Talking Story

boredom

ebox

Knowing when I was going to get mail used to be a simple thing. Never on Sundays. Around 11:20 am Monday through Friday and around noon on Saturday. There was no reason to keep checking the mailbox—one delivery a day brought all I was going to get until the next time the mailman made her rounds.

Yeah, our mailman was a lady, but we still called her the mailman. When I was little I thought the word was mail ma’am. I also thought the song Cherish You was all about cherry shoes, but that’s another blog post.

Growing up in Hawaii, I could predict when I might get a card or letter from my mainland family. Christmas and birthdays were a sure thing. Presidents’ Day, Groundhogs Day, Flag Day—not so much. I’d haunt the mailbox the week before an anticipated arrival but ignore it the rest of the time. A kid can only get so excited about Hawaiian Electric bills, Longs ads, and mail addressed to Resident.

But with email, you just never know. Any second somebody could be sending that all important message, the one you didn’t know you were waiting for until it arrived. I find myself reaching for my smartphone and checking my inbox way too often in meetings, watching tv, at kids’ soccer games—even church. I’m starting to feel like Linus with his blankie.

I’m not ADD. I can choose when I’m going to pay attention and can sustain that attention for a scarily long time when I’m engaged. My problem is low boredom threshold.

It’s easier to let people think I’m ADD.

blahYou ever get the blahs? It’s like being hungry but nothing looks good on the menu. Blah. When I feel that way, phrases like a change is as good as a rest and only idle hands make bored minds rattle around in my brain. The voice is my grandmother’s.  It also says things like if you think you’re bored, I have some chores that’ll wipe bored right off your face.

Grandma is a no-nonsense quit-yer-bitchin’-I-survived-the-Great-Depression-walking-uphill-both-ways kind of lady. She has no patience with blah.

I don’t either, but I deal with it more in a stand-in-front-of-the-fridge and futz-around-on-the-computer way. I’m hopeful something good will magically appear in the five minutes since I last scanned the shelves or clicked a link.

Yeah, not so much.

Grandma’s right. I really should clean the house. It’ll sweep cobwebs both metaphorical and literal out of my life.

Blah.

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