When did you last check up on your inner child? Are they ok?

Everywhere you look these days someone or something is encouraging you to look after your wellbeing whether that be mental or physical.

No one is challenging or questioning the fact that the last year or so has been hard. We’ve been forced into living under “lockdown” restrictions that none of us had ever experienced or thought they would experience. We’ve been isolated from our families and friends. We’ve seen our favourite pastimes forcibly removed from our lives and it’s no doubt taken its toll on many.

Personally, I feel we’ll be living with the echoes of the Covid 19 Pandemic in our lives for a long time yet as the world gradually tries to regain and sustain some level of “normality.” For many, who have suffered loss or trauma, life may never feel the same as before. 2020 will be etched into history as the year that stopped the world.

In all this melee, there’s one part of our psyche that perhaps been forgotten.

When did you last check up on your inner child? Are they ok?

It only hit me the other day that I’d been neglecting my own… and I feel more than a little guilty about it. She’ll think that I’ve abandoned her for the “grown up world”!

There’s an inner child lurking in all of us.

The thought struck me last Friday morning during my early morning run (at a snail’s pace). My route takes me past a small, neglected playpark and, as I looked over at the two swings hanging still, a thought crossed my mind. When did I last play on the swings?

Yes, I know I’m a fifty-year-old woman before any of you say anything.

As I headed for home, I thought back. I’ve always loved playing on a swing. Trying to swing high enough to reach the sky. I remembered loving going round the corner to play in a childhood friend’s garden because she had a swing. I remembered playing on the swings in various parks that my mum took me to when I was wee. Who else remembers worrying about falling through the hole in the middle of swings made from old tyres? I remembered loving slipping out to play on the swing set behind a house we stayed in for a week while we were on holiday in the USA when I was ten. I loved that swing as it was set in among some pine trees and underneath it was a bed of dried pine needles. It was a shady haven from the scorching sun of the summer heatwave of 1980. I remember another old rickety swing at house we stayed at for long weekends in Kilchattan Bay, Bute. I spent hours on that swing…well there really wasn’t much else to do. Years later, I remember taking my own kids to the park to play on the swings. Many times, I’ve sat on the swings that I ran past with my teenage Baby Girl when she felt troubled or anxious. Sitting there together helped to calm her down when teenage life got tough. I guess subconsciously I was showing her how to stay connected to her inner child.

And the last time I played on the swings? Last year, around this time, during the first lockdown. Boy Child and I went exploring the hills and woodland near where we live and found ourselves at the back of the local caravan park. We stumbled across their playpark by chance, and he rolled his eyes as I made a beeline for the swings.

My inner child is an important part of me, and I now realise I need to reconnect with her. Life has become too serious of late. Maybe its time to build some time into the day/week to play and be silly and to enjoy some innocent childhood pastimes.

I guess what I’m saying is that you’re never too old to reconnect with that inner child. So, jump in puddles, build sandcastles on the beach, skim stones, colour in or draw or simply play on the swings.

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