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  • Writer's picturejglicksmith

Fighting Boredom during COVID-19

I have adopted a puppy. A deaf 12-week-old puppy.

What was I thinking?

This little guy—Kirby, an English Cocker Spaniel—is out of control…but infinitely ADORABLE!

After three weeks, my forearms are scarred with scratches and bites from his razor sharp baby teeth from playing rough with him (which he seems to crave). I have to keep Neosporin close at hand at all times.

I was in the market for another dog, but was looking to rescue an adult dog. Then the rescue I was working with sent me a picture of Kirby. Oh, dear, that did it.

But the decision wasn’t just about his picture.

I recognize now that I had become bored in my self-sequestered life. COVID has us locked down.

I haven’t been out in months except to go to doctors’ appointments. And, while I have plenty to do—working with my tech client and writing two books—I was getting to Sunday afternoons each week utterly and completely bored, weary of watching Netflix; not wanting to write, paint, or draw; and tired of reading books. Getting into a flow-state was becoming more and more elusive.

Flow is the intersection of skill and challenge. When we are no longer challenged, we become bored and drop out of flow. This is the rut I found myself in.

What better challenge than a deaf puppy. Now, I’m learning American Sign Language. After three weeks, Kirby has learned six signs. As soon as he masters one, I start using another. I’m in flow when I am working with him. Flow is present-based. Puppies live in the moment. To teach them, you must live in the moment with them. This was exactly what I needed.

How are you feeling in this eighth month of lockdown? Are you able to sustain your flow states? What challenges can you introduce in your life to start maximizing your own flow?

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