Imagine filling your life with work, family, and children for a good twenty years. You spend these years, absorbed by your responsibilities, juggling them effortlessly (on most days!) and just when you you think you’re beginning to get a hang of it all, it’s time for another change.
This change is a lot more quiet, and sometimes, disconcerting.
How Do We Create New Meaning in Our Lives?
We could be reaching a stage when we feel we are not as needed by our family members and that we aren’t really dispensable at work. Or get a feeling that we aren’t growing in our capacity as an intellectual being.
This is when boredom sets in.
And boredom is a dangerous thing if it’s not channeled in a proper way. Usually around this time, our relationships with our significant others also reach a stage where our rhythms set into a sort of comfortable stagnancy.
It’s at these points where we might let ourselves get engulfed by a sense of loneliness. And we all know that boredom and loneliness aren’t the best of combinations.
The trouble with fixing boredom and loneliness is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
Some people take to reading and writing, some begin to develop an addiction to social media, some are smart enough to pull themselves out of it and pursue creative interests like gardening and attending various workshops. Some start binge shopping to fulfill the void - albeit temporarily - and some even fall into deep depression.
For some of us, a sense of worthlessness also begins to haunt some of us.
In today’s world, it’s easy to try to get over this through seeking “likes” on social media. A little validation and recognition do wonders to our flagging spirits. Some take to drinking in a big way to get a high or to get numb. There are some who find refuge in meditation and mindfulness practice.
At times, we even come across people who are so different than the kinds we are used to, that they spark an attraction that’s hard to resist. All it needs is one message sent on personal chat and the ball starts rolling.
There’s no stopping after that. We want to get to know the person more and get drawn into this vortex of excitement that can move from a virtual friendship to a full drawn-out affair. We begin to live out our fantasies as we embark on this journey and suddenly feel alive after maybe months of feeling like a zombie. The clandestine nature of these relationships tends to add the right amount of spice to our lives that seems so necessary.
Solitude: The Other Side of Loneliness
Then we have the other end of the spectrum where some get used to the loneliness and begin to enjoy it. The solitude adds a kind of strength to our character and we begin to feel complete. I have personally been through a gamut of experiences in my loneliness and boredom stage and have reached the final leg when I prefer my own company to a cacophony of other voices and presences in my life.
Wherever loneliness and boredom lead you, my only advice for you is to just go through the journey with eyes wide open. Enjoy whatever endeavor you are undertaking to break free from boredom but don’t let it blind you to be the cause of your self-destruction.