I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spent a weekend pacing up and down the lounge trying to work out what to do with myself. In recent years it’s a feeling that almost completely went away but it’s started coming back a lot recently.
I’ve previously been so busy with my business, music and family stuff that there’s rarely been a time I’ve had a moment to think about what I should be doing next, but stuff hasn’t been going so well over the last year or so…and the feeling’s come back.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid that got fed up of the all toys in my room and wailed at my Mum that I was bored…It’s a difficult habit to break too, and I think it’s a trait that follows us into adulthood.
Continually being bored has got me into some bother… For one, I’ve personally owned more than 26 cars and 3 motorbikes. It’s been fun but bloody hell, have I lost some money in foolish purchases, buying a few lemons along the way and spending small fortunes bringing them up to spec. The purchase of an ageing and less than healthy Porsche 911 on a less than average Porsche owner’s salary, finally put a very large nail in that coffin… I owned it for just 12 months and lost half its value (nearly £6K) in depreciation and repair and servicing costs. I still love cars, but I’ve now worked a more sustainable view point from which to enjoy them. Thankfully I had the good sense to give up motorbikes when I realised this was a reaction to boredom that was likely to cause me some real harm…
Back in the 90s, I also moved house about 5 times in the space of 10 years which thankfully came to an end when I had a large dose of sanity pills and realised that on one move to Oxfordshire for a better paid job, I could have taken a year off work and been better off financially. That was pretty sobering…realising I was just working to pay solicitors, estate agents and the lottery of regional house prices, instead of paying the mortgage which would have really got me a little closer to the house of my dreams.
A lot of us are hell bent on chasing big incomes and then we are hell bent on chasing stuff to spend it on, largely because the highly paid jobs that many strive for are so mind numbingly unfulfilling and depressing that you have to replace them with excitement from buying stuff.
I look back on these events and I can see my Dad did exactly the same before me and I’ve inherited the same gene. He’s similarly owned more cars than Ronaldo and has had more hobbies and collecting obsessions than is healthy for any individual.
But there have been good outcomes from this affliction too. My Dad taught me that you always need a ‘project’ and that you can do almost anything with enough background research, application and getting stuck in and doing it.
When I was 16 we both changed the clutch and gearbox in a Cortina armed with nothing more than an average tool kit and a Haynes manual. It was a proud achievement for me and there weren’t many learner drivers that could claim they’d changed the clutch in the car they were learning to drive in.
Dad grew up with next to nothing and I think it was the healthy dose of boredom that sparked his creative imagination. A few years earlier when I was 14, he’d built his own 10″ reflecting telescope from scrap materials, including grinding the parabolic mirror from an old glass ashtray. He also restored a 1964 Sunbeam Alpine and 1974 Triumph Stag to concours condition. He made his own air compressor out of a diver’s air tank and lawn mower engine, as well as countless other ‘projects, we’ve both forgotten.
Looking back, I think boredom was a big factor that made me learn to play the guitar, then the keyboards, then the bass, then the drums (very badly)…
In one particularly bad bout of being ‘bored out of my mind’ I decided that the unused corner of my garden would be better utilised as a recording studio.
That was 8 years ago and now and it’s given me 7 albums and an obsession in music production, something I’ve yet to be bored of…
So I think boredom might be a good thing. In a world where everything is competing for our attention, it might be a good thing to be bored once in a while…Because that’s where you have the birth of a the next great idea….and I’m really hoping that the next ‘project’ is a good one…