Could My Life be Too Boring For Me?

All these questions buzzing around my brain, that’s why so many posts are titled with questions these days.

After some amazing discussion with some fellow (fellowette?) bloggers, I think I may have stumbled onto some answers for my cyclic behaviors of procrastination.

I think life is too boring for me. Too simple. Too repetitive. Too mindless. I love challenges and puzzles and STRESS! I think I am addicted to that feeling of jumping into a huge project and doing it well – just in time. Never in my childish dreams did I ever think that MOST of my daily tasks would be cleaning and organizing and mind-numbing. Never. I am still trying to reconcile this fact, that I have endless years of mundane chores ahead of me. So I think I level up the challenge a bit, by letting a task go until it is a mountain, and then I can feel proud for tackling it.

The more I type, the more I think this is true. I feel so small and unimportant when I load the dishwasher after every meal. But when I save the kids from the towering pile of dishes, well, then I actually did something – no matter if I created the towering pile. Yup. I think I’m really that messed up.

The reward of a continuously tidy house is not enough to keep doing the boring stuff, so I have to make it less boring.

Same theory applies to my work projects. Nothing at work is challenging to me. Nothing. It is just work, and just a paycheck. I never have any “I wonder how to do that” moments. I know exactly what to do, and how to do it, and how long it will take. So I think I revert to high school mode, and wait until the last possible minute to crank out something that is to me, mediocre, and yet will get rave reviews from everyone else. That’s how I survived the dreadful boring tasks in high school, and I think I never shook that habit. I graduated HS early to get out of it, and was crushed that college was easy and boring too. So I took on 2 jobs, volunteered as a candy-striper at the hospital on top of my full courseload. I am both blessed and cursed with the ability to learn quickly. I need stress and challenge to make it exciting or seem worth doing. I lack the discipline to “Just do it”. But I also would never get a bad grade, never have, my entire school career has nothing less than an A on it, straight though graduate work. Stuff that seems obvious to me, others will say I am brilliant. I don’t feel brilliant, I just feel like me.

I wonder if this is a syndrome common to smarty-pants’s like me. When I walk into a room, I am usually the smartest one in there. Just a fact. I have learned to stay quiet, not share my intelligent thoughts, and play nice with my peers, even though I am typically bored out of my mind behind my smile.

So, while I do not fear failure, because I trust in my intelligence and creativity to do any task well – I do fear that I will battle my own bad attitude about doing only the tasks I WANT to do. Tasks that seem worthy of me or that I can clearly see the reward – like a bigger paycheck. I keep hoping this will improve, that it is immaturity, but I’m not exactly young any more. I have a deadly combination of a big-head combined with low internal value. I don’t know what has to happen to change this part of me.

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13 thoughts on “Could My Life be Too Boring For Me?

  1. I used to feel this way. When I was in my early 20s I took a proctored IQ test and my score was 156. A few years later I had a mild stroke, and a year or so after that, a concussion. Ever since then, my intelligence seems to be only a bit above average. I have considered having my IQ retested, but I don’t really want to know how many points I’ve lost. It’s sad, yet it’s also good in a way, because I no longer feel like I’m the only adult in a world where no one is above the age of 5. Being a super genius was really lonely.

  2. I kept getting A’s because I expected to get more from the class than the teacher required. I learned that by getting ‘work down’ I could go play with photography. Then I made the mistake of trying to make my photography my work. Now I won’t touch my camera for days at a time. It is like I need something to play with. Something of my choosing that pushes me to the bleeding edge of what I know. When I was a computer tech, I didn’t need help until I needed to talk to an engineer but there was plenty of mundane stuff to do. Get the mundane out of the way so I could work on the really hard stuff that when I call tech support they tend to say, “Our program can do that?” Now I am in a job without this edgy challenge. I found a way to make it complicated for me. I grew up being told I was stupid. They never bothered with testing my IQ but I like challenges. I wonder if it is trying to figure out what to do with all my survival skills. I never considered the thought that I miss pitting my wits against my abuser. O dear, that is a scary thought. I am tempted to delete that last bit but maybe it will help someone. I may do a post on this. Thank you for a very thought provoking post.

    • Ruth, when I was in rehab, there was a woman whose father regularly molested her. One of her concerns was that she would no longer be special without her secrets to keep, that she would be bored by any relationship that lacked that horrible complexity.

      • Wow, that could explain a need to feel special. We create the feelings and situations to put us in our comfort zone of how we grew up, even if that comfort zone is actually painful or harmful. Now this I find fascinating! People are so amazingly complex.

      • Not to sidetrack your post, but this woman’s confession has stuck in my gut for nearly seven years. I wanted to hug her and shake her at the same time. But most of all, I wanted to rip her father to the tiniest shreds.

        Her father actually came to rehab for a family counseling session in which his daughter (with the full support of her step-mom, god bless her) confronted him and he apologized and agreed to get help. I was so floored by all of this, especially in light of the fact my mother refused to come for family counseling because it would be “awkward”.

        To borrow one of my favorite AA phrases, keep trudging the road of happy destiny. I think you’re on your way just by asking yourself the hard questions and being open to self-analysis. 🙂

    • Too many powerful parts of this comment for me to know where to start. My artistic venues have been the same way, as soon I tried to make money that way, the joy of painting is gone. But I rarely finish anything I start painting, whether for fun or to sell, it just loses the thrill at some point, like I know how it will end, I have proved to myself that I can do it, and it is no longer worth it to me to finish it. Seems immature, and maybe it is.

      Your tech comments are funny to me, I have had those experiences too often, of knowing more than the “expert” I have been referred to and end up teaching them something.

      Your sentence you wanted to delete, I think is worth investigating more. We grew up in survival mode, and many times it did feel as if I had to outwit my predator. You may have something there, as creepy as that is.

  3. I only feel bored when I feel trapped, like when stuck in a checkout line or at my parents’ house. Mostly, I think the world is a fascinating place with loads to discover.

    So, I guess my question to you is: do you feel trapped? And if so, what will you do to change that?

    • Hmmm, good question. I guess I feel trapped in a job with little room for advancement. I feel trapped in a role of mommy duties, that I never knew would be so numerous and arduous, yet still simple and mind-numbing. I feel trapped in a house that is too small for my family. I feel trapped in a weak body. So yes, I do feel trapped in many ways. I am working on the changes. I used to think the world was a dreadful place. Now I just think it is a place. I have to work hard to find something fascinating most days. I know I am designing my own life, and getting closer to figuring out what I need. Thanks for this nudge.

  4. Pingback: A New Venture « A Balancing Act Life Coaching

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