Time to be bored?


In Perpetuity. My TBR pile, my notebooks, and one of the folders from my current WIP box. And, yes, that’s a Kindle on top of the TBR pile!

I’ve been in a bit of an organizational frenzy for the past two days. My office/study/work room had fallen into a massive disorganized mess. I’m not just saying that because…well, I can’t figure out why I’d just say it if it wasn’t true. Take my word for it, it is was a mess. I quite literally couldn’t find things or even know what things I was trying to find. By the time I walked into the room I’d forget, overwhelmed because my desk was totally covered with papers, my files were out of control, and there were books everywhere.

To be fair to myself, I’ve been on a writing streak with NaNoWriMo, which continued through the month of December. And now—with a full house for Christmas and New Year—my mind is happily in Mom-land.

Still… I know that will end soon, and I’ll be in a bit of a funk after everyone takes off (starting tomorrow when my daughter leaves to go back west). So I decided to get a leg up on the New Year clean up and mind set. Yesterday as I put things away, threw things away, filed things, made stacks, a pattern emerged: I have enough to read and write and do to keep me busy twenty-four hours a day quite possibly for the rest of the year if not forever, eternally, and in perpetuity. (By the way, this sparked a conversation in our family (no, not about redundancy): we all agreed that we can’t imagine anyone ever being bored—there’s just too much exciting stuff to read and do.)

Anyway, along the way, with everything else I found to sort were books “to be read” and books I was in progress of reading. As I sorted and organized, I made one pile of books I want to read (soon). One pile of things-printed-off-the-Internet that I need to read (in reality this is a large expandable folder). And one pile of my current WIP (okay, it’s a box). I also decided to implement a new organization system I’ve been developing for several years. It still needs fine tuning, but it consists of a set of notebooks, each for a different purpose (more about this in a future blog).

The obvious question: is there a resolution in here somewhere? I’m not a huge fan of resolutions (probably because I’ve broken so many over the years), but when I told my daughter I wasn’t making any resolutions this year, she asked, “Why?” There was something in her voice that was at the same time disappointed but also encouraging.

So right then and there I decided I would in fact resolve something.

To be more organized…which will hopefully give me more time to read the books I want to read and to write more and maybe even have some time left over to be bored.

Are you making any New Year’s resolutions? Are you ever bored?




  1. Lisa says:

    Good luck with your resolution, although I still refuse to make any. I completely rearranged my office over the past few days, and turned it back into a space where I might actually get work done. I am worried, with the upcoming period of me never having to leave the house, that I will succumb to the laziness and ennui that comes with depression, so I am going to at least make myself get dressed and walk into my office every day. But I couldn’t do that when it was a disaster.

    I try not to be bored, but I sometimes am. Or, not really boredom, but . . . I feel guilty when I don’t think I’m doing things I should be doing. I need to learn to be kinder to myself about that.

    • Happy New Year, Lisa! I know what you mean about sometimes feeling like I don’t want to do anything (vs. boredom). I think that falls into the “dreamtime” category Cynthia was talking about…or just being. It’s hard for me, too. Here’s to better organized spaces helping us feel more invigorated and inspired! Can’t wait to hear how it goes.

  2. Micky Wolf says:

    Like your approach, Julia, to the whole resolution issue. Making them seems to be a good idea, yet I know how many times my commitment to following through has fallen by the wayside. I have tended to make too many, or voice them in rather vague and non-specific terms. “Deciding to resolve something” has a gentle, yet purposeful intention and attitude. So, given your encouraging thoughts, am using the remaining hours of 2013 to simplify and clarify. 🙂 Happy New Year 2014!

    • I’m glad you like the approach, Micky! Yes, I have made far too many in the past as well, and I was planning to make none this year until my daughter’s suggestion. Now I’m glad I did! Hope your simplifying and clarifying went well! Happy New Year!

  3. Maybe it’s an age thing, but I don’t like proclaiming – publicly – any kinds of resolutions, either (or as the cute boy on the AT&T commercials says, “New Year’s Revolutions.” — http://bit.ly/18TMRQA). Seems there’s just too much room to let yourself down. The way I’m looking at it is that I’m going to continue some of the good things I’d initiated toward the end of 2013 — writing/working/health routines that added to every aspect of my life. It’s a continuation – not a resolution -and can be re-initiated at any time!

    Bored? Ha – I’m with you (looked at my physical TBR stack, my Goodreads virtual TBR stack, my research stack of books just yesterday) and felt very overwhelmed. I’m with you: I think I could seriously keep busy reading for the rest of my life with just the books on my shelves and my research books.

