Time, Boredom & Patience, Week 36 in the Time of Coronavirus
I woke up early this morning. My plan was to sleep in. But we all know what happens to plans in this time of the coronavirus. I took advantage of the early hour to run to Central Park to slowly jog in the park. There are parts of my body that demand the slow pace. While runners and walkers passed me by, I chose patience for my leisurely stride. I admit there were moments I compared myself to other grey-haired runners who were twice as fast. Then I went back to kind self-talk as I slowly but surely went around the Park Drive and other paths.
The park looks beautiful. Though drawn out, my run was anything but boring. Yet, for many of us boredom has set in during the pandemic. It’s not the ennui of a lazy summer weekend, it’s more of a dull lethargy. It’s a feeling of “I don’t wanna.” It’s a sensation many have day in and day out as we ride the Coronavirus wave.
Most of us thought that we would see a slight bump and then get back to our understanding of “normal.” We all know that didn’t happen. We’re three quarters of a year in, and we are still showing signs of impatience. The funny thing about time is that it can draw out our boredom. Time can also give us the space to incorporate patience.
As a child, I can’t say that I really enjoyed the years I spent going to Shabbat services. I would squirm in my seat waiting for the final benediction. Those hours spent in Synagogue, as well as the hours spent in school assemblies, and at the beauty parlor waiting for my mom to finish getting her bouffant, taught me how to sit still. They helped me to endure boring moments and they allowed me the necessary time to learn patience.
I wasn’t patient then. I’m still learning to be patient now. Without a lot of external distractions, I find that I’m more in tune with how I’m feeling, how I’m reacting, and how to care for myself in those moment. The pandemic has been so difficult in so many ways. Yet, one take away is that it has given me a chance to be a little more patient. And when I am patient with myself and my varying moods, then I have more patience for others. When things don’t go my way, and there seems to be a lot of that in the pandemic, I rely on patience to get me through. It’s a somewhat flawed system, because when I lack the patience to be patient with myself, then I have to find the patience for my impatient self.
- Go old school. Watch a movie from the 30s like Swing Time, 42nd Street, The Thin Man or My Man Godfrey.
- Double down on old school by checking out stand-up comedians like Jack Benny, Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, Moms Mabley, or Wendy Leibman
- Find a noise, a hoot, an out loud, “yay,” or something that’s all your own to cheer you on for small wins during the day. i.e.: Yay, I took a shower today.
- Take out the good china, silver, crystal. Sometimes we have to make any day a special day.
- Get rescue remedy. It’s the perfect Bach remedy for these times.