By in Relationships

Feeling Bored and Obligated Is Your Choice

A couple of years ago, I received correspondence from an acquaintance who shared that he took his mother grocery shopping each Sunday. It is a ritual for them and, for helping her, she buys him groceries for the week.

He continued, "When I am with my mom and my brother, I am bored to death. But I do not want to hurt my mom's feelings."

I felt disturbed by his statement, as i t struck me that he did not value the time he spends with his mother.

There are times when we all do things that are less than exciting. Sometimes, they are downright painful, or "boring," as he called it. The impetus for him helping was strictly out of obligation to his mother, not wanting to feel the guilt for having hurt her feelings.

There are times when each of make this type of decision. We do not want to look bad in comparison to others, or in front of others. We buy into the notion of "should be" doing this or that because of the obligation we feel. Rather than say that we do not have the time, do not want to, do not see the value in, or any other reason it is okay not to want to do or say something, we swallow our words and agree to do what we do not want to do.

It becomes a black or white situation in which we have put ourselves. How else are we likely to feel other than bored, obligated, locked-in, slighted or guilty?

The answer may be to see the situation through a new lens, especially if we are going to make the decision to do what we do not want to do anyway. We must choose to look at the act of what we do differently.

My response to him:

"Do it because you love her...and for no other reason. There will come a time when you will not be able to do for her. You are giving her, but more importantly, you are giving yourself, a precious gift that you will cherish with all your heart some day."

It was a reminder to me that everything I do is a choice. How I view that choice will always be up to me.

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© Copyright 2015 - Coral Levang - All Rights Reserved.

Adapted from original written on February 18, 2014, and submitted to Bubblews, and later removed by the author.

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Image Credit » by geralt

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markgraham wrote on September 17, 2015, 1:03 PM

We all have our different views on how we look at things.

LoudMan wrote on September 17, 2015, 1:04 PM

Yes, it's our choice. Just also be aware there are some skillful manipulators around anyone worth being around, constantly trying to enroll you (and anyone else they can) into agreeing the bag of sh*t they lug around actually smells like roses.

Sure, accept your own responsibilities. Just also be very aware of the psychic vampires surrounding you, too.

CoralLevang wrote on September 17, 2015, 1:06 PM

Of course, and that is where we buy into the shame and guilt of our youthful minds when we had no choice over the vampires' wiles. Maturity isn't easy, and it is certainly not easy to stand up to them. It can be downright scary.

CoralLevang wrote on September 17, 2015, 1:07 PM

Of course, we do. Experience and choice brings us to those views. It's not always easy to view life through a different lens.

MegL wrote on September 17, 2015, 1:16 PM

Yes, I so wish now that I could talk to my parents and grandparents. My mother never talked "family secrets" until nearly the end of her life. My grandmothers both would have talked but I did not get time to spend with them. I lived a long way from my mother for the last part of her life. I would have been glad to take her shopping had she lived close by - and she DID get the offer but would not move.

LoudMan wrote on September 17, 2015, 1:23 PM

And, I hope your!friend did choose to spend some time with his mom. I wasn't there for my mom, in the end.

Feisty56 wrote on September 17, 2015, 1:31 PM

This reminds me of a Zen thought that I am going to crucify by putting it into my own words: You don't need to look in new places, but instead look at what is already there through new eyes. It's not always easy to do, that's for sure. The older we are, the longer our thinking patterns have left their indelible marks. With effort, though, and the desire to do so, we can form new ideas and alter our perceptions. Why would anyone want to go to the trouble though? For me, it is as simple as believing that the happy person is happy because s/he values what is there rather than wishing for things that are not.

JohnRoberts wrote on September 17, 2015, 1:58 PM

I see nothing wrong with admitting he is bored. It's not a sin or uncommon. Even if driven by obligation or sense of guilt, the important thing is he does it when more and more young people these days will not. If he is constantly texting and on the cell while with mom that's another issue. And if he doing it solely to get a week's worth of groceries that's also another issue. But at the end of the day, he will look back and be glad he put in the time when she is gone.

Colibry21 wrote on September 17, 2015, 2:17 PM

We all make our own choices. This is choice. It is unfortunate that he is doing this, despite the fact that he doesn't want to. As much as there are times when my mom gets on my nerves, I do enjoy seeing her. And my kids enjoy seeing her too. I'd like to make the most of my time with her.

cmoneyspinner wrote on September 17, 2015, 2:30 PM

My kids are never bored with me. They have phones with games and pictures. :) Sometimes they let me look at the pictures. :)

wolfgirl569 wrote on September 17, 2015, 2:34 PM

I dont mind taking mine for the reason you mentioned. Someday I will not get to do that. It can get boring sometimes, but I just amuse myself somehow if nothing else by window shopping

Rufuszen wrote on September 17, 2015, 3:15 PM

We shouldn't feel obligated, but being human we don't appriciate these moments until too late.

