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Imagination keeps boredom at bay

In the classic movie “Anne of Green Gables,” Anne Shirley declared, “I simply could not live here if I hadn't any imagination.” It is uncanny how well I can relate to this sentiment.

It takes some imagination to keep from being stultified by boring, everyday events. No one likes to sit around in a sterilized dentist office for hours or wait in a car forever. Although the events that make up everyday life can be frightfully dull — full of waiting rooms and other imagination suppressants — I would suggest that people are only bored when they fail to realize that these tedious moments are little gems that can be used in whatever way their imaginations take flight.

Dentist appointments are at the top of my list when it comes to insipid predicaments. I have no idea how I would get through them without a helpful dose of mental inventiveness.

After sitting in the cleaning lady's slippery exam room chair for half an hour, getting a stiff piece of plastic shoved into my mouth, and being crushed by the weight of a radiation-resistant bib, it would seem to any onlooker that I am simply staring straight ahead, most likely thinking, “I am so tired of reading this poster advertising floss.”

But really, while the hygienist is running around the corner to the X-ray machine button and calling, “Hold it right there,” something entirely different could be unfolding than what meets the eye.

Staring at a floss ad may seem uninspiring, but I allow it to send my mind on an inventive journey. The girl on the ad, poised to thread floss through her pearly whites, makes me smile inwardly. This is because I most often thread this healthful tooth decay-fighting agent not through my teeth, but through a sewing needle in order to attach ribbons to the pointe shoes I wear in ballet rehearsal.

The versatility of floss then leads me to ponder alternate uses for the toothpaste and toothpicks that are bound to come in the goody bag I will receive when my appointment is through, sending my mind on another resourceful tangent.

Sometimes I feel less practical, so I exercise the fanciful section of my brain. Nothing is more fun than making up stories. I enjoy creating suspenseful plot lines filled with action and intrigue as I wait. My stories often feature characters with shady pasts and a healthful dose of loaded dialogue. I may be confined to a dentist chair, but that doesn't stop me from thinking up a killer ending to my newly imagined mystery plot (no pun intended).

What you choose to do with your moments of waiting is up to you, but this is my advice: Keep life exciting by using it imaginatively, and you'll never be bored again.

Sierra Mullins lives in Jacksonville.