Boredom: Just Can't Relate!

The Mountain Farmgirl just overheard someone say “I’m so bored” … and she totally can’t relate!! Despite the long week of rainy weather up here in the Northeast, come see why real Farmgirls just plumb don’t have this phrase in their vocabularies in “Boredom: Just Can’t Relate!!!”

I’ve experienced a LOT of things in my day, but I have to admit, boredom just isn’t one of them! Not that I don’t feel ‘at loose ends’ or ‘out of sorts’ once in a blue moon … but BOREDOM? Not a chance! As a former elementary school teacher, my mother has always had an unsympathetic comeback to such a preposterous statement, which is, “Only boring people get bored”. Knowing my mom, it’s probably safe to say that she has never been bored in her life either! In her 80’s, she still has a list a mile long of the things she wants to do if and when she ever gets a ‘spare minute’ … which isn’t likely in her still-busy life! Growing up in the 50’s and 60’s, I don’t think my brother, sister and I ever knew what boredom even WAS. As kids, we were always playing outside, even on rainy days. We actually WANTED to go out!! “Go ahead … you won’t melt!” was a familiar response to that request in our house. On would go the yellow slickers and the black rubber boots, and soon we’d be out stomping in puddles, happy as clams! We’d spend literally hours out in our sandbox, which consisted of 4 recycled boards slathered with green paint, which our dad nailed together and filled with a few bags of mason’s sand. It was black, dirty stuff … and in no time, so were we … but we didn’t care! Of course, to us it wasn’t a sandbox at all, it was our ‘Bakery’. We made and ‘sold’ an incredible assortment of cakes and pies out there to make-believe ‘customers’. Ahhh … imagination is a wonderful thing; it transports us from the limits of our known world to a place where anything is possible. It is the antidote to monotony!

An old ‘homeschool mom’-friend of mine had a completely different take on ‘boredom’ if it ever reared its ugly head and happened to strike her kids. She’d say, “That’s great … I’ll soon expect something wonderful from you!” You see, she never saw it as her ‘job’ to entertain her children … that was their problem to solve. She always had lots of resources and raw materials on hand, and if they got bored enough, natural instincts would prevail and eventually something creative was sure to come from it!

As I’ve entered into the second half of my life and look toward the future, there are (like my mom) SO many things I’d still like to do when I grow up … I only hope and pray that I’ll live long enough to do even a fraction of them. It occurs to me as I write this that another antidote to boredom is having DREAMS! Someday, when ‘Innkeeping’ ceases to be my daily reality, I’ll switch back into full-time homestead mode once again. Gardening will take on a bigger scale in my life; I’ll build a chicken coop and get some hens, keep more bees, and buy another pygmy goat. We’ll build a solar, off-the grid house, and embellish it with edible landscaping. I’ll get rid of everything non-essential, and like Thoreau, simplify to the core, sucking the marrow out of life and taking in every flavorful drop.

I’ll take all those balls of yarn and patterns I’ve been collecting and knit all my future grandchildren sweaters, hats and mittens. I’ll turn all my old clothes into rag rugs on my loom. I’ll play my dulcimer, guitar, recorder and flute more than I have time to do now … and really learn to play my banjo and harp! I’ll take my precious boxes of fabrics and make patchwork quilts for my children; write the books and articles that are bursting inside me; and I’ll read all those books in my personal library. Someday I’ll organize all the millions of photos I took of my family and create digital keepsakes for all my kids. I’ll pursue my calligraphy and bookbinding … arts I once pursued with a passion, and turn them into income generating possibilities. I will dust off that sewing machine (my hubby’s great-grandmother’s treadle, of course) and make those neat projects I haven’t gotten around to yet.



I’ll get back into the Homeschool lecture and Conference circuit, something I once did when my kids were young, but which I can now speak about with complete confidence and concrete results! I’ll build a couple of tiny houses on wheels – like the one I wrote about a couple of years back – and have them available on my mini-homestead for when family and friends come to visit! I’ll visit the National Parks which I became so enamored of after watching Ken Burns’ documentary last year. I’ll hike a part of the Appalachian Trail … or who knows? … maybe all of it! I’ll organize all my recipes into a cookbook to leave for my kids, of their favorite family recipes. I build each of them a Hope Chest, and put into each one all the sacred treasures of their childhoods.



I’ll have dates with my husband, occasional weekends with my farmgirl friends, and get a massage once in a while just for the heck of it. I’ll give weekend workshops for women on my homestead. I’ll draw and paint and maybe even learn to dance. I’ll start every morning with either a walk outside or do my yoga if it’s raining. These, and a hundred more equally exciting things will be part of my life, and with such a long (and fun) TO Do list, who has TIME to be bored?!