CoralLevang wrote on September 18, 2015, 3:04 AM

Yes, I know this all-too-well, myself.

CoralLevang wrote on September 18, 2015, 3:05 AM

Feisty56 This is a lesson in life that many do not learn. I am glad to have started on this road. It's made my life richer, despite the struggles.

CoralLevang wrote on September 18, 2015, 3:19 AM

JohnRoberts Well, at 53, he was hardly "young," and this was the beginning stage of getting to know one another. So, I suppose some might consider me judgmental that I would not want to date him, because his first few email to me was about how bored he was; how his mother was a burden; and how he would "put up with ('the shit')" in order to have her pay for his groceries.
I am not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, nor do I expect others to be. I do expect them to be kind. I do appreciate that he did not pretend he was something that he wasn't and I was able to see him in an honest light.
Admitting he is bored is not a sin or uncommon, as you say. I, wouldn't use the word, "sin," myself. But I also heard a quote years ago that went something like this: "Only boring people ARE bored." Much different than interesting people who are bored with certain tasks. I cringe each time I hear someone say "I AM bored."

We all have to be aware of our own tendencies to do so...myself, included.

CoralLevang wrote on September 18, 2015, 3:21 AM

&AbbyG If you take me shopping, I will buy you 5# each of pinto beans and rice, and a case of TopRamen. I can afford that. emoticon :winking: Will that last you a week? *chuckles*

CoralLevang wrote on September 18, 2015, 3:23 AM

I am fortunate that I had some time toward my Mom's end-of-life. It wasn't easy, as ours was a very strained relationship for too many years. I'm glad that I was able to be there in the ways that I could, and despite her acrid comments, I kept reminding myself that it was my job simply to love her. It was a true lesson in learning how to love someone.

Paulie wrote on September 18, 2015, 3:27 AM

When I was younger, there were a lot of time when I felt bored and obligated to be with my mother. As I got older and during the last 20 years of my mom's life, I made it a point to be with her as much as I could because I loved her.

CoralLevang wrote on September 18, 2015, 3:29 AM

Colibry21 My mother and I had a strained relationship, and I rarely heard my mother tell me that she loved me. Toward the end, I think I realized that she truly did love me, but didn't understand me. She didn't know how to be open enough to me to do so. Because of that, she didn't know how to enjoy seeing me, or tell me that she did. Yet, in the end, I was the one who was able to make certain things happen for her than others did or would not. I think it was confusing to her, as she was rather gruff and said some awful things. Still, I was there. I didn't walk away. I am no saint, but so glad that I found my peaceful spaces, when I needed to call on them. I miss my mom a lot and would do much to have just another day or week with her.

CoralLevang wrote on September 18, 2015, 3:30 AM

Bored is not a word that people will use with me.... Annoying, perhaps. emoticon :winking:

CoralLevang wrote on September 18, 2015, 3:31 AM

I really miss my mom. A whole lot lately.

CoralLevang wrote on September 18, 2015, 3:32 AM

My heart goes out to you as you are in this transitional place. I fully understand.

CoralLevang wrote on September 18, 2015, 3:32 AM

Never truer words, Rufuszen .

CoralLevang wrote on September 18, 2015, 3:33 AM

wolfgirl569 You strike me as someone who will find her adventure in every day moments. I would enjoy "hanging out doing nothing" with you. :--)

CoralLevang wrote on September 18, 2015, 7:56 AM

*laughs* We would sure have some fun! emoticon :winking:

JohnRoberts wrote on September 18, 2015, 9:43 AM

A great example of making a broad generalization on my part without knowing specific information. Each case is different.

wolfgirl569 wrote on September 18, 2015, 9:44 AM

Anytime, I want to go to my grave looking like I lived, so not too careful what I do lol

cmoneyspinner wrote on September 18, 2015, 7:04 PM

Oh I'm not annoying. I have a “tone”. :)

cheri wrote on September 23, 2015, 2:03 AM

Time will come that he will regret that he felt that that kind of feeling

CoralLevang wrote on September 23, 2015, 2:14 AM

Perhaps. I do not think that all truly get that enlightenment in life.