Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Boredom? I Don't Think So...

Hello, and welcome to February!  

Wait - what’s that you say? February is more than half over? Wow, and so it is! Okay, well, life happens and we must move forward from right here today… Am I right? (wink) 

Seriously, I must say that life has been very busy for me recently. I’m working on my next book, and though I don’t want to tell you too much about it, I can tell you that the book’s subject is about “LOVE.” (I sigh a happy sigh)  The other thing that I’ll tell you is that I’m very excited about getting this work out to all of you. I believe it is something that most of my dear readers will LOVE. After all, most of us here at “Katie’s View” love love and want more of it in our lives. My goal is to have the book finished and out by the end of this year. (I think I can, I think I can…)  

The other thing that has been taking up a lot of my head space is that I’ve been trying to lose some weight. I mentioned that in another one of my blog posts last fall. Here’s the link:  Many of you contacted me personally with great advice and words of support. Thank you for that because I love to hear from you! I’m happy to announce that since that writing, I’ve lost 20 pounds. The weight isn’t just falling off of me, but 20 is 20. I’m excited for our Waukesha, Wis. weather to warm up a bit so that I’ll be able to get out and about - soon and very soon.  

All of this got me to thinking… (a dangerous pastime, I know…) (lyrics from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast)  I’m going to make a big statement here, but it is absolutely the truth. The truth is that I am NEVER bored. Really!!! I never am. I feel that there is so much going on in my/our life that boredom is simply not an option – or a choice – or a fact – or whatever ‘boredom’ is classified as. For me, I feel that there is always something to do. Here, allow me to explain a bit more of where I’ve come from (and where I’m going) with all of this.  

* * *

I clearly remember a day from my own childhood. It was 1968, the summer that I turned seven. I flung myself onto my parents’ bed and watched my mother iron our clothes. It must have been a Tuesday because my mom washed clothes (for six of us) on Mondays, so ironing was her next day’s chore. As she worked through her stack, which was approximately as high as her hip (she was 5’4”), she didn’t seem to mind having me there to keep her company… until our conversation took a southern turn. 

“Mama, I don’t have anything to doooo…” Notice here how I accentuated the word “doooo”? When this is done, the word comes out of a child (or an adult) in a very whiny tone.  

Mom readjusted my father’s shirt sleeve on the ironing board and glanced my direction. She was kind enough to offer up a few suggestions for me. “Where’s Julia today? Why don’t you go call for her?” 

As a side note, I must commend mothers of the 1960’s. They never allowed their children to pick up a telephone. Suggesting that I go and “call for Julia,” would buy her at least a good half hour of alone time. Brilliant move!!! 

“She can’t play todaaaay…” 

“How about Debby?”

“Her eitherrrrrrr….” 

My mother removed my father’s shirt and hung it on a hanger, removed the next item from her basket, and spread it on the board. “Why don’t you get out your coloring books and crayons and color a nice picture for me?”

“I don’t wanna color!” 

Her head remained down, and she moved only her eyes to look up at me. “Why don’t you get out your Barbies and make a big doll city? You can pretend they’re going to a wedding and dress everybody in pretty clothes.” 

“I don’t wanna play dolllllls…” 

She’d had it with me. “Kate, go find something to do or I’ll find something for you to do!” 

Now, in my young, not-yet-second-grade mindset, her ‘finding something for me to do’ sounded like fun. My problem seemed solved as I envisioned her abandoning the wrinkles in my father’s work shirts to meet me at the kitchen table for a round (or seven) of “Go Fish.”  But no…

The next thing I knew, I was standing in the living room with a dust rag in my hand, removing knick knacks from the shelves by the stairs, and carefully dusting each one.  

“Let me know when you’re done,” Mom called out as she glanced over her left shoulder. “I’ve got plenty more work for you to do when you finish that.”   

What had gone wrong? I wondered…  

I learned a huge lesson that day, my friends. It was always best to find my own activities because when Mom said she’d give me something to do, it usually meant work.  

When I had my own kids, I found that my mother’s strategy worked beautifully for me too! With all of the friends my two children had, the haul of toys they owned, the neighborhood we lived in, I didn’t think they should ever say they had “nothing to do.” Consequently, Tony and Megan also learned from a young age, just as I had, that if they were “bored,” they’d be given something to do. They were expected to do X-amount of regular chores such as dishes and room maintenance, but “boredom chores” were much different – weird things that only a fed-up mother can dream. My favorites were trimming the carpet where our dog’s nails had snagged loops, or alphabetizing my CD’s or VHS tapes. (wink)  

I guess that I (and other moms and dads who have a lot of chores on their plates - laundry, ironing, grocery shopping and food preparation, housekeeping, lawn mowing, etc.) - don’t like to hear kids (or other adults, for that matter) whine about boredom. With all that this world has to offer, it just doesn’t seem like a good or viable choice.  

* * * 

So… whether my lack of boredom (or my kids’ lack of boredom – since they’re never bored either) has to do with the way(s) we were raised, well, I don’t really know. But with all of the books to read, pages to write, instruments to practice, recipes to try, shopping to do, weight to lose, grass to cut, and weeds to pull, boredom does not seem to compute. 

Go find interesting things to do...
OH, and above all, have great days!  

Katie Kolberg Memmel is the author of two books: “Five Fingers, Ten Toes – A Mother’s Story of Raising a Child Born with a Limb Difference,” and “Silly Stories and Sentimental Stuff.” Both are available through Amazon as paperback or electronic versions. Here’s the link: 


#Boredom  #Parenting  #Writing