Tired... or bored?

Friday, June 04, 2010

I've found that by watching my kids, I learn alot about myself. Today is a perfect example. When I got home from work today, I decided to take the kids on a walk. Since I live in a small town and there aren't too many destinations we walked to the local gas station/everything store. It's not that far, maybe 3/4 mile.

Well, when we were still at the house, they were excited about the walk... Jumping, screaming, running, knocking eachother over. Then we started walking. We got about 2 blocks before they slowed down. Another 2 blocks and they started with "Mommy, pick me up." Then we get to the parking lot and my daughter says in a whiny 4-year-old voice "I can't walk anymore. I'm too tired." Now, I know this isn't true. She runs through the park for hours at a time, she's not too tired to walk another 200ft. So I tell her to keep walking and we get into the store.

And suddenly neither of the kids are tired. They want candy. They want soda. They want to climb up on the counter, try to lock each other in the freezers, dump the cooler by the counter because the sodas are trapped in the ice.... and now suddenly I'm tired. So we get our bottles of water and apple juice and head back home.

They run out the door. They race each other through the parking lot. We cross the street. Then out bursts the first "I'm tired," not even 1 block from the store. Uggh! Somehow we make it another block without me losing patience. There we find a pile of gravel, about 3ft high. Once again, they forget about being tired. They race to the top of the gravel and cry when they can't figure out how to get down again. I get them back on the ground and we start walking again. Do I really have to type what they said? Do I really???

Well, we finally get home, 5 blocks and 30 minutes later. They whined about how tired they were the rest of the way, but we made it. We step into the front yard. My son runs over to the swingset. My daughter runs over to her bike. I tell them it's time to go inside and start dinner.
They say, "But we wanna play."
I say "I thought you were so tired you couldn't take another step..."
Their answer: "I'm not tired. I wanna play."

After I got over being annoyed, I started thinking. Maybe the kids are confusing tired with bored. They weren't tired of walking, they were bored with walking.

After some more thinking, I realized they aren't the only ones who say tired when they mean bored. I do it to. For example, I started thinking I was tired about 5 minutes into a 35 minute cardio routine yesterday. I completed all 35 minutes, but only because I had to. It wasn't my best effort. I could have pushed myself harder. But I didn't, because I was tired... or should I say bored. And that happens about half the time.

So now I get to think about how much more I could have accomplished during my workouts, if only I hadn't confused tired and bored. Don't get me wrong, there are days that I'm just plain tired. But not always...
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