The Art of Being Bored


Manoush Zomorodi is the author of a new book Bored and Brilliant and had a great interview on the Think Again podcast last week.

Much of the conversation centred on how we distract ourselves with screens to avoid being bored. Of course social media came up, and she pinpointed for me why I also feel so averse to checking it constantly. She said she feels ’emotionally overwhelmed’ when she looks at Instagram.

It totally hit home for me – I feel overwhelmed and disoriented after scanning through feeds as well. Of course, everyone is different and some people find social tools relaxing and engaging, but I think I’m closer to Manoush’s outlook on this. At the end of the day, as cliche as it is, it’s about values and where you want to spend your time to have a meaningful life. For me, it’s less online and more face-to-face.

I recommend you listen to the whole podcast! It’s a great episode that goes beyond social media complaints, and includes a good discussion on the research behind why we need to daydream to make sense of the world.

Campaigns are a slog, but also fun

Note: This is a political post. I have tried to make this post as non-partisan as possible. Full disclosure: I volunteer with the Liberal Party of Canada.

Are you sick of this federal election yet?

It’s finally here: Election Day! The campaign was officially 78 days. To put it in perspective: I was wearing t-shirts and sandals in the sun when this started, and I wore a winter coat today.

This election felt more important than past ones to me. Maybe because I’m older, I pay more taxes, and I decided to make Canada my home for the long-term. But I think it’s more than that.

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My true work

What do you consider your true work?

The answer for me is simple and elusive: Writing. Writing is my true work.

Side note: Why am I writing about this? I’m in a writing rut, so I’m doing a self-directed course where I respond to various writing prompts. The following is the personal draft of my response.

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Memory is a faulty thing

Even for emotional, traumatic events our memories fail us. Maybe this article, “You Have No Idea What Happened by Maria Konnikova in the New Yorker helps explain Brian Williams and his mistaken memory?

“The implications for trusting our memories, and getting others to trust them, are huge,” Phelps says. “The more we learn about emotional memory, the more we realize that we can never say what someone will or won’t remember given a particular set of circumstances.”

Self-employed: Week 1

I left my full-time job last week to venture into that scary unknown: the life of the self-employed. I’m starting a weekly entry with some notes about the experience. It’s a little all over the place, but if you’re interested in the journey so far, including the highs and the lows, please read on!
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Act now, reflect later

How to Find Fulfilling Work cover

“Our greatest hope for overcoming our fear of change and finding a life-expanding career is to reject the traditional model of career change, which advises us to plan meticulously then take action, and replace it with the opposite strategy, which is to act now and reflect later. We must adopt Leonardo da Vinci’s adventurous credo, ‘experience will be my mistress.’ ”

– Roman Krznaric, How to Find Fulfilling Work

I’m leaving a long and wonderful career at an amazing organization. The question everyone asks me now is, ‘What’s next?’ My answer is unsatisfying and scary: ‘I’m not sure.’
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Injuries and setbacks

I had a few ‘firsts’ during the past couple of weeks: first time in an ER, first time scanned in a CT and MRI, and first time using crutches. Recently, I started skiing lessons at Grouse Mountain and a few lessons in I was getting stronger, able to ski blue runs, and getting more confident. However, while practising, I ended up tearing ligaments in my knee. Needless to say, I’m not very mobile right now, and have tons of time to reflect on my situation! I have learned a little bit about dealing with setbacks though…

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