Lim: Bored?

·3 min read

A year into the pandemic and people, at home, have run out of things to do. I understand the need to be outdoors, to be close to nature, to do something physically active. But bored? Can’t relate much even cocooned in my cave.

Recuperating from surgery was the closest thing I felt to being bored. To not work, to rest and to refrain from strenuous physical activity was a bit much for me. Everything was maddeningly slow — my body healing as well as the tabs opening.

No Fibr. No Netflix. Then.

I used the short sabbatical to educate myself about cancer and surgery. Yes. Despite the buffering. So, the boredom was nipped in the bud. I found a way to entertain myself.

Even as a young child, I always found something to do. Sometimes, it got me into trouble. Other times, it got me far — far away into my imagination.

Familiar with The Sims? The life-simulation video games? No, it had not yet been invented when I was a child. In fact, I was completely over-the-hill the year it was released.

I played the original Sims but in non-digital format. As I could only have so many paper dolls, I began to use the toiletries in my parents’ bureau to represent all the people in the community I had created in my mind.

I spent countless hours every day sitting in front of my mother’s dresser, moving these jars and bottles around as I built elaborate plots, characters and relationships in my head. I played Sims long before 2000.

I also liked to read. But there were never enough books for me to read at home. Growing up, money was tight. Each time I asked my mother to buy me a book, she would say, “Read slowly. Just read one chapter per day. Don’t read an entire book in one sitting.”

There were no gadgets. But we did have a television set which my father unlocked at four every afternoon during summer vacation. It had no color but we didn’t miss what we never had.

I often got into trouble because of my curiosity. I’d tinker with any kind of mechanism I could get my hands on. So, I frequently hurt myself examining doors, drawers and windows.

I also broke a lot of stuff trying to test their durability as well as my muscular strength. Rulers. Pencils. And one day, my sister’s ceramic piggy bank lay sad and broken underneath the sofa. I was the only suspect.

I didn’t need playmates as a child. I had the innate capacity to entertain myself. I haven’t really changed much.

I haven’t been bored one bit during this pandemic. Aside from the work that never ends on a daily basis, there are still countless books and articles I want to read, films I want to see, webinars and online classes I want to attend. There are still so many skills I want to learn, so many worlds I want to discover, so many closets I still want to clean out.

Still so much to do, so little time. Bored? Sorry. Can’t relate much.