We often hear from Child Psychologists that boredom is great for children. And I agree, it is. It encourages creativity, resourcefulness, originality, teamwork and experimentation. I have seen this with my own girls during this period of Easter holidays lockdown. I honestly believe they have got closer through this. My older very mature girl despite a bit of compulsory eye-rolling has clearly enjoyed being forced into the more babyish games of her younger, more imaginative sister as they ‘hunt’ the ghost around the garden in the dark with torches and create dens and pretend cafes. Equally my younger one has been inspired to do more careful artwork, to copy her sister in learning magic tricks, taking more time and attention over these projects than I would have imagined.
But the same benefits of boredom can be applied to adults. In the usual craziness of work, school runs, activities and kit bags I often crave the very thought of boredom.
And now, here we are. Okay, I’m not bored as such as I have work and the girls, however weekends are very different with no social arrangements and activities.
So we’re playing more games. I’m actually sitting down occasionally with a magazine – shock horror! We are catching up with old friends and family by Zoom. We are enjoying the garden. And I’m thinking about my work, planning, working out how I can evolve and keep what I offer fresh.
And to look at the other generation, my mum, over 70, on her own and in isolation, has bought a keyboard and is starting to teach herself to play. She’s also writing some blogs about the experiences of this lockdown. And she’s Zooming like nobody’s business like the rest of us.
How we use our boredom right now will be very much an individual thing. We can use it for something productive and creative or we can just relax and take the time we need to deal with the current situation.
So yes, boredom can be good. And if we are not a key worker on the front line right now we should be grateful that while they protect us, we only have boredom to contend with.
So what shall I do now…