Are You Boring?

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:

“Through adventure you will know yourself and create your life.” [tweet it, yo.]

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.]

alliemokeybeach-@allielefevere

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.

unboring

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?

  • Shannon Wiley

    You make great points here Allie, thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    shannon

    • allie

      You’re welcome Shannon! Happy to have you!

    • Jeanine Garrity

      Simple steps make all the difference, you’re so right everyday should be an adventure.

    • Mia Light

      Oy, I think I am boring! But I don’t want to be boring anymore. I have always loved to crochet (which some people might say is booooring), but I absolutely love it. When I make beautiful hats and scares for people they love the work I do and it fills me with so much pleasure. I’m going to dive back into that, because it’s something that totally excites me and I’d like to think I’m pretty talented at it. XO

  • Thanks for shining your light on the topic of boredom. I’ve been thinking along the same vein, including challenging that feeling of boredom by asking what might be behind it. To paraphrase Marrianne Williamson, what we’re truely afraid of is our light. I use boredom as an excuse not to shine. My mind twists it around like this: if I strive to live — and fail — then what does that say about me? If I live up to my potential — and succeed — then that means I’ve been the one limiting myself all along. Good news, though…when I get through this layer and choose to be vulnerable enough to shine, no matter fail or succeed, then watch out! That’s when the juice starts flowin’! Thanks for all your juicy ideas, Allie! You are a bright light!

    • allie

      You’re a smart cookie in quoting the wise Marianne Williamson. You’ll always be a work-in-progress (great news I’d say), but the important thing is to let a little of your joy, love and light shine through everyday and soon enough you’ll be brighter than the damn sun.

  • Awesome post! Just discovered your site by way of Ashley at Your Super Awesome Life and I’m having a great time reading the archives. I’ve never heard the term “time occupancy” before, but it seems like the perfect way to describe the many ways I mindlessly spend time-time that could be used to make life more exciting and full of adventure. Thanks for the kick in the pants to start eliminate some of those boring habits right this second.

  • Becca Douglass

    I read this article a little while ago and took your advice! I enrolled in a glass blowing and kite surfing class — both things I’ve been dying to try. I felt immediately excited when I signed up. I get to learn something new, check something off my bucketlist and can ditch my ‘there’s never anything to do around me’ excuse. You are amaze, Allie!!!!!!

    • allie

      Becca — glass blowing sounds spectacular! I think I just might add that to my bucketlist [which currently takes up about 35 spiral notebooks…] Glad you added some spark to your day!

  • Lina Faller

    I think I might be a little bit boring! Now I’m determined to change that. I always forget that I don’t have to hop in a plane to have an adventurous life, I can try something new in my own backyard!

    • allie

      Yes ma’am — take a class, explore a new neighborhood, whip up a new recipe. Those sound like some pretty unboring things to me.

  • Carrol

    It’s so easy these days to go through life without any adventure, everyday just becomes the same old routine, just going through the motions…I loved this article because it reminded me of the importance of not wasting time, because you never get it back…
    Thanks,
    – Carrol

  • Susy

    It’s so important to get out and explore new things, that’s the only real way to enjoy life….This was a great article reminding me that its ok to do something out of the ordinary every once in a while, just to experience something new and exciting..thanks Allie!

Shamelessly by Allie LeFevere