Boredom, boiling frogs, and miscellany
Hit and Miss #202
Boredom. A mind searching for things to think about, for things to do. Webster’s 1913 edition characterizes it as weariness “by tedious iteration or by dullness”. (Why check Webster’s 1913 edition?)
It’s a state of mind that’s evaded me for a while. There’s always been something to think about, particularly as I engaged in a protracted move. Today, I said goodbye to my housemate of four years—including sixteen of the strangest months in our lives, months in which who you lived with mattered… a lot. We were good friends, made moreso by the pandemic, and I’m glad for all those years living together.
There’s nothing left to move. No longer a project to think through, as this move was for me.
Now the days and evenings stretch long. Maybe it’s summer feeling especially summer-y, or maybe it’s that I’ve been doing lots of maintenance, caring, attending type activities, but the hours pass slowly.
I didn’t realize what a mental load this move was until it finished, and I started sleeping and feeling immeasurably better. It was a long, slow burn—so structured intentionally, to avoid the acute stress of a one or two day move. But it left me like a frog in slowly boiling water, not realizing the stress of his situation.
This feels an apt comparison for COVID times, too. As our routines have changed, again and again, as we’ve continually settled into “new normals”, things have undoubtedly changed. But it’s hard to realize how, or to account for the effects of those changes on our temperaments. My work’s embarking on major changes, accompanied by some communication challenges—along the way, I’ve wondered how those challenges are amplified or shaped by the fact that none of us are at our best, still working more or less normal workloads sixteen months into this pandemic.
Anyhow, this boiling frog is now feeling comfortably cool. I accumulated few links this week, but wanted to share these three:
- To understand the devastating impact of the flooding in Germany and other parts of Europe, the BBC made before / after sliders (at the end of the article).
- On the subject of floods, coastal flooding in the years ahead may be amplified by a wobble in the Moon’s orbit. (I rarely read articles on the Weather Network, but this was too good to pass up.)
- CBC’s As It Happens reached into the archives for an interview with Zsa Zsa Gabor, after her ashes were flown this week to their final resting place—in style, with champagne and caviar (starts right around the 35 minute mark) (You can also read the transcript, search for “Zsa Zsa Gabor’s Ashes”, though it’s worth listening to if you can.)
All the best for the week ahead!