Except, we cannot dare say we are bored – so we pretend to be busy.
Boredom loves busy because busy masks boredom. “Busy” is allowed, boredom is not. Busy = good. Boredom = bad. Important people are busy. To be busy is to be wanted. “Can’t sorry, I’m sooo busy.” To be bored is to be vacant. Sitting, waiting, wishing. Public vacancy is a risk. Your reputation as a freelancer risks downgrade if you’re not occupied. Your social status as a friend risks decline if you’re easy to make plans with – to be busy is to be popular. Scarcity 101. Parents are proud of busy kids. With busyness as a status symbol, we start to fake it.
Too tired to go out. “Not tonight sorry, I’m busy”. Besides, we are told it’s important to make time to do nothing. Stay home, binge-watch a series. ‘Self-care’. Late night scroll. Boring.
Work sucks but I can prop up the façade of doing with tactics of busyness. I’ll block my calendar so I appear to be in meetings. Disappearance is key to importance-management (the more important you are, the less you’re around). I finish what I have to do quickly, then use the office printer for my personal projects. Paper doubles as a prop for busyness. Sometimes I send an email late at night to look like I’m really applying myself.
THE PERFORMANCE OF OUR LIVES
Pretending to be busy is the performance of our lives. We act how we want to come across while we watch from the wings, sat in dull darkness. Sitting in the wings is uneventful. A boring display of ourselves performs before us.