When children get bored it often causes them to ask their parents to solve their little problem, which in turn makes parents impatient. “Find something to do!”, may be the cry of the exasperated parent. This raises two questions: 1) what is boredom and 2) what is to be done about it?

To begin, I have yet to find a good definition of boredom. But it does seem to possess two dimensions 1) the environment 2) personal motivation. Here are examples:

1)   A bored schoolchild in a classroom where an uninteresting subject is being taught on a hot day.

2)   An adult who can’t get motivated to start certain attractive activities.

There must be a complicated link at play between the environment and the desires of the individual. Either you are trapped in the eggshell of boredom or you crack through it and escape.

In retirement the issue of boredom can arise; and in small doses it should not create problems. In case it persists longer-term, you may want to consider your environment and your motivation, that is to say your meaning or purpose now that you have stopped working.

Possible remedies are 1) make small variations in your daily routine to see what interesting and unexpected outcomes might emerge 2) reflect on your life, in order to recall aspirations from the past that you may want to revive.

Boredom is no enemy, it may be the spark of creativity that motivates you to find purpose and meaning.

Retirement: You won’t know what it is like until you get there.