This used to be a default setting for me; I’d have some spare time on my lunch break and be browsing the internet and before you knew it I suddenly had found the next thing I ‘needed’ to have in my life.
Then I would research and purchase this now ‘essential’ item and in the space of a few clicks I had another thing in my life to look after or justify using. Of course this was mindless and essentially a hobby, a default reaction to any spare time I had as I worked hard and deserved it.
Recently I’ve gone back to studying part time for another degree. This has definitely filled any spare time I have had and I have enjoyed the benefits of working towards something bigger in my life as opposed to boredom browsing.
My first semester came to an end a few weeks ago and it was nice to have some time to myself to relax as I was exhausted meeting deadlines for coursework while working a full-time job.
A curious thing happened though, once the gap returned in my life and I didn’t have as much to do, I was back on the browse for things to fill my time and within minutes I was looking at bicycle components that I didn’t need or have any intention of buying!
It really shows that old habits die hard, thanks to years of default behaviour I slipped right back in without realising. It was odd to be back in my old mindset, if only for a few seconds, but it meant I realised how buying for me was a way of filling the gaps in my life.
Buying served as a distraction from ever taking on the bigger things that would really make me happier. I was unwittingly sabotaging myself, comfortable in the safety of surrounding myself with things in order to avoid a gap in my life, a gap that would prompt me to ask the big questions about what I was doing with myself.
Boredom is a great thing when it pushes you to be creative and make something positive happen but I know I’m not alone in finding that boredom equals buying which is a vicious circle. Breaking it is hard to do but it’s about challenging that way of thinking and finding a more exciting solution to filling that spare time.