As a child I always thought that grown ups had their shit together and knew exactly where they were headed. Big decisions were just a series of stepping stones that would bring you to your soulmate/dream job/perfect house. Now that I’m a full fledged ‘grown up’ I have quickly discovered that my childhood idea was completely ludicrous and actually most of us are sort of playing along with whatever decisions we
pray hope think are the best ones for our future. In reality a lot of us, including myself, are in a constant state of doubt, not certain of anything but trying our hardest to keep on.
Of course being a grown up can be a really tough job. We have to pay bills, keep our cars clean and pretend we know how to do pivot tables. All this serious stuff can create such a weight on our shoulders that it’s hard to remember those carefree days as a kid when the biggest disaster was the day the ice-cream van missed your street. The thing is is that we can still tap in to those wee moments of simple joy we had back then. We still enjoy the same things (I will forever love a swing) it’s just that we don’t allow ourselves to unwind from this stiff adult mentality for fear that we’ll either look insane or we might fall in to a heap of despair.
How about, instead of walking alongside that low-rise wall, you actually get up and walk along it like you know you want to? In any way you can you should encourage those innocent moments in the day that make you happy despite how silly they may seem. When we allow ourselves to just relax and be the same person we were when we were younger it can bring a real sense of contentment that can be dissipated by everyday adult life.
Now that we’re coming in to better(ish) weather it makes it that little bit easier to let our inner child run free. The summer was the peak season as a child after all! I can still remember lying in bed on a summer night with the sunlight still shining through the curtains and the smell of outside still on my skin. That excitement doesn’t leave us as when we get older if we don’t want it to and I’ve thought of a few ways to help you embrace that inner child of yours on the days when you feel like adulting is too damn hard.
Surround Yourself With Other Kids
If you’re a parent you might roll your eyes at this one but really you have the best tools to encourage the silliness every day. When I’m around Andrew’s niece and nephew or my friend’s children I get a snapshot in to a mindset I yearn to have again. Children believe in magic and that’s infectious – looking for fairies amongst the trees makes a woodland walk that little bit more entertaining.
Take Your Shoes Off
Run through the grass. Kick sand around the beach. Bounce on the trampoline. Throwing our shoes off to run around can take us straight back to the days when shoes were an infringement on fun. They still are.
Being an adult means keeping a tidy home but sometimes fun means mess. How about doing a bit of painting even if you’re terrible at it? Or crafting something you’ve been wanting to for ages? Buy PVA glue and remind yourself of the days of Art Attack and Blue Peter.
Play Loud Music
And dance round the house. Play songs from your childhood (my personal favourite is ‘Sunscreen’ by Baz Luhrmann but it’s not a real dance-y song) that will propel you to a memory you hadn’t thought of in forever.
Use Your Imagination
As we get older we rely less and less on imagination when actually it can be a real asset as an adult. Technology has made us lazy and we can turn to Google for just about every answer. How about creating a jar of fun ideas for the weekends? Every member of the house can take a turn in picking out an idea (and the phones could even be left at home if that’s even remotely possible).
Build a Fort
There is nothing better than spending a rainy afternoon watching movies in a fort. With lots of blankets. And marshmallows.
Plan a Treasure Hunt
I used to love treasure hunts as a kid and would love to plan an adult version with all of my friends. When we are all gathered together for a game night it’s like a playground anyway so I can only imagine what a treasure hunt would be like!
OK so I understand if you don’t want to do this in public but if you’re able to get a moment to yourself with no one around then DO IT. It will definitely make you smile.
Bring Out Old Photos
Remind yourself of the fun you used to have and rediscover the happiest moments you had as a nipper.
Play a Childhood Game
Kerbsie, Tip the Can, Hide & Seek, Red Rover. How many games did we have as children? Growing up on an estate surrounded by loads of other kids was a real blessing because there was always a game to play. Your mates might think you’re a lunatic to start with but no one can say no to a game of kerbsie.
Wishing you bunch of kids a lovely weekend – here’s to letting our inner children run free!