle crap” and when I ask what they’re eating, it’s some hodge podge of skinless chicken breast, iceberg lettuce and a side of steamed broccoli. Yeah. Boring. [I’d be neck deep in a bag of TB — Taco Bell for you amateurs — if that’s what graced my plate.]
Or they tell me the spark is gone in their relationship. Every day is the same, “Hi honey, how was work?” Followed by dinner eaten hunched over the coffee table, with the occasional obligatory sex. Nothing is exciting. Everyone is bored.
See, when you’re bored you seek adventure in the wrong thing — affairs with people or shopping or Snickers bars. Because your life is meant to be lived, not watched or routinized.
But the good news is that you can make your life UNboring.
And it doesn’t take tons of time, planning, cash [or other lame ass excuse] to do. But it does take commitment. A commitment to collecting ordinary moments, experiencing joy and making the mundane, every day stuff, an adventure too.
Some ideas to start…
- Find a blog that makes you laugh your ass off.
- Explore a new tea flavor every morning [start with strawberry-rose green tea…you’ll salivate].
- Take a new route to work, then download a new photo app on your phone to capture the unexplored beauty around you [my personal favs are Camera+ and Pixlr-o-matic].
- Call a friend instead of shooting quick texts.
- Check out the free or super cheap events in your area [dance classes, workshops, lectures, plays]
- Take a hot bath, with a big glass of [organic] red wine and chillax until you prune.
- Dust off Gram Gram’s recipe book and get to work in the kitchen.
- Pop into that bookstore in your neighborhood and snoop around.
And guess what happens when boring stops and adventure happens? Your unhealthy habits — poof — fade.
Because you’ve replaced mindless eating with mindful living, created healthy habits that push out the shitty ones, and now have something UNboring to chat about on the home-front.
So how will you start to positively occupy your time? Pack laughter in your life? Become an artist of the ordinary?