Heed not Steve

Tag: boredom

I Can Do It

So, I’ll never be an Olympian.


Although, I have watched a bit of the summer olympics on TV and I did eat a couple of commemorative London 2012 Olympic All Butter Biscuits.


Anyhow.  I’m thinking of it because I’m grinding my way through level four of the cursed workout app I’ve been doing.  I’ve just finished day 56 out of 75.

And here’s the thing:  I want to quit soooo much!  

Levels one through three were hard work, sure, but level four is wearing me down mentally.  It’s so repetitive and the workouts take me so long to finish and it’s boring and I want to quit.  I really want to quit.

But here’s the other thing:  I don’t actually want to quit.  

I want to finish it.  I want to defeat it.  I want to be able to say I put in the mental work as well as the physical work.

So, I spend half my workouts rationalizing how I can stop, telling myself I could skip the last few reps or finish them the next day or stop after a certain amount of time.

And then I do the whole thing anyhow.  And I just have 19 more days.

I can do it.

Blocks of Ice

Years ago, I read an article about a polar bear at some zoo.  The bear, being bored, being captive, having nothing to do, swam back and forth, back and forth – all day long, back and forth.

Eventually, the zoo got some smart people on the case and they enriched the bear’s environment with random challenges and puzzles.   Among other things, they froze the bear’s food into blocks of ice, making the bear work for its food.  It did the trick and the bear stopped its repetitive, stress-based behavior.

The idea has stuck with me.

For years, this story has bubbled up in my mind whenever I’m faced with a task I don’t relish.  Anytime I have to cope with unpleasant situations or people, anytime I have to do work I don’t feel like doing, anytime things don’t quite go my way, I think of the polar bear and his frozen blocks of food.  I imagine the stress I’m faced with as a necessary nuisance – my food frozen in a block of ice.

Don’t get me wrong.

I still complain and moan and whine like anyone else.  But, somewhere, deep in the murky, muddy depths of my mind, there’s the consolation of knowing my environment has been enriched.

And you can often see that same dim awareness, the scarcely concealed twinkle of glee, in the eyes of people around you as they complain about the onerous tasks they face.  They get to do something out of the ordinary, something novel, if not entirely fun.

So, sure, having to work through something unpleasant is a pain and nobody wants a non-stop experience of arduous labor.  But, the occasional minor stress, the hard won food from a block of ice, provides a nice contrast.  It’s something to do.  It keeps us engaged.

It enriches our environment.


an icy breeze
whistling through t- t- t- t- t-  whistle ||| whistling ** wh*wh* wh*  icy breeze  an icy an i-i-i- wh********|||\\\\

*_*-*-*_ {————–}}||||||||||||||||zzzzzzzZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZzZzzzzzzzzzzzz . . . .. .. . .


Hello?  Hello?

Can you hear me?

Ah, yes!  I did it!  I’ve traveled through time!  It’s me, future Steve!  Steve from the future!


That’s right.  I’m from the future.  I live there.  In the future, time travel is as common as . . . well, it’s as common as not time traveling is in the past.

So.  Anyhow.

Sorry to interrupt that cute little haiku or whatever it was.

Umm.  I don’t know where past Steve is, or, as you know him, Now Steve.  He’s probably in the future.  That seems to be how it works.  He’ll be back when I go home – to the future.  I’m from the future.

Did I mention I’m from the future?

I know.  I know.  You have all sorts of questions about the future.  Well why wouldn’t you?  Of course, I don’t have questions about the future.  I live in the future!

Anyhow, let’s see.  Umm, well, I don’t pay much attention to politics so . . . you know, it’s about the same.  Probably.  Whatever.  There’s some President; I guess. I don’t know.  They do things – they sign things.  It’s quaint.  There’s lots of mobs and unrest.

It’s a utopia of unrest.

Oh!  Oh!  TV is now 4D.  YES.  How about that?  4D?  It’s awesome.  I particularly like the Love Boat reboot – Robot Love Boat.

Clanky the bartender is my favorite.

I also like the reality series, Time Chase Your Own Tail.  It’s – well, it takes too long to explain.  Suffice it to say, you won’t see any better knife fighting, anywhere, ever, any time.  It’s educational, too.

And, also, brace yourself . . . Soylent Green is PEOPLE!

HahaHA!   Not really!  I’m kidding!  I’m a joker.  I’m a joker from the future!  We don’t call it Soylent Green.  Had you going, huh?

Okay, well.  I’ve got to go.  The past is . . . boring.  I’m bored.  I need to be entertained.  There’s no entertainment here.  So.  Let’s see.  I read this entry before I left the future.  Now, I’ve got to try and reproduce it exactly or my time narrative will be destroyed.  Can’t have that.

If I remember, this post was exactly four hundred and thirteen words long.

And it ended, something like . . . . wait for it . . . something like . . .  .THIS.


.. .. .. …. .  .   ..   .

\\||an icy||-*_*–*

. .

an icy breeze
whistling through bare limbs
the future


© Steve Mitchell 2011

Fat Dog

fat dog grazing
on wet weeds –
boredom as a snack


© Steve Mitchell 2010