When we were in the lockdown phase of this 😷pandemic, I was thanking my lucky ✨stars that I didn’t have small children at home anymore. Don’t get me wrong. I 💖loved having little ones. I have incredible memories from those years that I will always treasure.😍 But, little kids during a lockdown? Stuck inside all day. No school. No sports. No structured activities. 🚫No way! Just kidding! But- if you made it through with little kids and a sense of humor intact, I think you’re a superhero.💯
I often thought about those parents during the long weeks of the lockdown. I’m sure they heard the phrase every parent 😬dreads- “I’m bored!” Kind of like fingernails on a chalkboard, am I right? There was a whole lot of ⏳time to fill during that lockdown- and a whole bunch of days to feel bored.
When my kids were little, they were no different. I heard it, too. “Mom, I’m bored.” I had only one response to that comment- 🙉no discussion- just a single phrase on repeat. Ask them now, and they’ll tell you what I always said. “You’re only bored if you choose to be.”💥 My students have heard those words, too.
It’s true. 💡Think about it. Boredom is a choice.
Just like the parents of small kids, it was important for all of us to stay productive during those long weeks of 🔒lockdown. As those days became repetitive, I had an 💡idea and called my son, Zane, in Chicago. I started my pitch with a ❓question. What did I always say whenever he or his sisters told me they were bored? He knew the phrase without any prompting. He had heard it since he was able to verbalize that he was bored.
I brought up a 📝project with Zane that could save both of us from feeling bored during the lockdown. He’s been around long enough to know that some of my ideas are brilliant.🙌 Others need to be shut down quickly.❌
Me: Let’s write a children’s 📚book about a kid who feels bored and a mom who reminds him that boredom is a choice.
Zane: Awesome- let’s write it in stanzas!🎉
Me: YIKES!😬 (Writing stanzas is not in my comfort zone. Zane, on the other hand, is 😍masterful!)
Starting the process was that simple! We both jumped on board immediately- we had a lot of ⏰time on our hands, after all. Because we live in different cities, our writing process involved a lot of 📱texts, FaceTime, ☎phone calls, and 💻Google Drive. Zane handled the 🎨illustrations as well. Did we always agree on the details? No. Writers can be kind of territorial with words- we’re funny that way.😂 When we received texts that started with “hmmm,” it became code for “try again.”👍 I will say that we worked together beautifully- 💞listening to each other’s ideas and finding ways to bridge any differing thoughts.🌈 (Side note- that is something that we should all strive to do in life!💯)
The end result is our new 📚children’s book, The Bored Book, which is available exclusively on Amazon. (Use this LINK for paperback or Kindle versions- we prefer the paperback.) Zane and I would be honored if you’d take a look- and maybe even order a copy.😊 We’re pretty 🎉excited about our story of a mom who teaches her little boy that boredom is a choice, and he runs with it. It’s perfect for anyone who 💖loves a kid! Heck- it’s good for anyone who’s ever been a kid!
So, what if you’re feeling bored? You know what I’m going to tell you, right? You’re only bored if you choose to be. The real ❓question is, what are you going to do about it? Volunteer? Try a new 🍜recipe? Read a 📗book? Play the 🎸guitar? Take a 👟walk? Organize your closet? Write a 📝note to a friend? 🎨Paint? Color? Plant a 🌷garden? Write your story? Watch an old movie? Sort the laundry while dancing to your favorite 🎶songs? Learn to play backgammon? Sit on the porch and look at the ✨stars? Meditate? Daydream underneath a snuggly blanket? The list is endless, so get creative!
Remember- it’s also okay to make a choice to just be 🙊quiet. That’s not the same as feeling bored. Occasionally, we need to trade 🏃busyness for stillness. The point is that we choose to be still, and that little detail makes all the difference.🌟
What if…you choose not to be bored? It’s not just an 💡idea just for kids, you know. It’s a choice for everyone. All of the little moments add up to your big life.💯 Don’t spend those moments feeling bored. Choose to feel alive!💞
P.S.- If you ever get the chance to write a 📚book or 👟run a race or 🍪bake in the kitchen with your kid, do it. It will never be boring!💖