The unvoiced thoughts and ideas of a septegenarian.


on February 19, 2012


The question is: Do we need variety in our lives to keep from going insane? Can we remain sane if we do the same thing, the same way, 365 days of the year? If we always have a glass of orange juice and a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and a chicken drumstick for dinner – endlessly.  Is the man who is content with that a man or a robot?

It must be possible even though I can’t quite see how.  Think of those in a cloister. How does one manage to spend about 50 years in mostly silence, studying scripture for six hours a day, praying for another two or three hours and eating only bland foods.   There are those, too, who develop an interest in a particular subject and study it endlessly. They never dip into any other subject, never develop another interest. How does someone like that avoid boredom?  Is he insane?

Perhaps the answer to the question rests on what we mean by insane. What I see as insane may not be the same as what you see. I don’t mean insane as in One Flew Over the Cookoo’s  Nest. My sense of what is insane is not confined to those who are out of touch with reality.  It includes those who are a few steps below that on the insanity ladder. Those who, for example, consistently make poor judgments, who behave in a manner far removed from the norm, who are only partially out of touch with reality. They are also those who have no variety in their lives.

There are times I feel a sense of  boredom enveloping me. It’s rather like I’ve been wrapped in a fog.  I may succumb  to that feeling and cop out for a day or two. Maybe I sleep a lot: maybe I bury myself in a book. The time soon comes when I must cast off that foggy blanket and search for something that interests me. Inasmuch as I am basically an insatiably curious creature that isn’t difficult. I need only remember something I’ve read, an experience I’ve had, a dream, a regret and a new interest pops up.

There is also the fun component.  Is it possible to have fun doing the same thing repeatedly and endlessly?  Isn’t experiencing fun and  enjoyment part of being sane. I know a man one might call straight-laced and boring yet that man will travel hundreds of miles to ride a roller coaster  I know other people who live by fixed agendas five days a week and plan some activity every weekend they think will be fun. The insanity of the five days is overridden by the joy of two days.

So – what’s your response to the question posed?


Julie Rose


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