by Father Mark Goldasich
It’s truly exciting to see so many people who can’t wait to celebrate this national holiday. Tents are going up all over so folks can supplement their family picnics with lots of percussive noise and brilliant lights. It’s such a fitting way to mark July as National Anti-Boredom Month.
What, you thought I was talking about the Fourth of July? Really?
I’m amazed that so few are aware of this officially recognized anti-boredom month. It’s been going on since the late 1980s when it was introduced by journalist Alan Caruba. He felt that not only was there not much going on after the Fourth, but July is also the hotter part of summer break from school. So, it’s easy for boredom to flourish.
According to the website nationaldaycalendar.com, boredom doesn’t just mean there’s nothing to do. Many times, it notes, “we have plenty to do or are even doing it, but the task at hand does not stimulate our minds. . . . We can become irritable, tired or begin to not care about how well we do a task.”
The remedy is to find “creative and healthy” ways to relieve the boredom. July is the perfect time to get our “second wind” as we enter the second half of 2022. It’s a time to review New Year resolutions and either recommit to them or revise them. The normally hot and humid weather keeps us indoors and provides an opportunity to list the “good and bad” from these first six months of the year and ponder how we’d like the rest of 2022 to unfold. It’s a chance for a new start.
Some other ways to bring freshness to July can include:
• Make a pilgrimage. I’m planning a visit to Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Wichita to pray at the tomb of Servant of God Father Emil Kapaun.
• Try a different style of prayer.
• Attend a daily Mass.
• Gather unused items to donate to a charity.
• Volunteer at a food kitchen, your parish or a library’s summer reading program for kids.
• Write a letter to someone each week just to say hello.
• Visit a museum, art gallery or park.
• Read a spiritual book or The Leaven (cover to cover).
• Learn some new functions of a computer program. (Kids would be happy to help you!)
• Take up a hobby, like solving the crossword puzzle in The Leaven.
• Have a picnic and get some fresh air.
Each July, I reread this little story:
A woman was telling Alice, her new workplace friend, about how awful her former boss had been. Alice laughed and said, “So forget him. Why not just enjoy it here?”
She went on to say: “I’m reminded of the time I moved a few years ago. I was making enough money to hire a professional mover and when he asked what I wanted him to pack, I said, ‘Everything!’”
“So, when I got to my new place,” Alice continued, “I saw that he had taken me literally. Along with my furniture, he’d packed up all my trash bins. There I was in my beautiful new place with all of my old garbage — including old newspapers, empty ketchup bottles and grapefruit peels!” (Story found in William J. Bausch’s “A World of Stories for Preachers and Teachers.”)
Make this July a month to leave the boring, old garbage from the first part of 2022 behind and start these next six months as fresh as a daisy.