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engrossing examination encompasing eric’s ennui


Here is a question with with I am currently wrestiling with, What causes boredom?

Is this anything like wrestling? :-)
Mark may be the wrong person to answer a question about boredom. I don't believe in boredom, only incompetent scheduling. When I'm too tired to do the things I love, then I rest. When I'm too busy to do the things I love, then must acknowledge that I have chosen a necessary activity. I don't confuse either of these situations with boredom.
The closest I can recall being bored is ennui during my unemployment years in Omaha. Ennui is lack of interest, while boredom is lack of proper scheduling. Frequently in Omaha my interest level fell so low that I was more interested in sleep than survival activites. Alternately I would find myself up all night watching tv as often as I would be up those hours sending out resumes. When nothing matters, all things are equally interesting: survival traits and non-productive passtimes.

What causes boredom?

Lack of interest. If you're not interested in pursuing activity, then you are bored. If you don't have any goals, then you are more likely to be bored. If you're interested in wandering aimlessly, then you have an interest, and are not bored. When you schedule or direct your attention properly, you have no boredom.
If you are more interested in thinking about a bleeding cut, then the hospital waiting room is frustrating, but not boring. If you have a book you wish to read, then the airport/plane ride is never boring. If you enjoy drivng, then the path to work isn't boring. Change the interest in the activity, and you change the boredom factor.
These days I have more activities to pursue than time to pursue them. That's why God invented portable computers: so I can enjoy two interesting activites at the same time. I figure haven't been bored in years.

I find that I don't have the zest for life that I once had

This sounds like an energy level problem, rather than an interest level problem. I too have less energy to spare, depending on the demands I allow 'everyday life' to impose on me. I don't find myself more or less bored than before; I find myself more tired than in my youth. I find weariness makes me less free to pursue non-tangibly-productive activities such as doing nothing but listening to music. I fall asleep instead.

I find that I don't have the zest for life that I once had when I was younger (and poorer)

Employment, a survival activity, is the largest difference in my lifestyle over the last decade; the demands of full time jobs are far more significant to me than the changes in life style brought about by increase in income. Full time employment saps my time and energy from other pursuits which I have had interest in. If the time constraints of my survival activities were overbearing to my lifestyle I wish, then I'd move into contracting or other part time work. For now, I desire the security and conveniences of working 40 hour weeks over the freedoms and conveniences of contracting on demand.

I find that I don't have the zest for life that I once had when I was younger (and poorer)

Maybe we do become jaded in our maturity. Age brings discernment. I've had fewer and fewer deeply moving experiences compared to my youth. Often I prefer to reread novels rather than wade through new books seeking a worthy story. I find that my standards for what is a good book or good movie are much more demanding than when I was a youth, so I'm experimenting less, and potential for reward also falls off. A disappointing conundrum.
Alternately, age brings broader desires. For example, at 36 years of age I can too easily say "been there; done that," instead of "wow! a George Winston concert!" At 19, I would have suffered much hardships to see GW. Does this mean that I'm now LESS interested in George Winston? I wouldn't agree. I suggest that instead I'm exposed to--and interested in--a greater number of activites of EQUAL value. I must allocate my time more consciously to prevent repetition (boredom). When GW comes to town I weigh his concert against a new movie or a D&D game and might determine that the alternate activity has more chances for new/different/rewarding experience than George Winston offers. Perhaps boredom is failure to allocate time to prevent repitition?
I suggest that boredom is a lack of interest. May you live in more interesting times. May you find sufficiently interesting activities to overcome the energy drains of your suvival activities. May you choose survival activites which do not drain you away from your other interests.

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