How can Americans Complain about Being Bored 8 Hours per Day when they Have Kings Island?

I really treasure summertime, especially in Ohio where I live. The change of seasons gives a really nice perspective to the story of a year. The spring and summer time period for me is by far the best time and Memorial Day in our culture is the launch of the summer season, even though it doesn’t officially begin until later in June. But this year was a bit different, my wife and I had a rare window to go to Kings Island after a hard week of work Friday night and the stars had lined up just right to have a wonderful evening. I tend to be a very positive person, so many of the things I observed that night might seem trivial, but I’ll share them anyway for the benefit of contemplation. This year since we go to Kings Island a lot my wife and I had the drink and dinner plans so we could eat at the new Miami River Brewhouse which is the new sit down restaurant in Rivertown and not worry about the typically excessive expenses of amusement part food and watch the Reds play baseball on one of the many big screen televisions hung around the establishment. As we ate, the Reds had beaten the Cubs in a really good game. And through the windows we could see the world of an amusement part through every window which made me think of how the rest of the world lives, which is not nearly so blessed.

My first thought sitting there in that fabulous place, which was a redesign of what in previous years had been a Cincinnati Reds themed eatery, was that everything was so grand. The building itself had been there a while, but for this new Brewhouse Kings Island had completely overhauled the place so it was filled with nice big tables and large areas to move around. In the corner overlooking the lake that Diamond Back storms through on its return to the loading station was a big, magnificent bar themed a bit like what we might think of as a wild west saloon. And that was themed to the general look and feel of Rivertown which is my favorite part of the park. It always has been but lately the people at Kings Island who make strategic decisions for these kinds of things have really embraced the wild west like feeling of that part of the park and themed it off the old history of the Miami Valley itself. And that theming has carried over into their new and classic rides, like The Beast, Diamond Back, the Train and the latest addition Mystic Timbers. When I have a really stressful day, which I had all that previous week, Rivertown is my favorite place during the summer to blow off steam and put my mind in a good place.

For me what makes me most happy in life is time to think, which is something I don’t get as much as I’d like. And turning an environment around from a negative one to a very positive one like Kings Island provides is a very helpful exchange. As I’ve made clear I strive to have above the line places to go and the point of Kings Island is to give that to people. I couldn’t help but think again how grateful I am that I live in an area that has one of these big amusement parks. I think often of Orlando because it’s a very optimistic city now with all the Disney Parks, Universal Studios and the many, many offerings from Kissimmee, Florida all the way up International Drive until you arrive at the south part of the city of Orlando itself. But for thrill rides, Ohio has the best between Cedar Point and Kings Island which Ceder Fair Amusements owns both. Under their care over the last several years of their ownership Kings Island has improved quite a lot and sitting in that Brewhouse I couldn’t help but see that they were doing a better job of making Kings Island on par with a place like Universal Studios and Disney than like a big carnival playground as it has been considered over the years. And to have something like that near where I live is something I am very grateful of, even though I have been going there most of my life.

I heard an alarming statistic a few weeks ago from a survey which indicated that Americans were mired in boredom 131 days a year, or otherwise stated 60.48 hours per week, 36% of the time available over a 7 day period. That is a baffling concept for me because I can’t say that I am ever bored. It does get on my nerves waiting for people I may have to interact with sometimes who don’t use the clock of the day as effectively as I do. Most of the time that is like minutes of a day, but 60 hours a week, which comes out to 8.5 hours per day. That is just a reprehensible statistic, especially when entertainment options that are out there include places like Kings Island. Part of the definition for boredom was reports of no fun time as defined by the participants as having too many full-time adult responsibilities.

This is obviously a mistake, this approach to life where what people consider having too many childish things in their life means that they are immature where in fact the opposite is true. By classic definitions of adulthood, it is expected that people rise above the yearnings of childhood and that is part of the problem. It should be the other way around. Childhood isn’t the problem, the belief that it is inferior to adult responsibilities of service to others as the primary objective is. Speaking for myself which is why I’m sharing these thoughts, I can’t think of any time that I am bored. In my ideal day, which I had previously before going to the Brewhouse for some dinner and to watch the ballgame before riding the roller coasters at Kings Island I had spoken to people in five different countries, played a little Red Dead Redemption on Playstation 4, read a third of a book as my days usually start at 4:30 AM every day and attended several important meetings that were all aimed at making money which I consider all those things equally important. What is there to be bored about? My problem is that I’d love to have 48 hours per day instead of just 24. Even then, I don’t think it would be possible to do everything I want to do in a day. And out of all those things, I don’t recall an abandonment of fun. Sure, sometimes I may get mad at something and throw a chair or kick in a door but in a lot of ways I find that fun, not stressful. It is fun to engage in the passions of life. Getting mad at something isn’t necessarily bad. To me it is just another form of happiness because the anger comes from a zeal for accomplishment which is a creative enterprise. It certainly isn’t boring.

I am certainly grateful for Kings Island. I do still play a lot and I don’t see adulthood as an opportunity for boredom. Most of us spend our lives wishing away our time so that we can become adults and buy the things we want and go where we want. It is sad that most of us spend 8 hours a day bored. I don’t think people in America should ever be bored. Responsibilities shouldn’t be looked at as a hindrance to happiness especially if you learn to play along the way. And places like Kings Island certainly make it easy to do just that. There are places in the world who could only fantasize about having such a place in their city, even well-established countries with decent economies and culture. Kings Island as much as we might take it for granted in Cincinnati, Ohio is a real benefit to have and I certainly did enjoy my visit there over Memorial Day weekend. As I always do.

Rich Hoffman

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