The guest post I ran on the blog this weekend got me thinking about boredom and hobbies.
See, I’ve had to do a lot of things to avoid boredom the past few years. Battling unemployment with part-time jobs, odd jobs and a massive job search can really mess with your mind. Anyone who has been in this situation can probably understand where I’m coming from.
The funny part is, some of the things on that list I had never considered and I wish I had — such as reading free chapters for Kindle books. Talk about a way to see if there’s something you truly want to read.
But it also got me thinking about the human mind when it comes to boredom.
See, a lot of my time the past few years has been spent on the computer. It’s the bad part about being on a job hunt. Resumes. Cover letters. Search. Tweak resume. Write another cover. Search for another job. Repeat.
Over and over. And over. And over.
I’m sure you get it.
But doing that for many hours a day gets pretty boring. And it’s not that you don’t want to push forward, it’s that you can’t. Words start mashing together. You worry you’re writing to one person and putting a total different name in the spot. I can’t even say how many times I’ve woke up in the middle of the night worried I addressed a cover wrong. I’d quickly grab my phone and access Dropbox to see if I did it right. Thankfully, I’ve only had an error once — and I wonder if it hurt me.
Alas, I won’t dwell on that one. That was my stupid mistake and it involved a name that could be male or female. Yeah, I’m sure you know what happened there. I did e-mail the person soon after, apologizing. I even conceded in the letter that I probably ruined my chance for the job, accepted it and moved on. I haven’t made that mistake again.
But that boredom.
I call it computer eye. By that I mean I stare at a screen, trying to write a cover or tweak a resume and nothing works. Nothing at all. It’s not necessarily boredom, rather a block. So I’ve needed to do things to keep my mind focused.
My out has usually been some sort of a creative outlet.
From writing on the blog, to photos (many of which I still need to process), to just getting outside has been key for me. Utilizing creativity allows a mind to wander, to think, to focus. I usually can go back to cover letters and such within the next day and be good to go.
One thing that has been key is finding affordable or free things to keep busy. That’s something that isn’t underrated. And while blogging has been amazingly therapeutic — especially with creating many friends in this outstanding community — it doesn’t get you away from the computer.
Geocaching (outside the GPS unit I bought several years ago) is a free hobby, for the most part. Hiking is free. Going out and snapping photos is free, again outside of the equipment I already owned. Playing board games with friends is free. Disc golf is free, as long as you have one disc and can get to courses. Letterboxing is free. Many parks are free. Heck, I visited a zoo in South New Jersey not too long ago that was by donation, so it could be done very inexpensively.
In the warmer months, many communities have festivals or fairs and a lot of them are free. You just have to look around and visit other communities. It’s well worth it.
It really makes you think outside the box.
Sure, there are online things one can do, but there are so many other things. Do some community service, or find a way to help people. I try and do work with Find-A-Grave as much as I can, which allows me to help people from all over by getting photos of long-lost relatives headstones. Maybe they are researching a family tree and those stones can often be very important.
That guest post also got me wondering — what do you all do to escape boredom or to clear your head when you really need it? Share in the comments below as it might help others looking for free/inexpensive ways to spend some time away from the computer.
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