Dd is 10.5, and has always been hs'ed. In the HS realm, I'd say we're relaxed HS'ers. Dd has always been the type of child who needed more attention from me - or anyone for that matter - and has never been a great self-entertainer. However, I always held out hope that by giving her lots of free time, she would eventually find her way and develop some interests that she could pursue on her own and be passionate about (or at the very least, interested enough to pursue). Well, this does not seem to be happening. Mostly when she has free time, by herself, she wanders aimless around the house, playing with the cats, maybe flipping through books laying around but not really reading them, coming into my home office (I work from home PT) and looking over my shoulder and doing, well, nothing! Generally, there is plenty going on - the kids are playing with the neighbors, visiting friends, and going out and about to do all sorts of things. We lead a pretty active life, so she's not lacking in that department at all. It just seems that she's incapable of thinking of things to do by herself. With friends though, no problem! They think of all sorts of creative things to do.
Reassure me that this aimless meandering is okay, please! I have tried to be so patient and let her meander, but sometimes it drives me crazy!
Sounds pretty typical to me. She might need more chores to do to help out, or getting started on projects of some sort, a new crafting skill or something. But for some people aimless time is kind of needed.
How much free time does she have?
Boredom is a doorway... something that after you endure it long enough, inspiration hits. If she is only having 30 minutes to an hour of free time, it will probably take a longer period of time before she finds her way to that inspired activity, and it makes total sense that she'd be petting the cat and wandering and staring over your shoulder. Purposeful, interesting self-initiated activity takes a while to incubate.
However, if she has 3-4 hours of free time, and spends all that time wandering aimlessly, I'd probably look more closely at what is happening. Does she have a lot of materials on hand and many activities to choose from? Arts and crafts, science kits, stuff like that, with new things available every couple of weeks.
If you put magnatiles out on a table or playmobil scenarios or playdoh most kids will find it hard to resist meandering over there and doing something at least for a little while (even at age 10). If she is unable to look at a blank slate and find something to make of it, then you might have to put some stuff on that slate that is in her view (I don't know why but making suggestions "why don't you do x?" doesn't seem to work all that well, seems like some children have to see it laid out).