Time is an abstract concept on so many levels; while precious it is so often wasted in my life. How does that happen? I read in the Science Times this past week that the brain uses times of boredom to file information.
Some experts say that people tune things out for good reasons, and that over time boredom becomes a tool for sorting information — an increasingly sensitive spam filter. In various fields including neuroscience and education, research suggests that falling into a numbed trance allows the brain to recast the outside world in ways that can be productive and creative at least as often as they are disruptive.
Maybe that explains why as I was completing my Master’s degree I had a compulsive need to search craigslist for a dining room table. Or when I need to create a budget for my non-profit I fritter time away playing word-challenge on facebook. But does that count as boredom? Isn’t that just a welcome distraction from what must be done? I’d like to think that my brain is doing something productive during those interludes of mindless fun.
I wonder how that factors in to most people’s existence. I’ve just spent the last hour or so at a local farmers market getting spelt bread, tasty white corn and new pickles. The leisurely walking so often reserved for museums or garage sales kills me. I come home too exhausted to make the juice I planned or lunch for the three of us. So how does my scar riddled brain factor in to my need for slightly stimulated down time?
Maybe I shouldn’t question so much and just let it be. After my budget is complete and my letters of outreach are written… and I do 3 (5 at the most) rounds of word challenge . I gotta get my score up!