You don’t have time for boredom

Like many of us, I’ve learned a lot from my father. He travels the world throwing free health camps and also holds a full-time job as an Anesthesiologist. This lesson is one I learned during a quick conversation I had with him during the winter holidays last year.

It’s Christmas Day and I started a FaceTime call with my dad so my son, Jayden, can thank him for the Christmas present he just opened.

Within a few minutes, the phone was handed back to me and Jayden was playing with his new presents again.

I asked my dad what he’s up to and he said he’d been working, and also preparing to go on his yearly winter trip to India tomorrow. It was a normal day for him full of work, meeting with friends who he can help and spending time on his non-profit. He usually starts as early as 6am and eats dinner at 8pm, many times interrupted by phone calls usually related to his non-profit work or someone needing his help.

I said, what else is new, in a matter of fact way, like I typically do when we chat. That day he continued on and said he has noticed a pattern as people get older. They slow down or retire and you can literally see the boredom in them.

He then distilled his thinking down:

I don’t have time for boredom.

I used to think of my father as a workaholic. Someone who never stops working. I now realize it’s much deeper than that. He is allergic to even the thought of not having anything to do and being bored.