I always wanted to shop at Costco when I was single. After all, who wouldn’t want 47 Cliff Bars for the price of ten?
The problem was, no matter how much I loved a snack that was sold at Costco, if I bought in bulk, and tried to eat the whole thing by myself, I would get 3/4 of the way through the box or bag and begin to hate the thing I used to love. I wouldn’t even finish the container before I realized that the mere sight of the snack that used to make me so excited, now made me want to vomit.
The same thing has happened to me with Starbucks.
I’ve been working there for about five months, and somewhere around the three month mark, the coffee started to lose it’s luster. I would make my 200th latte for the day and think to myself, as I was handing it to the customer — I can’t believe you paid $4 for this. Something about having access to more lattes than a person could ever need, or want, or even drink, for free, makes you drink one too many.
It takes what used to be a treat, a luxury, and turns it into just another boring day.
The thought occurred to me the other day
–that’s what makes something luxurious, isn’t it? The scarcity of it?
If I had a whole day to do anything I wanted, it would go something like this. I would wake up around 7am (rested — because I went to sleep on time the night before) and go for a long hike or run. I’d come back to the house, make a big brunch of scrambled eggs and bagels, with coffee in a french press. I’d spend the afternoon browsing thrift stores, maybe Target, and wandering the aisles of Whole Foods — only buying a few things I found irresistible.
I’d come home, around 5:00, with my treasures, and make a big dinner with my favorite person (or couple of people), a meal consisting of foods that, in no universe, should be considered a meal when put together.
Chips and guacamole. Brussels sprouts. Hummus. Dark chocolate. Probably a beer or glass of wine. Maybe even two.
We’d sit around and have great conversation, the kind that makes you think about life and love and the meaning of existence.
We might all watch a movie, but I’d fall asleep halfway through.
That’s my perfect day.
My “perfect” day might seem weird to you
— but my perfect day and your perfect day have one thing in common. They don’t happen very often. Think about it. When was the last time you had a day that seemed “perfect” to you? Mine was months ago.
But isn’t that the point? Isn’t it the scarcity of “perfect” days that make them seem so desirable?
Sometimes, I complain that life is boring, and I try to do things to make it more exciting. I blame it on my boring job, or my boring apartment, or my boring stuff and I figure I must be doing something wrong. If I were doing the right things, I would be experiencing God in amazing ways — wouldn’t I?
It’s true that there are some things I can do things to make my life more exciting. I got married to a man I met on the internet, four months after I met him. We moved our life across the country, nine days after our wedding. That made for some “excitement” (to say the least).
Sometimes taking ownership over a “boring” life is exactly what we need to break out of our “life is boring” attitude.
The problem is that, exciting experiences, in an of themselves, don’t constitute a life of meaning.
You can do all kinds of exciting things without much direction — and still be bored out of your mind.
If we depend on the “highs” of life to dictate our spiritual walk, we’re actually worshipping experiences more than we’re worshipping Jesus — the God of the everyday, the right here, right now, the God who is with you no matter what you’re experiencing. If we’re waiting for something “exciting” to happen in order to see that God is real, we might be waiting around for nothing.
LIfe is full of highs and lows, and in-betweens.
We can experience God in all of those places.
It isn’t until we stop waiting for all of life to be super thrilling that we realize that all of life is supernatural — full of the Spirit of God at work in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
Open your eyes to it. You’ll see it. I promise.
Question: What is your perfect day? When is the last time you had one?
43 thoughts on “Is Life Supposed To Be This Boring?”
This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear! Within the last couple weeks of life, same job, same apartment, same prayers, same TV shows, same routines, I began to sink into the “life sucks” mentality, when really, I was just perceiving it all wrong.
My friend hit the nail on the head when He said, “2000 years ago, Jesus died on the cross, redeemed you, set you free and gave you eternal life, so anything else you experience in this life is secondary to your relationship with God.” Now, I knew that, but I guess I forgot it?
I’ve loved Jesus since I was 4 but I guess I tried to fit him into my life instead of him being my life. Since that moment, I’ve realize that even if I’m in a job that isn’t my dream job, it’s still A job, doesn’t determine my destiny, or joy, Jesus does. Since then I’ve adapted the attitude of my relationship with God should not be affected by the monotony of life right now. It’s far above that, far deeper, and far more important than anything else I experience in my day to day living.
Thanks for your blog – SUCH a blessing.
Jane — I’m so glad you liked the post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
My perfect day is whenever I can just be in the moment & not think about the “other stuff” (job, bills, other stuff to do). My dad and I took a trip at the end of June that was pretty great. It was way too short.
Sarah — I’m the same way. I love when I can just be in the moment and not have to think about what is going on, or what people are expecting of me, somewhere else.
What a great thing that you got to take a vacation with your dad like that. I bet you’ll hold that memory forever.
My perfect day was my 23rd birthday this year. One of my friends flew over from England to spend the weekend with me. We spent the day in Paris, and as she’d never been before we walked round, taking photos with all the main attractions. The weather was gorgeous and we met up with friends and ate lunch on the steps of the Sacré Coeur. I think the best thing about it was that my friend had made the effort to take time off work to come over- that meant so much to me. So in general a really good day for me is one when friends take time to intentionally hang out.
Also, I’m totally with you on the Brussels sprouts and hummus, yum!
