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Sunday, 25 March 2001

Is Boredom Always Bad?

Written by  Esther Boylan Wolfson

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The most boring thing about my marriage is that my husband and I almost never have time to do anything "just for fun." There are lots of things that we do together. We go to weddings, bar mitzvahs and school plays. We shop for furniture and choose paint colors. Yes, sometimes we try and grab a few moments. But our idea of going out is sitting down in a restaurant together after going shopping for a bed. These activities, as important as they are, bring neither excitement nor fun to our lives. They are, in a word, "boring."

The joys and obligations of raising our three beautiful children, put together with our professional lives, do not leave time in our life right now for fun. While this is upsetting and frustrating, it is a fact that I accept.

So what you ask, are we going to do about it? The answer for now is nothing. The joys and obligations of raising our three beautiful children, put together with our professional lives, do not leave time in our life right now for fun. While this is upsetting and frustrating, it is a fact that I accept. True I look back at the "good old days" before we were married and remember how much fun we had going out whenever we wanted, seeing every movie that came out and hanging out in the cafes and restaurants of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Were those days fun? You can bet they were.

But if given a choice, would I step back into those days? Not a chance. For as much fun as it was, no movie or concert can be worth as much as one hug from my son as I tuck him into bed at night. Sitting down with my kids when they come home from their first day of camp and hearing their exciting descriptions of the day, well, it makes it all worthwhile.

A few years ago, I went to a lecture in which the speaker made a distinction that I always try and keep in mind whenever I get really "bored." Many people, he said, equate the concepts of "fun" and "happiness." The idea behind this is that you can't truly be happy unless you have are doing things that are fun. The truth is, he said, is that this is not always the case. Often it is the person with the least time to "have fun" whose life is most full and who is therefore happy. Alternatively, sometimes the person who has loads of time to go out and do fun things, is really unhappy and unsatisfied with the rest of his lives. So while my married life for the near future may continue to be a bit boring I try not to let this bother me because overall, I am happy.

Does this mean that I have given up and have no plans or hopes of spending fun time together with my husband? Not at all. I just know that those fun times will have to wait a little bit. In six months, we will be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. In honor of that anniversary, we are hoping to travel to Paris for a week to have the honeymoon we never really had. So I'm going to hang onto thoughts of that vacation for the next few months and when it comes, I will try to make the most of it. In that week, I hope our lives will be filled with excitement. But when we come home, I will continue to try and appreciate (and it's not always easy) the "boredom" of a full life

Last modified on Thursday, 12 January 2012 13:16
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Esther Boylan Wolfson

Esther Boylan Wolfson

Esther Wolfson , director of our Early Childhood Development Center is an Early Childhood Specialist, who received her BA in English Communications from Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University and an MA in Early Childhood Special Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, both in New York City. Esther worked as a pre-school special education teacher for seven years. Three of those years were spent working in a school for language delayed pre-schoolers, which is her area of specialty. Another special love of hers is cooking with young children. One of her most enjoyable projects was developing a program for cooking with pre-school children for three special education programs. Esther and her husband Myles have three boys aged eight, five and two-years-old. While her three lively boys and her work at WholeFamily, keep her quite busy, in her spare time (if she ever has any!) she is an avid reader who also enjoys creative writing, exercising and swimming.

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