The Silver Life - Online community and resource for active Silver Surfers

Online Community & Resource for Active Silver Surfers

The Silver Life

Online Community & Resource for Active Silver Surfers

I’m bored of boredom

Old Dogs And New Tricks
How our language changes!

“I’m bored of boredom” was a caption I noticed recently beneath a photograph of an elderly gentleman sitting alone.

Now that Covid-19 has been such a big part of our lives for just over a year, we have probably all experienced some degree of boredom as we have had to adjust our lifestyles to the rules of the day which, all too often, have meant that we have not been able to socialise with family and friends as we would like to have done.

Forgetting for the moment that some societies are not as tactile and outwardly demonstrative as our own, we have had to adapt in order to protect ourselves and others from this ghastly disease.

Very thankfully, I am still working and although face-to-face meetings were a no-no for about three months, they gradually returned and the first difference I noticed was that nobody shook hands any more. Having been born in the UK, I suppose I have been something of a chameleon as far as handshaking goes. When I was young hardly anyone shook hands but then we started to go to mainland Europe on holiday and – guess what – everyone wanted to shake hands or, even ‘worse’, to embrace.

Now, so many years later, I have had to relearn things once again and not to shake hands or embrace. Some people have resorted to elbow bumps, foot bumps and other habits that, to me, seem awkward and ungainly. I find I have adopted a courteous nod of the head while looking attentively at the person I am greeting and sometimes making some kind of accompanying hand gesture. I once knew an Iraqi man who would say hello or goodbye while placing his right hand over his heart. I though that a very pleasing display of sincerity.

I know, I know, I have digressed but I have done so to illustrate that we are all having to make all sorts of changes to deal with what is now socially sensible and acceptable in terms of stopping the spread of the virus.

Change probably gets more and more difficult as we get older but we can do it. Believe me, I am no spring chicken but even I can change – and I have in so many ways! It doesn’t hurt.

One change I am trying to make at the moment is to become more aware of others by doing things like smiling at them (admittedly, in city life I don’t always get a smile back), being courteous towards them and being more proactive towards them in the social sense. Rather than ignoring, or tut-tutting, the elderly lady holding up the queue at the supermarket check-out, I’m trying to teach myself to tell her not to hurry and also to offer to help her. I tell you it works and, very surprisingly, it makes me feel better as well.

As far as feeling better goes, I strongly believe that showing respect to others benefits everyone. Showing respect to oneself is also a great morale booster. We all have limitations of different kinds whether financial or otherwise, I know, but why not clean up, put on smarter clothes and walk out to the shops with a positive step? Smile at the first ten people you see, hold the door open for others and pass the time of day with someone you have never seen before and may never see again. Try it, you’ll find the return on investment is enormous!

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About the Author: George Simpson

George is our Editor-in-Chief. He has been involved in many aspects of management and consultancy throughout his professional life. He is the embodiment of a typical "Silver Lifer" and continues to have significant meaning to those around him and society as a whole. Follow George on George is a founding member of The Silver Life.

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