I am bored out of my mind.


I am bored out of my mind.

I have been sitting here trying to figure out why. Normally I am bubbling over with ideas to put down on paper, or planning the next interview, or making sure the sails of the good ship PT are properly furled and checking my calendar to be sure I have plane tickets for the next four or five trips scheduled in the next month or so.

Life today is nothing like that. I think it’s the lack of personal interaction all the activities above brings to life. When you meet in person, the dynamic is different. Whether its over a meal or across a desk, the ability to sense how a person reacts to your words and perhaps draw out a new thought or idea, at least for me, just doesn’t happen over Zoom or a phone call.

I sometimes get ideas from chatting with strangers in the elevator – but there is no one in the elevator and if there is, they look at your mask covered face with askance as they cower in the corner (No more than three people per elevator car, as if there are enough people in the building to put three in a car.)

When I went to the local hardware store to buy a repair part for a toilet I would normally have chatted up the fellow who makes the keys or asked some questions of the helper in the plumbing section. No one seems comfortable mumbling behind a mask from six feet away. You just pick up what you want and head out.  You might as well have been on Amazon.

I am beginning to realize that those creative juices that make us who we are don’t all come from within. They are a combination of our reaction to the world around us. And when that world is masked, or closed, and our interactions are limited to a phone call those ideas that used to flow so freely aren’t there.

Our face to face discussions and gossip and simple chats is the fuel that keeps the creativity engine running. It will be interesting to compare 2020 with other years as to how we did, new idea wise.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. I couldn’t agree more.
    The pandemic affects of minimizing direct human interactions leaves one to the periodic neighborhood walk and visits to grocery and home-improvement stores. Fortunately, my business activities have continued with a full schedule of telephone calls and virtual meetings and these fill the communicative vacuum and are essential for business continuity.
    Nevertheless, with my business travels and direct interactions paused, my direct human connectivity is left solely to my habit of smiling and acknowledging a cashier, fellow shopper or passerby. Even this small act has been diminished as they are unable to recognize my smile under my mask. I still smile, nod and hold the door when able in an act of friendliness, civility and community.
    I have taken to reading books and apparently responding and commenting to posts to maintain my social interactions, creative juices and learning.
    Stay safe & well.

  2. This is a great revelation and one I’m now going to look for. I agree, the small talk I used to have with the cashier at our local convenience store just isn’t the same. Even when I say something behind my mask, it’s too muffled for them to understand – so we’ve all stopped trying. Another subsequent outcome of all this that we never saw coming.

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