Louise, that does sound like a perfect day! I’ll come visit you in Paris anytime, haha 😉
My perfect day is spending the day with my wife and daughter, spending time outside, playing some guitar and then writing a bit. Then getting an email/phone call/text/message saying that the writing inspired them or helped them in some way. That’s it. Oh and throw some King of Queens in there too. And ice cream.
You had me at ice cream 🙂 Sounds like a great day!
I dunno about hummus or brussel sprouts (Darrell must really love you! jk 😉 but I’d def take the chocolate, beer and a movie! The other day I went out with some guys, we had burgers, beer, deep theological conversation and then watched Act of Valor. It wasnt the perfect day but it was pretty close! Thanks for adding perspective to viewing everyday life and its relationship to Jesus.
I know — I have weird food favorites. 🙂
Glad you liked the post!
Here’s a question: What did a perfect day for Jesus look like? 2000 years and culture differences aside, you have to wonder if that ever crossed His mind-right? You describe your perfect and I think we all in our unique ways have our own version of one, like your description.
Mine would probably include a walk, time with my wife and kids and reading. And eating.
But I also got to thinking: Jesus, who said “I came to do the will of the One who sent me” – a perfect day? Could it be His perfect day was simply to live out His Father’s will for just that day and be perfectly at peace with whatever unfolded, whether He saw it coming or not? I actually do believe He saw a lot of what came His way because of how close He was to His Father.
And He also said, “My peace I give to you…” And His source of peace was His intimate connection to His Father. And our peace is our connection to Him. I tend to think every day can be a “perfect” day simply because no matter what we cause to happen or what happens to us, it all happens in the context of a loving Creator who has a plan we live into.
“Could it be His perfect day was simply to live out His Father’s will for just that day…”I think that’s it exactly. Amazing, isn’t it, that every day we live in Christ can be a perfect day?
Mike — It’s true that Jesus was flexible and open to hearing the spirit and moving as he was called. I think the more we can live our lives like this, the less resistance we will feel doing the things we don’t enjoy, and the more joy we’ll feel when we get to experience our “favorite” things.
Jesus was perfectly human, so I believe he had favorites (favorite people, favorite foods, probably favorite places) and I wouldn’t be surprised if he enjoyed those things, just like we do.
You’re right on. I think of Jesus’ relationship with Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Peter, James and John. As a man, He needed the companionship too, and I bet He did have cherished quiet time away from crowds with those He loved and trusted the most.
the idea of my perfect day fluctuates, i think. so long as i am with people i love and enjoy i’d consider anything perfect.
i loved this post, though, because i have often felt myself and my life boring. even when i don’t feel bored or boring, even when i’m doing something that i am enjoying that might be considered dull or boring by the “cool” kids.
i had a friend tell me once that we all have this feeling that there’s this amazing party out there and we’re anxious and afraid that we’re missing it. i always loved that image and metaphor because it’s so true. life is only boring if you think it is. not that there aren’t extremely dull moments (filing papers? stuffing envelopes?) but even such mundane activities can be fun-ified in different ways.
i guess my point is boredom is a state of mind. like you write, ally, what one person finds exciting and fun another may find boring with a capital BOR.
great, great, great post! thanks for sharing!
“Life is only boring if you think it is.”
That’s so good. Most of life and our experience of life is more about perspective than anything else. And we choose our own perspective!
Thanks for sharing Tim.
Every now and then a nugget of something good pops out of my head. :-)It took me a long time to do so, but I am a huge believer in choosing our reactions and perspectives to the things that happen to us. It ain’t easy, but makes life so much more interesting and balanced, I think.
[…] was thinking about this following a post from Ally Vesterfelt about how the idea of a perfect day is perhaps so because of its very scarcity. The same thing, if […]
This is great, and so true. It reminds me of a short story by G.K. Chesterton, Paints in a Paintbox. –
“The things in this world which are thoroughly insignificant are precisely the things which are singularly rare….Mere rarity certainly is not the test of value……There are a great many objects which are more beautiful than precious objects. Peacocks’ feathers are more beautiful, and autumn leaves and split firewood and clean copper….The miser who should spend a laborious life in hoarding and counting the autumn leaves has, I think, yet to be born……………….But whatever may come, the essential ground of this habit will remain the same as the essential ground of all the religions, that we can only take a sample of the universe, and that that sample, even if it be a handful of dust (which is also a beautiful substance) will always assert the magic of itself, and hint at the magic of all things.”
A handful of dust, hinting at the magic of all things. I love that!
What a beautiful quote! Thanks for sharing Caris.
Your perfect day sounds wonderful!I agree with you about scarcity. It’s a curse of this life that when we have what we want, we no longer want it. The only exception to this are the things of God. Everything else has a self limiting factor. This should tell us something about our intended purpose.
Bridget, good point. Thanks for sharing.
I tell my kids, only boring people get bored. 🙂 I think gratefulness is the key to contentment. Your last paragraph is right on! The amazingness is all there. We just have to see & be grateful for it. We are surely not doomed to get bored of life. It is our choice. My perfect day would be when I can actually be grateful for all the greatness in my day & enjoy it.
Oh! I was also going to say that my husband says anyone who doesn’t have kids is missing out on the awesomeness of the sudden calm, after they are tucked in bed. I said that made no sense, because those people had the awesomeness of calm already. But he says he appreciates the calm so much more, now that it is a luxury.
Love this post, and your blog! So much truth in each post!
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