As I was growing up anytime my siblings and I ever said "I'm bored" the expected response was "Only boring people get bored." This became a challenge- let's see how un-boring we can be!
Our tried and true method of entertainment was almost aways our imagination.
We didn't have a lot of toys or access to technology or after school activities so my siblings and I spent our time making up games, imagining we were different characters, and creating a whole world for them.
We were fortunate to have a lot of land to roam on and that land became our blank canvas of adventure; one day we were soldiers marching behind my older brother in the fields and the next day we were setting up house under a tree that seemed particularly cozy with an old teapot we took from the kitchen.
There was endless entertainment when we used our imagination and we got into the habit of never being bored. There were so many games to invent and things to do if we just used the magic of our brains.
When I was maybe four or five we got a new fridge. The exciting thing about getting a new fridge was the box it came in. It was enormous to us at the time. We had also collected a number of large wardrobe boxes and with this collection of boxes we were able to organize them in such a way that they resembled a small castle.
It was incredibly simple, but as a kid you use your imagination as a tool for filling in the blanks, for opening doors of possibility. For creating something magical out of nothing.
We climbed through the dark cardboard tunnels of our castle imagining we were princesses or wizards.
There were all kinds of narratives that developed just from this simple cardboard structure.
It stood in our living room for maybe a week and to this day it is still one of my favorite memories from my childhood.
Looking back the memory is particularly special because it didn't take anything at all to transform what would have been waste into a wonderland to occupy us for the entire week.
This was the most important lesson I learned as a child that still impacts me as an adult.
When you can use your imagination to shift your reality you become self sufficient.
You don't need much in life, you find ways through problems, generating solutions , you make your way through boredom or lack of material things.
All you need is a wide open imagination and the simplest things hold the key to any kind of magic you want.