“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing”. (Shakespeare)
This post is about being bored;
Today, I attended a seminar on time management by a self help Guru from California. It was nonsense. Unfortunately, it lasted the entire day and it appeared that attendance was being monitored by a short-lady-Hitler figure, planted like a sentry at the exit. To prevent myself drifting off to sleep, I watched some of the other participants in order to read some basic body language ‘tells’ (I focused on the pretty females). It was obvious that we business professionals were bound by a common thread; that of complete and utter boredom. Our boredom unified us, making us one.
My brain ticks at a million miles per hour. Even at the times when I yearn for sleep, it is there, the incessant sound of ticking… tick… tick… tick. When I am withered and tired the cogs, pulleys and chains continue to screech along, despite my willing them to stop. But move, they do. I am a thinker. I think constantly. Sometimes I scrutinise patterns in my environment, other times I scrutinize the patterns of my thoughts.
I get bored really easily. But what I discovered watching the pretty girls in the conference was that most people get bored out of their minds just as easily as I, however they, unlike me, find it easier to hide the overt signs that go along with boredom. When I am bored in a seated position, my legs twitch nervously, thrusting up and down. When I am bored and standing, I tend to fidget. I feel the need for constant excitement in my life 24/7.
Shakespeare knew that we didn’t have much time. Life is transient, as is beauty; we will all one day wither into dust. Perhaps this is why I need the constant ticking in my head, because somewhere between the marching cogs, I am signalled to find something to pique my amusement for a few seconds.
The conference Guru asked us to make a list of goals that we wanted to achieve. Irrespective of it being a seminar for business professionals, I decided to focus on my health. The goals I wrote down were;
1) Get back into martial arts
2) Get healthy (healthier)
3) Make the gym a regular part of my routine (which it kind of is anyway).
To be totally honest, my goals were pretty lousy. P’rhaps I should call it a REMINDER list rather than a set of goals, seeing as I won’t find it overwhelming to return to something that has been the greater part of my life since 1993.
My colleagues, being uber-materialistic, (yes, I keep fickle company) were far more specific with their goals; “buying a Ferrari… making more money… investment portfolios… blah blah blah”.
As we discussed goal setting, my mind meandered off, searching for something interesting to focus its’ attention on; a desert oasis, sunbathing on a beach, climbing a mountain. No matter what my daydream or distraction, my mind habitually always returns to one place. This place is not imagined, but happened to be a real part of my life for more than ten years; training Gung Fu in a garden in Tottenham, London, England under the critical gaze of my instructor; Leung, Kwok-Keung. Whenever my mind returns here momentarily, the ticking stops.