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?