After a tiring day at work as Mahi began packing to leave, her colleague asked, ‘so, what exciting plans for the weekend?’
‘Nothing much, the in-laws are dropping by, need to do some marketing and then probably just laze around,’ Mahi said with a smile. She was slightly taken aback by the deadpan expression on her colleague’s face.
It made her uncomfortable so she quickly added, ‘how about you?’
Her colleague’s face broke into a smile and she replied, ‘I have a hot date. We’re going to the new Sushi restaurant in Bandra. He might pop the question today so I’m really excited.’
On the train ride back home, the deadpan look kept haunting Mahi. She couldn’t shake it off. She was sharing her plans only because she was asked, she wasn’t volunteering information. Why couldn’t her colleague leave her alone? If she wasn’t interested in her life, why bother with the pretence?
Forcing herself to think about something else she began wondering what she would cook for her in-laws this week. Should she cook baigan bharta, both her mother-in-law and husband loved it. No, she had made that only two weeks ago…hmmm…her mind wandered off.
Her colleague had looked bored hearing about her weekend plans. Wait! What plans? Weren’t these things, she did almost every other weekend. Either her in-laws came over from Pune or they visited them. So paying bills, watching tv, shopping for vegetables & groceries or getting some work done at home, screaming at the maid – were just part of her everyday life. Had she even remotely sounded excited when she spoke to her colleague? So perhaps boredom wasn’t just a random expression. Damn! Had she seen it right or was she reading too much into it?
Manoj worked as hard as she did – he was travelling more than ever now but then so was she – they were both making good money – they recently bought a flat – had enjoyed a lovely relaxing holiday in Phuket. They had a good thing going, and she knew it. They had been married for five years. People spoke about the 7 year itch, she wasn’t even close! Suddenly she hated her colleague more than ever!
Why was Mahi worried? Could it mean that unconsciously she saw the exact expression on her colleague’s face that she herself was troubled with at times but didn’t want to acknowledge? And therefore she feared the sinking feeling that she might actually be bored with their relationship or their life together!
Another couple I know are outwardly happy with their usual share of nitpicking! For some time now I noticed a deluge of smiling and happy twosome pictures or family photographs on her social networking page. Initially I didn’t think too much about it but when almost every other news feed had a new picture, I wondered. Could it simply mean that she was making full use of her new tablet or was this her way of telling the world how exciting her life was or perhaps an attempt to cover up for her otherwise mundane life? The more people liked and commented on her pictures the more it fed into the need to keep up the pretence.
In both instances, it wasn’t so much about how their lives were panning out as outwardly none of them had much to complain. It was just the regularity of their everyday lives which was the pressing issue.
Ideally everyone looks for comfort – in their relationships, life, work, pleasure. Yet there is a thin line between being comfortable and getting bored with doing the same things over and over again. So it’s essential to find something new to take our minds off the usual humdrum on a regular basis. The simple act of having friends, family and acquaintances comment on photographs means there is always something new happening. So it isn’t only a reaffirmation that every thing is alright but there is also a feel good factor associated with it – which makes one look forward to it. Just like some people take to exercising to lose weight. There, the need isn’t so much about looking good but to feel good.
How one responds to these moments of boredom varies from person to person but finding something different to do (or doing something we wouldn’t normally do) means less time to worry (about being bored amongst other things) and feeling excited about life again. Travelling, finding a new hobby, starting a side business, visiting old friends, learning a new skill are all interesting options.
The crucial motivating factor here, is to do anything that is novel, refocuses our attention and also provides mental stimulation and excitement to make us feel in control of our lives again!