Last year I wrote a post on living small and how I have become so aware of that little child within me who by default wants to live small and hide away quite a lot. Only fairly recently (isn’t this sad yet so awesome?!) I have learned two things – firstly, how to have fun and secondly, how to be spontaneous! And yes, they do go hand in hand. I always ran around busy, busy busy, wondering how people managed to find the time to have fun. I then had the realisation that the time does not come at some point – it is right now and that I just have to stop what I am doing right now, whether complete or not and grab the opportunity when it comes up. I didn’t even know the word for this. I was trying to explain it to someone and she provided the label – ‘spontaneous’. I had to try it out like a foreign word -spon-tain-i-ous- and hear how it sounded and feel how it fits me, but, yip, it’s definitely the right word!
This all came about one very hot evening while I was once again in my home office aka kitchen preparing school lunches for the following day and getting supper ready while my children were jumping on the trampoline and being sprayed by my husband as he watered the garden (the ever-present good girl part of me wants me to point out that this was during allocated watering times!). I was thinking how amazing it looked and then realised that I could be there too. The dinner could wait. The school lunch could wait. I ran outside, in my clothes and jumped on the trampoline – jumping with kids while I got soaking wet. I found myself looking at me and saying, “Yes, this is me… having fun! Feeling silly! And loving it!”
My children have rescued me from myself. I learned from an early age that to be safe I needed to be in control, be a good girl and generally take life seriously as life could really pull my legs out from under me at any minute if I did not. This belief has hung onto me like a locust – sticky, spiky legs and all. No matter how hard I try to shrug it off it just sticks. Then my kids came along. I have been forced to watch myself watching them playing and avoiding playing with them as I continue to find a million things that ‘need’ to be done. Why have I done this? Because that little girl who lives so small inside of me is terrified to have to feel again. If she puts herself out there she may have to remember what all those little girl feelings were like and that’s very scary.
This all came home in a big way when I spent a holiday in the Transkei at a place I have been spending Christmas holidays at since I was only just starting to figure out that when my Mom said Kerry she was actually talking to me! We were there when my daughter was 18 months old and this time she was 3 and a half years old and Tyler was one. I couldn’t remember 18 months but I can remember bits and pieces of 3.5 years (incidentally it was when my sister joined our crew). So when I saw Joss, rolling around on the beach, with sand in her ears, hair and inside her costume yet loving every minute of it (remember those days when we didn’t mind where the sand went?!) I was instantly transported back to being that age. It was powerful. I had really forgotten that part of me. And there she was making 3.5 years look like such a blast!
I used to be that little girl too and so I started to try it out for size. I made fairy castles and sand castles and got sandy all over! I did a lot of processing during the holiday and have been paying more attention to that little girl inside. I have continued the focus on living out there and living true, no matter if I have to feel some stuff that is difficult. I have tried this before… working through many layers and many hours of therapy… but somehow this is a whole new level. It’s more difficult when I am home and back in the swing of things but I am continuing to force myself to just stop whatever I am doing and have a little fun. Spontaneous is still a little foreign for me but it’s starting to feel like I language I really want to be fluent in……Thank goodness I have the little people to help me do that!