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7 Things Only People Who’ve Lived In A Small Town Can Relate To

7 Things Only People Who’ve Lived In A Small Town Can Relate To

When I enrolled in Spelman College in Atlanta for a pre-college summer program, I asked my roommate where she grew up. Her answer was Houston, Texas. I asked her what her parents did for a living and she said her dad was an astronaut. Imagine how I, a country girl from rural Alabama, felt. Since peanut and cotton farming were two of the biggest occupations in the region, I was shocked to room with a person whose dad was a Commander for NASA’s Hubble Space Mission.

Although the limitations of growing up in a small town (especially pre-Internet) are numerous, the benefits still abound. Nothing beats the quaint small-town life and the lasting memories that remind its residents of simpler times. Whether you grew up in a small town or are thinking of moving to one, you are in for a special treat. Join me on a nostalgic journey of small-town life as you read about these 7 things that only small-town people can relate to.

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1. You graduate high school with the same people who were in your kindergarten class.

Many of the schools in a small town feed into a single high school. If a town is small enough, the same cohort of students might start and finish elementary, middle, and high school together. This gives kids the opportunity to create strong bonds with other kids during every stage of their childhood development. Be prepared, however, for messy breakups, ever-changing friendships, and rampant small-town rumors. After all, you have to infuse excitement into the small-town way of life somehow!

2. You join the high school marching band when you’re in the 7th grade.

Resources are common concerns in small towns. Although the marching band is one example, you will find that students in small towns have opportunities to engage in many activities earlier than kids in larger cities. Are you missing a bass drummer for the high school band? Do you need a fourth member for the track team’s relay team? Recruit from the middle school. Kids in small towns grow up fast — not in a negative way, but because bodies are needed to execute activities. By graduation, students can be politicians, musicians, athletes, or public speakers, and all of these experiences will prepare them for almost everything.

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3. You lack accessibility to resources past 10 pm.

Small-town residents prepare themselves to do everything outside of their homes before 10 in the evening. Most local small-town businesses operate during 9-to-5 hours, so local residents have to know exactly what they need to accomplish during those hours. A bright aspect of this is that the one fast food restaurant and convenience store are always open for business to satisfy your late-night french fry and beef jerky cravings.

4. You can’t do anything wrong because people know your parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles — even your dog.

People in small towns learn to live squeaky clean lives because they know that any negative things they do will be the subject of conversation among all the local community groups. Engaging in bad behaviors extends beyond an alleged perpetrator, because the relatives of this person are affected immediately by the accusation. Small-town life teaches one how to be discreet, how to filter information, and how to develop a thick skin — since there is no way to escape the glaring eyes and opinions of members of the local community.

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5. You can take care of your professional business at local sporting events.

Small-town life centers around sporting events. The heart of many communities involves supporting local talent as students offer the best, cheapest, and sometimes the only entertainment that a small town has to offer. At a game, you can see your banker, your beautician, and the high school principal. Where else could you learn about current loan interest rates, receive updates about your child’s academic progress, and cheer for your favorite sports team?

6. You don’t worry about rush-hour traffic.

Leave work at 5 pm and you will be at home at 5:10 pm. You have time to exercise, prep dinner, and read a book before the local news come on. If you think that this quick small-town commute sounds boring, think again! The time that you save not driving will add much to your overall quality of life and to your relationships with friends and family.

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7. You don’t need the local newspaper to get the news.

Those of us who grew up in small towns know that before social media and the internet, small town criers provided people with current events and gossip before it became official. To this day, if someone in a small town dies overnight, the word is out via telephone or text before daybreak. Another small-town benefit is knowing the behind-the-scenes details about everything that is reported cryptically by the media. Anonymous small-town sources will always be the original TMZ.

In the end, although there are numerous benefits of big-city life and access to diverse resources, small-town life definitely has its perks.

Featured photo credit: Girl with Flowers/Alexander Shustov via images.unsplash.com

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

How to Overcome Boredom

How to Overcome Boredom

Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

What is Boredom?

We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

1. Get Focused

Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
  • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
  • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

2. Kill Procrastination

Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

Here are some ideas:

  • Do some exercise.
  • Read a book.
  • Learn something new.
  • Call a friend.
  • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
  • Do a spring cleaning.
  • Wash the car.
  • Renovate the house.
  • Re-arrange the furniture.
  • Write your shopping list.
  • Water the plants.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Sort out your mail & email.
  • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

3. Enjoy Boredom

If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

Reference

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