Column startled couch potatoes: vacation, heat, boredom

Paradise is boring? Or whoever is bored is hopelessly unhappy? Not at all. In praise of time-wasting.

Enjoying the heat Photo: imago/Westend61

Longer stays in southern Spain or Tunis at nearly 50 degrees have convinced me: living in a twilight state for a few weeks is enormously invigorating in the aftermath. This somnambulistic, summer trance state behind shutters that are darkened during the day, this emptiness and aimlessness sharpens the senses and clears the mind. Paradise is boring? Or whoever is bored is hopelessly unhappy? Not at all.

Instead of always being taken by the hand on a group trip, instead of being constantly pampered from morning to night at the club, instead of climbing the peaks in an adrenaline rush, on vacation I love doing nothing, the great boredom. Preferably in hot countries, where you wipe the sweat from your brow at every opportunity and sink back onto the sofa with a sigh: because it’s so hot!

The heat as an alibi for doing nothing, in any case an entry point for the untrained, for the hunted, for whom the dictates of efficiency dictate the rhythm for the rest of the year. The Protestant work ethic under capitalist production conditions, it has long been common knowledge, has given contemplative life a bad conscience.

Boredom makes creative

Linda Caldwell of Penn State University has researched the leisure behavior of teenagers. "One of the reasons many children and adolescents don’t know what to do with themselves is, paradoxically, that they haven’t been bored enough, because many children’s free time today is filled with content and structured through," she says. As a result, they often lack the ability to actively perceive and pursue their own interests. their conclusion: children have to be bored in order to be creative.

Adults, too. Indulging in old-fashioned leisure, frittering away time, oversleeping, wasting it – vacation could be the great waste in favorable external living conditions. Own time without slavery of the appointment calendar. Time of good life, instead of amusing yourself to death.

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