As we come to the end of our fourth month of quarantine, I see more people than I can count who are bemoaning the restrictions and whining about not having their usual amusements available to them. This reminds me of my childhood in Chicago, when I remember telling my mom each summer that I was bored. She would remind me that I could walk to the library, there was a park nearby or I should find something with which to entertain myself. Yes, I realize that many of you don’t have the time to become bored – children at home, working from home, etc. This does not have much to do with you.
Those of you who are in the process of telling anyone and everyone that you are bored ought to back up and identify the many, many pursuits to which you continue to have access. Just now, I sat in our back yard and listened to stereophonic bird chirping, watched a dove hang upside down to attack some tasty worms and seeds in a cylinder and witnessed hummingbirds squabble over a choice nectar access spot.
When I wanted to divert my attention from bird activity, the clouds are always a source for creative imagination. First I saw Shrek leading a team of dwarves; then it was a teddy bear perched on a mountain of mashed potatoes; finally, I saw a cloud-breathing dragon. Still not your style? A bit too ephemeral for your tastes?
Do some research on a subject that you have never studied. Find out why Marie Antoinette lost her head. Dedicate some time to identifying what artists have work in the Louvre. See if there are still some pen pal organizations out there through which you can begin a correspondence with someone from another continent.
If that doesn’t work, investigate things that you can create with avocados or bananas or basil vinaigrette. Your mind is your best resource and happily, it has no boundaries or rules. If you want to organize a food drive for disadvantaged local or global populations, it’s a terrific idea! If you want to make masks for your local urgent care center or hospital, better yet. But don’t waste your time or that of those around you with saying that there is nothing to do. All it takes is a bit of curiosity, action and the desire to expand your world, one day at a time. Shalom.