So, Gals … how do YOU combat boredom – for either yourself or your kids? What is on YOUR bucket list? I’m guessing in advance that ‘boredom’ isn’t in a Farmgirl’s working vocabulary. Am I right?!

Until next time, Mountain Bounty, Mountain Blessings from Cathi,
The Mountain Farmgirl


By: Karin Thomas
On: 05/13/2012 05:34:39
Cathi, I had to smile as I read your list because it sounds so much like mine. I think I'd have to live to 200 to accomplish even half the things I'd like to learn. Like you I've never understood where "I'm bored" comes from. There aren't enough hours in the day, and I sure have fun filling them up.
By: Nancy
On: 05/13/2012 06:04:21
Oh, Cathi, your mother is so right! How can anyone truly be bored? Like you, I have so many projects "waiting in the wings"! Between my city job, and the farm (really a garden), and writing, there are not enough seconds in the day to accommodate them! Thank you so much for echoing my thoughts.

By: Cheryl
On: 05/14/2012 12:52:01
I love your blog. My husband and I are great fans of your state. He went to Dartmouth. My bucket list is too long to post here. Boredom is not something I relate to. I am just the opposite. I often feel that there are not enough hours in a day for all of the creative things I want to do.
I love to work with fabric, wood, garden, art, cooking, writing and whatever else strikes my fancy. I always have several projects going. Many are the same things you would like to do. Plus a journal full of things I would love to learn to do. Enjoying a creative life.
By: Betty Benesi
On: 05/14/2012 12:57:48
As for being bored I have no time. However, if I am feeling really stressed as I told my son yesterday, put order in something, or tidy something. Instant gratification. As for your bucket list, pardon me if I use it for a blue print! One of the things I want to do is create a cookbook for my son of all our family recipes particularly his dad's who enjoys cooking the most in our family. I'll include memories of events where the food was included.
By: annette
On: 05/14/2012 13:00:49
No boredom here. Between spinning, weaving, milking the goats, making cheese and soap with the goat milk, watching my grandson, quilting and knitting, and don't forget the fifty plus chickens. Then there is also the two businesses....hmmmm. Boredom....I think not!
By: Rebecca
On: 05/14/2012 14:04:59

Loved this post! Once, when my children were small, one of my boys came in one day and said he was bored. I handed him a toothbrush and told him to go clean the bricks on the fireplace. He never said it again.
I don't have time to be bored. I keep myself what I do, and even if I have those "still" moments, I may chrish a wee nap before the next project, but can't even imagine the word being used.
I use to help my daughter make fairy houses with twigs and thread in the yard. Built forts with my boys as they collected frogs and rode their bikes in the pasture till dusk. Times have changed, once in awhile I hear my son almost tell me that he's bored, living it seems on the other side of the planet. I tell him only he can change it.
There is too much to do, see, dream about and make things a reality to even think or consider it. Was thrilled to read your post, and in the journey of, as you put it, the "second half of life", am thrilled to look fwd to a new idea, new project, a new thing to try, to read, to paint, or to bake. No...I dont' believe it is in a farmgils vocabulary.

A hug from Wa.

