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Getting outside can offer a natural respite from the relentless stimulation of everyday life

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News Tech: I was probably around 8 or 9 years old, but I remember the moment I realized I was good at ‘boredom’. That’s how I thought at the time.  My father’s waiting room was hushed, and there was a constant low rumble of a brawler at the foot of the closed office door. Sometimes I sat quietly in the waiting room with someone waiting for an appointment at that hour. It was difficult. I especially remember an older man who seemed restless and kept shifting seats across from me. I was relieved when my father came out and greeted him, and we both left for a 50-minute therapy session.

I’ve found I’m pretty good at being bored during a long day when I’ve settled into a kind of meditative, all-sensory, taking in of my surroundings. There was literally nothing to do there – I had already read and reread magazines and studied posters for hours. I don’t know why I didn’t have the book with me, but at least I didn’t have it that day.

The small waiting room had no windows, an industrial brown office painted cream with his carpet. An old rectangular metal radio was set to classical music. The walls were lined with prints, Building-a-Rainbow posters, and piles of well-worn highlight magazines.

So I just sat there and let my mind wander.   I think I was probably stuck in my dad’s office for a long time because of the logistics between my mom and dad. Dad may take me home. At that time, my chronic asthma was worsening, so I often missed school. It wasn’t a coincidence or because I hated school. But it also felt like a superpower. I thought I had learned to be very, very quiet. Time and space stop here. Oddly enough, I didn’t feel restricted. There was a certain comfort just sitting with myself and my thoughts in the neutral boundaries of the waiting room.

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