    • I like the idea of the continuation of commitments vs. resolutions/revolutions Melissa! Nice! Yes, overwhelmed beats out boredom everyday. And, like you, the books on my shelves could keep me reading for the rest of my life. (That, in fact, was a blog I thought about writing prior to this one, believe it or not!) Happy New Year, Melissa.

  4. Eliza says:

    Good luck with your resolution! It’s a very good one indeed. And I completely agree – too many books that need to be read to ever be bored! Let’s get together soon 🙂 Have a fabulous New Years and enjoy your wonderfully full house.

  5. Best wishes on your “getting and staying organized” New Year’s resolution!

    As a minimalist-avid thrower-neat nut, my few items stay tidy. In fact, I write at a “loft sized” desk (small) because it’s clear of everything except my laptop.

    I don’t make New Year’s resolutions (you’ll see why tomorrow when I post), and I’m never bored. As you and your family concluded, there’s unlimited things to see and do, and innumerable books to read.

    May your New Year be filled with simple, slow moments that nourish your soul.

    • Happy New Year to you, too, Laurie! Boy do I long for a more minimalist lifestyle, and we are in the process of serious decluttering. Here’s to a most exciting and nonboring year! (Off to read your post!)

  6. Oh lordy, I need to clean my office too. Reading this gave me pangs of guilt (thank you very much! hahaha). I agree with your family’s consensus – life is too busy and interesting to be bored, for long, anyway. Plus, as writers, we need our dreamtime, time when we appear to be doing little or nothing, but are in fact doing what we do (you know what I mean).
    Happy New Year, Julia! I hope it’s a happy and prosperous one for you and yours.

    • Sorry for the guilt — but if you saw my house in its entirety, please rest assured that your guilt would be washed clean. I have some corners of tidiness and organization in a sea of mayhem and dog hair! I love the dreamtime, so critical and fun, too! Happy New Year, Cynthia!

  7. I love that point about not having any time to be bored because there is just too much to read and do! I am also attempting to stay more organized–especially organized where my computer is concerned. I keep a relatively clean house (or as clean as Miss A will allow me to keep it), but my computer is an embarrassment! Maybe we will keep these resolutions. We can always try. Happy New Year, dear Julia!

    • I just cleaned up my laptop’s desktop so I know just what you mean — it’s a big job! As is keeping a house clean with a toddler to take care of, impressive! Here’s to keeping resolutions! Happy New Year to you, too, friend (and Miss A, too!).

  8. Shary says:

    I’m with you… There are too many great books out there for me to ever be bored. Plus I have a long list of organizational tasks waiting for me. I like to start in on those on January 1 but this year they’ll have to wait until I’m over the flu I managed to catch. Soon, though, I’ll be sorting and filing and making my list of New Year’s Aspirations… Much more fun than resolutions.
    Happy New Year!

    • Oh no, Shary! I’m so sorry you have the flu. I love your idea to make aspirations rather than resolutions. And I love your organizationals new year kick off. That’s what I’ve been doing this year and it feels great! Hope you feel better soon, and wish I was nearer by so I could deliver my homemade chicken soup to speed your recovery. Happy New Year!

  9. Nina says:

    Boredom can be great and as a blogger it’s hard to feel it. There are always more blogs to read, posts to write, tweets, etc.

    My resolutions are very basic . . . I’m going to continue waking up early to work. And continue not bringing my phone in the bedroom. Just more of the same really!

    Happy New Year, Julia!

  10. I don’t know if I’m bored much these days — as much as I zone out. Shut down and stare into space — or the computer screen. My oldest when back to school today (or to the girlfriend’s house for a few days then back to school). I need to build a fire under my rear and continue to move into our renovated space. But I’d rather be drinking coffee with friends — and spacing out.

    • I definitely know what you mean about the zone out, Jamie — such a wonderful place to be! I wish I could space out more, but when I do, I often feel guilty about all I should be doing. Happy New Year!

  11. Oh — and Happy New Year!!!

  12. Congrats on the reorganization! That’s a major accomplishment. I bet it felt so freeing to rid your space of all the clutter.

    I wouldn’t mind being bored. 🙂 For the past two New Years, I’ve picked a word to remind myself how I want to live. This year, the word is balance. It’s to remind myself that it’s okay to stop working and smell the roses, to not have a to do list all the time. It’s much harder for me than it should be!

    • It feels SO great to get rid of the clutter, Jackie! Now that I’m through with that room, in fact, I’m thinking I’ll move onto other rooms in the house it feels so great. That’s a great idea to pick just one word — makes focus and remembering so much easier. Stopping working can really be difficult when you’re in this business. I hope you’ll smell the roses and find your balance! Happy New Year!