3 min read

Manufactured Boredom

I was on the road for a little more than 3 weeks. I ate a lot of fine dining. A lot. And did some cooking with friends. I ate so good, y'all.

When I got home I went to the grocery store. I went to multiple grocery stores. Cashiers filled up my reusable bags. They filled up their cheap plastic bags. They sorted out meats and fresh veggies and fruits and cold foods and packed them snuggly. I had to rearrange my freezer when I got home for everything to fit. I was embarrassed by how much I already had and had forgotten about while away.

I was invited to a FREE event for a local restaurant I enjoy and I felt obligated to go and eat delicious food and drink tasty margaritas. I had friend's whose husband's food I greatly enjoy offer to whip up breakfast for us all and another friend kindly drop dinner by my house.

But the only thing I craved was food prepared by my own hands. Even if it was just pouring a salad and its pre-packaged toppings into a big bowl and fluffing or rinsing cherries in my cupped palms under the running water of my kitchen sink. I have done so much daydreaming about the meals I will prepare myself this week. The things I will eat too hot, singeing my tongue or standing up, shoulders hunched over my heaping plate. Satiating my deep desire to sustain myself.

And for some reason, that's not entirely clear to me yet, but I decided to make the topic of this newsletter anyways, this feels a whole lot like why I write better if I stay off social media until the afternoon. When I roll over in bed, reach for my phone and skim my platforms my head becomes filled with the ideas, concerns and arguments of others. I get totally engrossed in things that don't actually matter to me in the moment and most certainly won't matter to me later. But there's my brain reactively munching away.

But when I set the limits on my iPhone to block social media until after 12P, I find that it's easier for me to get myself out of bed and into my day. I find it's easier to open my abandoned Word document and begin writing and sorting my own thoughts.

I feel like I have to engineer a certain degree of boredom in order to write, in order to be excited to write. I can only offer my mind one single idea to gnaw on until it cracks like fire into an obsession.

Social media is consistently, mildly entertaining enough that it pacifies my mind and then it doesn't want to venture out to find something more fulfilling. It's like when you're watching TV and lose the remote and settle for watching whatever is already on because it's a show you don't detest rather than getting up and rummaging around for the remote so you can change the channel.

The other thing that happens when I don't get on social media until after 12P, is that as I'm doing other things like making a meal or getting ready for the day, my mind seems to want to impress me by fetching all these ideas and connections that could potentially go in the piece I'm working on.

Because I'm plagued by self-sabotage (I MEAN HAVE YOU SEEN MY DATING LIFE? LOOOOLZ.), I don't consistently make it rule to not be social media before noon, but I'm on crunch time for this manuscript, so I've flipped on the settings that limit the hours I can access certain apps and the amount of time I can spend on those apps daily.


One of the things I began during the pandemic was buying myself a few bunches of flowers at Trader Joe's to make being inside all the time more pleasant. The habit has stuck with me. So, I finally bought myself some floral shears. They make cutting more fibrous stems easier and now I can stop worrying I'm dulling or might break my nicest set of scissors. I kept putting it off because it seemed like a silly unnecessary thing to purchase, but it's literally made prepping my bouquets a snap!

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