A Time for Children

(Originally published in 2010 on my other website; www.secs.ie)

As we enter another period commonly known as the Festive Season, I thought it would be nice to re-publish the following blog. I believe this time of the year, and particularly in the current environment, we need to stop and take stock….Enjoy!

I recently overheard someone telling another person that while Christmas is a nice time of the year, it is really only a time for Children. I thought this was a very sad attitude.

I know that Christmas can be a very difficult time for us adult folks and that there are even people who (for one reason or another) simply do not like this time of year, and that’s fine. But what if we were to move away from the stress of Christmas for a while and become children again? Do you remember the relative simplicity of when you were a child compared to now as a stressed out, weight of the world on your shoulders, adult and/or parent?

Do you remember being wrapped up in a coat, hat, gloves and scarf, walking around town trying to take in the beauty of the lights, sounds and smells, looking at the Christmas displays in shop windows? Do you remember walking around toy stores as you tried to work out what to ask Santa for? Do you remember the aisles and aisles of toys like in an Aladdin’s cave?

Do you remember the excitement and awe as you experienced it all?

Do you remember the excitement of Christmas morning, unwrapping the presents with boxes and paper being thrown everywhere?

They were simpler times, weren’t they? As children we generally were not aware of the pressures, worries or concerns of our parents. We were oblivious to the problems in the world. In fact we created our own world through our toys.

I can remember taking model cars into the garden (not at winter!) and embarking on a magical journey as I ‘drove’ through the jungle of the lawn, stopping only to work out the best route through the ‘dense undergrowth’ or to fend off an attack by cowboys and soldiers. Hey, it was my world!!

Where did YOU go?

Many of you are familiar with the story of Peter Pan; the little boy who never grew up. Wouldn’t it be great to be like that? To go back to childhood and to forget the troubles of our world?

My big question for you is; What’s Stopping You???

We get so caught up in being straight laced adults and parents that we forget what it’s like to be the carefree child. We believe that we must always be sensible, we must face and deal with the current recession and uncertain environment. But do we have to be like that 24/7?

I say NO!!

We all need to take time out. We all need to access our inner child and ‘escape’, even for a little while each day. We need to escape our adult world and revert to a simpler time. But How?

Here’s a challenge for you (should you choose to accept it!).

Pay a visit to your local toy store and buy a toy, not for your children, your nephews, nieces, grandchildren or cousins. Buy one for YOURSELF. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Just buy yourself a small toy that you will enjoy.

As you walk around, notice the feelings of excitement and expectation building within yourself as you now browse the aisles and shelves for a toy for YOU. By the way, that funny feeling you are probably experiencing on your face, is called a smile. If you let it, it might even become a laugh. Enjoy it!!

When paying for your new toy, don’t make excuses at the check-out by telling the cashier that you are buying it for someone else. Remember a time when, as a child, you accompanied your parents on a similar journey and proudly told the cashier that you were buying the toy for yourself with your own money.

You might now be feeling a little giddy. You might be dressed in your business suit and be about to head back to the office for an important meeting, but for your lunch, you became a child and bought yourself a toy. Notice the difference in how you are feeling. You feel Alive! You feel Excited! You feel Happy!

You are returning to work in a much better frame of mind with your new purchase. You can’t wait to get home, open it and begin playing with your new toy.

Once you get home, set some time aside where you can spend time playing with your new toy. You may have bought a colouring book and some crayons/markers/paints. You may have bought a construction set like Lego or Meccano. You might have bought a doll or jewelry making kit. Whatever you have bought, set time aside, turn off the phone and become a child. Let your imagination go where it wants. Turn on some cartoons on TV and escape. Forget Work, Bills and Worries. For a little while at least, all of your worries belong to someone else.

Taking time out to nurture your inner child is refreshing, rewarding and super enjoyable. It will put a smile on your face that will be noticed by those around you.

Remember to treat yourself every now and then with a visit to your favourite toy shop and pick up another small treat. I am not talking about you spending hundreds of Pounds/Euro/Dollars on the latest electronic gizmo. The toy you select should be cheap and encourage you to use your imagination. Even buying a small model car and getting down on your hands and knees (or tummy) and ‘driving’ it around the ground of your living room will take you to a new world.

You will be surprised at how you will feel after this. Go on…Try it….I Dare Ya’…

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