Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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A Case of the Doldrums…

June 24, 2013

Doldrums – definition: a state of in activity or stagnation, as in a business or art.


Although the definition state,s in relation to a business or art, I heard this expression throughout my childhood, mostly in school. My parents and grandparents would not let my siblings or I ‘mooch’ about or use the words ‘I’m bored’ or ‘It’s boring”! There was either a suggestion of something we could do or we would ‘escape’ the suggested activity by suddenly finding something better to occupy ourselves.

The most difficult age is probably teenage, for the ‘I’m bored’ statement. The transition from childhood toys and make believe games to more adult pursuits is a challenge. Teens do not want to be perceived as childish but do not have the skills to find other outlets for entertaining themselves (in the most part). There are numerous playgrounds for smaller children but the lack of areas for teenagers is glaringly obvious. Without defined spaces and activities the teenagers become the brunt of adult derision. They are viewed as trouble makers, when all they really need is a dedicated space for activities.

In the English village I used to live in, I struggled to get the simplest requests approved because of this  misconception. Eventually we managed to get a half pipe for skate boarding placed and there was a field marked out for soccer and a tennis court. However, when we requested a flood light so the teens could use these facilities at night, it was refused. The use of the small pavilion was also refused – ‘they might cause damage’ – being sited as the reason. Not all teenagers are hooligans and most would appreciate and respect their own dedicated space. If they have something to do and are not in the doldrums there is less likelihood they will be troublesome.

To my way of thinking this is the age more effort should be put into.

Can you remember being in the doldrums? Did you use the phrase I’m bored?


  1. I don’t think I used the phrase really, but I was a big reader. My teenager does however use it, but try and give her a book and she’d rather be bored! It’s a funny age. The scientists have recently discovered that teenage brains are physiologically different to adult brains so a lot of their behaviour is understandable, even if annoying.


    • Yes I read up on teens. They also have trouble with spatiality which explains a lot of the driving incidences. My two have used the phrase occasionally but I soon put a stop to it.There was always something I could offer even if it was unpopular.


  2. That’s a great take on the teenage life. 🙂


    • It soon became apparent as my oldest hit teenage that more involvement in his life as opposed to less, made all the difference. I encouraged activities and welcomed his friends into my home so they had somewhere to go.
      It is almost as though teen years are ignored, which is the opposite of what is needed.


  3. I can’t remember that last time I said I was bored.

    Funny, I never realized just how fortunate I’ve been.


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