My boyfriend and I spent a couple of weeks in Sydney chilling out with friends, hanging out with a tiny sausage dog, and catching up on work and new creative projects. And now we’re in New Zealand, in a quaint village amongst the mountains, staying with Anthony’s cousins and their three children who are absolutely adorable. (This time last month I was so not having kids, LIKE EVER, after this awful experience. But I have to admit, these little gems melt my heart.)
That’s what I’m talking about today actually: kids, and all they can teach us. (Cos’ there’s A LOT.)
Kids turn a beach walk into a ‘race you to the tree’, a visit to the park into a ‘see who can get the highest on the swings competition’, they turn your standard scrambled eggs into ‘thebestscrambledeggsinthewholewideworldever’ and make you feel like a rockstar when you whip out the oldest card trick in the book.
They’re pretty impressed with life, really. And I think we could learn a lot from that.
Everything is a game to a child, and why shouldn’t it be? Who decided that when we ‘grew up’ we had to be so serious? That we had to stop making up crazy stories and rolling around in the mud? That we had to trudge grumpily through the rain instead of splashing in the puddles? That we had to stop taking each moment as it comes and plan our routine days in advance instead?
Okay, so kids don’t have commitments. They have people looking out for them, they have their parents deciding on their plans in advance, and they aren’t locked in by responsibilities (the things that tend to do the sapping at our fun free spirits.)
But what we do have in common with kids is that they are a reflection of the person we all used to be. In fact, we still are that person. We’ve just squished that energy down a little (or a lot) to make room for some of the serious grown-up stuff that we gotta deal with.
Though, there’s no reason we couldn’t bring our 7 year old selves back out to play from time to time…
So, here are 3 simple ways to bring the 7 year old you back out to play:
Say hello to everyone you meet:
Kids say hi to everyone – the old lady at the park, the man in the sweet shop, the cows in the field (okay, that’s cows and not people, but you get the gist.) Whereas as adults we tend not to acknowledge the people around us, if we can help it – unless we accidentally catch their eye and feel like we absolutely have to give them a tiny nod or eyebrow raise.
I’m not sure how it got this way, perhaps we’ve got our heads far too deep in our digital world to notice whose around in our real life world, but let’s take note from the kids who are lucky enough not to have reached that constant distracted state yet, and who greet everyone they see with enthusiasm.
Say hi to everyone you pass by this week, and notice just how good you, and they, feel about it too. You never know, it might even strike up this old school thing called a conversation.
Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care. (Or more specifically, dance.)
This week, the kids grooved out an awesome spontaneous performance of ‘the pyjama dance’ from Mickey Mouse’s clubhouse and it had the whole family in fits of giggles. Let’s bring that kind of fun back to adult us!
When I was 7, I remember my Dad lifting me up and swinging me around to his favourite rock songs, or letting me stand on his feet as he waltzed around the room, and it still makes me smile whenever I hear the songs all these years later.
These moments are the ones you remember, always. (So Dad – why did we ever stop dancing?)
When your jam comes on – in the car, in the living room, in the supermarket, at the dinner table – grab your boyfriend, or your girlfriends, or your Dad, and bust out the fancy pants dance you know you’ve got. (It’s just like riding a bike, it’ll all come flooding back.)
Let people know how you feel.
If you meet someone new, or even if you’ve known someone for years, and you think they’re pretty damn special, tell them.
We often have this way of ‘playing it cool’ when it comes to new people, the need to just hold back on letting out our real feelings for fear of others thinking we’re weird or a bit stalkery. (Hopefully that’s not just my excuse for actually being a bit weird and stalkery – I mean, you feel the same right? RIGHT?)
I made a gorgeous new friend earlier this year when I was living on the Sunshine Coast. Her company was energising, her kindness was heart-warming and we giggled with silliness from day one. (Melissa Vonhoff, I’m looking at you!) And from early on we’d tell each other, straight up: I love spending time with you, we need to hang out again soon!
And that’s how it should be with all friends old and new. But it doesn’t always come easy, no matter how long you’ve known someone, to tell them how great you think they are and just how much you’d like to see them. (Like, REALLY A LOT!)
Kids do this with ease though. You know for sure if they think you’re great, or if they think you’re not so great. Cos’ they’ll tell you.
In fact, the gorgeous children we’re staying with have told us at least twice a day, everyday, for the past week, how much they love having us here. And so we tell them we love it here too, everyday.
And although we’d be thinking it, we probably wouldn’t tell them twice a day every day if they hadn’t told us first, because for some reason that’s not the done thing for grown-ups to do, y’know.
Kids have no worries about laying their feelings out on the table: if they feel it or think it, they say it. And they make those around them feel warmed and welcomed without even intending to, just by sharing their feelings.
Tell it like a kid: if you’re thinking it or feeling it, share it with the people you love. It’ll fuzzy warm their insides.
And I know that cos’ I received THIS, and I’m feeling prettyyyyy fuzzy warm as a result.
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