By: Donna
On: 05/14/2012 15:17:28
I soooo agree!! I've heard so many people, yes adults, say "I'm bored". Just blew me away...I'm 62 and have never been bored a day in my life. Like you wrote, I have sooooo much to do, my future is full. And life is grand!
By: Debbie
On: 05/14/2012 16:15:49
Howdy my dear friend up north!
Bored? Me? Never!!! I go all day everyday and am never, ever bored! Like you, my list is a long one and I just want to stay healthy and live long so I can do all the fun things on my list! I'm following Susan Branches blog right now... she and hubby Joe are renting an apartment in England for a couple of months after sailing over on the Queen Mary 11.. Now, I could handle that! As always, love your posts!!! Keep having fun and let's hope our paths cross soon! Hugs,
By: Margaret Taffi
On: 05/14/2012 17:55:56
Loved your post! I think the idea of being bored becomes a habit to some folks. I have never had that problem and have a full bucket list of things to do! I always have several projects that I can go to and books that I'm reading. I love your list and have some of the same goals! I would love to learn how to use a quilting machine some day! If you can keep yourself occupied you never grow old! With all the possibilties around us, there is no limit! Thanks for your post! Have a great busy day!
By: bonnie ellis
On: 05/14/2012 18:55:50
Cathi: I will be 70 in July and I haven't had time to be bored! A girlfriend and I used to have a saying: we would look at something and say l"I can make that". We really did try to make a lot of stuff jewelry, quilts,clothing, cooking, and a whole lot more. Now I'm sorting through the things to do the stuff with and have to admit I really can't do it all. So I am trying NEW stuff. Watercolor painting, hiking, etc. Life is so exciting I don't have time to be bored.
By: Judy
On: 05/14/2012 19:47:27
The emotion of boredom, it seems to me, is triggered by a lack of awareness and gratitude for what lies before our eyes at the very moment. When I experience a feeling of boredom, I look around the become acutely aware of every thing I see, smell and touch. I write a note to a loved one, pick up the phone and invite someone to lunch, or engage in conversation with someone who looks to be alone. While lifting others spirits, I feel purposeful. In turn, the feeling of boredom leaves me, and in its place is a sweet sense of peace and easiness with the world.
By: Joan
On: 05/15/2012 21:26:22
YEARS ago I heard this said to someone who said they were bored - 'no you are not bored - you are boring' - think about it boredom is a disengaged being - if only I can live half as long for all the 'want to do's' I have in my book of thoughts. Thanks for the post.
By: Christine
On: 05/16/2012 04:42:39
Great post! I myself have not be bored, there is always something to do. My list never seems to shorten. There's Church on Sundays,bible study on Wednesdays, my home to take care of, mowing the yard, tending to my flowers, vegetable garden, and in the fall canning our goods from the garden, birds to feed and watch, playing with our grandaughter, wood to cut and stack, walks in the woods, camping down my the river on our property, time to read Gods word, and I work part time at a daycare!
By: Shery
On: 05/18/2012 06:47:33
Dear CAthi, Loved every word! I needed a little picker-upper and I found it here. I'm so stealing your momma's pithy saying about boredom. I agree. If a person is bored, they lack TRY and lazily sit there on their duff waiting for something to happen FOR them. I made the one-time mistake of saying something about being bored when I was a teen. My mother said, "If you can't something to do, I'll find something for you." It wasn't just a something, it was a LIST and I never brought THAT topic up again.
By: Roxanne
On: 05/18/2012 10:27:35
I wish I knew the word 'bored' in passing because then maybe I'd get a break! LOL
By: Cat
On: 05/20/2012 15:18:13
I just love you!!! It is if I am writing your articles. We have so much in common. I always tell people, when they say they are bored, "can I capture your moments?". Just yesterday I was in my library looking at the collection of the hundreds of books I have obtained over the years, and it hit me that I would never be able to do all the things I desire to do in my life. Even if I lived another hundred years, my dreams and aspirations are so vast that I will only be able to accomplish a tiny bit of them.
I totally understand where you are coming from and can't imagine one moment of one day as boring. I love life and living it passionately second to second!!!!
Bless you and all your inspiration, my friend. Perhaps we shall meet some day. Hope so! :) That is one of my dreams...
By: Marie Bucher (ReeReeBee)
On: 06/11/2012 12:55:28
My grandmother used the same phrase your mother uses! She always used to tell me, "There's no such thing as being bored, there's only boring people."
And I would promptly huff, sigh and find my way to the blueberry patch. I have such great memories of my grandparents home on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It was impossible to really be bored.
I am still unable to utter those words. My list of "to do's" is a mile long and my list of "want to's" is even longer. Here's to being busy and happy!

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Cathi Belcher

Cathi Belcher,
an old-fashioned farmgirl with a pioneer spirit, lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. As a “lifelong learner” in the “Live-Free-or-Die” state, she fiercely values self-reliance, independence, freedom, and fresh mountain air. Married to her childhood sweetheart of 40+ years (a few of them “uphill climbs”), she’s had plenty of time to reinvent herself. From museum curator, restaurant owner, homeschool mom/conference speaker, to post-and-beam house builder and entrepreneur, she’s also a multi-media artist, with an obsession for off-grid living and alternative housing. Cathi owns and operates a 32-room mountain lodge. Her specialty has evolved to include “hermit hospitality” at her rustic cabin in the mountains, where she offers weekend workshops of special interest to women.

“Mountains speak to my soul, and farming is an important part of my heritage. I want to pass on my love of these things to others through my writing. Living in the mountains has its own particular challenges, but I delight in turning them into opportunities from which we can all learn and grow.”

Column content copyright © 2010– Cathi Belcher. All rights reserved.

Mountain Bounty

“Keep close to Nature’s heart ... and break clear away once in awhile to climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods, to wash your spirit clean.”
– John Muir