“One must choose in life, between boredom and suffering” – Germaine de Stael
I’ve been staring at this photo (which is now the desktop background of my computer) much too much this morning while at work. In fact, I’ve been transfixed upon it for so long I think people are starting to wonder what’s wrong with me. Of course if they looked closer they’d also see the red, abraded skin on the side of my nose from a mild case of frostnip I received last Friday (forgot my balaclava on a training ride that took a turn for the worse with some unexpected cold temperatures and wind), although that wouldn’t provide them with many answers either as not too many people are familiar with the effects of windchill around here. They’d probably have even more questions – most people prefer to see things in black and white and not dwell in the grey areas.
But the main reason I’m staring at my screen is that I’m bored – extremely busy (maybe even overworked by some standards), but bored nonetheless. However, contrary to the opening words of this post by Madame de Stael I currently have no real choice between suffering or boredom. They are one and the same. In reality, my suffering is rooted in the boredom of endless deadlines and tedious tasks. First world problem? You bet, but a problem no matter how you look at it. One that I need to solve before wasting too much more of my life without seeking some sort of fulfillment. For that I need a plan…
But plans require work, work for which I have no time in my state of busy-boredom. So for today I’ll just occasionally return to my computer screen and stare longingly across the Long Valley Caldera and race on my bike as the rising sun marches ahead of me across the escarpment of the Sherwin Range. Sure, the wind will be howling as the mountains greet the day, but my pedalstrokes will be strong and easily overcome the whirlwinds of the office as it fights for control of my brain. After all, when dreaming it’s important to visualize your place within it otherwise you’re just staring blankly at a computer screen until it’s time to go home and that doesn’t do anyone any good.
And the aftermath of a frostnipped nose is nothing a little aloe vera (and time) won’t ultimately cure.