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Feeling like a kid again


Joules
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So I'm empty-nesting and going through a really rough time...the empty-nesting isn't rough, all the other stuff just piled on at the wrong time (e.g. I didn't plan for the possibility that I might be the only one in the nest.)  I actually lost myself caring for others for so many years, particularly an elder with dementia and paranoia. 

 

So I'm getting treatment for PTSD, the myriad of autoimmune problems, and the resulting emotional issues.  I'm trying to find things that bring me joy...things that I really love, because I simply don't remember what I liked (vs what someone else thought I should like or what I pretended to like to get along.)

 

So far, I've started cycling (docs are concerned, but it's going OK) and an improv class.  I really love both of them, and I've realized that they have something in common: They make me feel like a kid again!  I was on a bike all the time as a kid.  I loved the feeling of the wind in my face and coasting down the hills, and it's cool to have that again.  Improv classes are awesome...like playgroup for grown-ups.  It's really just a bunch of games of make-believe.  I know for some people having kids brings that back, but somehow I always felt like I had to be "the parent" and never really relaxed like I do in class.

 

So to my question as I'm adding to my list of things to try: What makes you feel like a kid again?

 

 

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Hugs to you - I'm glad you've found some things that bring you joy!

 

For me, it is definitely riding horses. My life now, with my own little herd of 6 horses, is what I dreamed about as a kid. 

 

Cool!  I only did guided trail riding when I was a kid, but I did enjoy it. I love to hear of people who made some of their childhood dreams reality.

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hugs (esp. about the possibility of being the only one left) :grouphug:  I think taking an Improv class sounds so cool!!  What fun. 

 

 

But I don't want to be a Debbie Downer on your thread... So I look forward to what others have written and perhaps get some inspiration.  :lurk5:

 

Improv is incredibly cool.  As a shy child with only much older siblings, I was always looking for someone to play pretend with me.  Now they come willingly and pre-packaged on Sunday afternoons.  It's so much fun!

 

We all need inspiration to find joy in life.  It took a serious downturn in mine to push me to even come out of my hole and look.

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Swinging, as in rope/plank/tree.  (I think it's in the genes. My daughter loves swinging even more than I do.)

 

Getting a new love in your life.  Rescue dogs or cats are good for that, if a new human isn't an option.  ;-)

 

Learning something new.  (Insert a craft class that appeals here.)  There's nothing like the feeling of accomplishment and admiring your handiwork.

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Swinging, as in rope/plank/tree. (I think it's in the genes. My daughter loves swinging even more than I do.)

 

Getting a new love in your life. Rescue dogs or cats are good for that, if a new human isn't an option. ;-)

 

Learning something new. (Insert a craft class that appeals here.) There's nothing like the feeling of accomplishment and admiring your handiwork.

Oh yeah I love to swing. Someone is always whining it is their turn though...

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Swinging, as in rope/plank/tree.  (I think it's in the genes. My daughter loves swinging even more than I do.)

Oh my gosh!  I haven't done this in years.  I used to love it!

 

Getting a new love in your life.  Rescue dogs or cats are good for that, if a new human isn't an option.  ;-)

Way to turn a negative into a positive!!  If it turns out that way I may be in the market  :lol:   I'm not sure about the pets.  I have an elderly dog and am sort of done with my care-taking season. I may enjoy some freedom for a while first (not that I'm wishing her away...I hope she is with me quite a few more years!)

 

Learning something new.  (Insert a craft class that appeals here.)  There's nothing like the feeling of accomplishment and admiring your handiwork.

I'll have to look at parks and rec.  I've never been the crafty type.  The only thing I can think that appeals is the pottery wheel, probably because I loved playing in the mud as a kid.

 

 

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Hiking or skiing through a forest, enjoying the sounds and smells, always has an immediate, positive effect on me. 

 

Climbing something - a tree, a climbing wall, a big hill - makes me feel great.

 

Sitting by a fire and tending it makes me feel like a kid. I love watching the flames.

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I have to admit feeling a bit jealous of the bike riding.  I loved that as a kid and young adult, but now I'm older and have bad knees. 

 

I, too, lost myself in caring for others.  What gives me joy is dancing.  I have to be careful (knees again), but I can dance for half an hour most days. 

 

 

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Walking when the snow is falling slowly with big fluffy flakes.

 

Driving too fast on country roads with the windows down and the music blaring (not that actually I did that as a child...).

 

Pretty much anything (that isn't a chore) that I can relax and give my full attention to without feeling rushed to finish up in order to get to some chore or responsibility. I am halfway sure the reason childhood is so wondrous (or was so wondrous for a few decades, anyway) is that the child had time to actually live in the moment, experience all his or her senses, and not have a head filled with to do lists or upcoming cleaning drudgery, or external expectations.

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I run a belly dance troupe that is made up mostly of middle-aged women with a sprinkling of younger and older women at the edges. Working on technique and choreography together is just good active fun that involves our whole minds and bodies. It's very therapeutic to just focus on something fun that's not your everyday life. It sounds like you get that in improv. We do feel young . . . until the next morning :-/

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I have to admit feeling a bit jealous of the bike riding. I loved that as a kid and young adult, but now I'm older and have bad knees.

 

I, too, lost myself in caring for others. What gives me joy is dancing. I have to be careful (knees again), but I can dance for half an hour most days.

Cycling is an excellent, low impact way to strengthen knees. The most important aspect is having a proper fit--bike shops can fit your bike, or if you enjoy spin classes the instructors are trained to fit the bikes. Many runners and other high impact athletes take up cycling after their knees give out for that reason. I encourage you to look into it, if cycling excites you. :)

 

For a bit of inspiration, I just read an article about a woman who is 101 (!!) and still cycles 3 miles every day. And she took up racing the 100 meter dash when she was in her 80's!!!

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Walking on the beach. It's the one place all my thoughts and worries drift away, even more than the yoga studio.

 

My sister insists it's the negative ions. http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/negative-ions-create-positive-vibes#1

 

Popham Beach is my go to spot for the stress relief (and negative ions!) but it doesn't really make me feel like a kid.

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Cycling is an excellent, low impact way to strengthen knees. The most important aspect is having a proper fit--bike shops can fit your bike, or if you enjoy spin classes the instructors are trained to fit the bikes. Many runners and other high impact athletes take up cycling after their knees give out for that reason. I encourage you to look into it, if cycling excites you. :)

 

For a bit of inspiration, I just read an article about a woman who is 101 (!!) and still cycles 3 miles every day. And she took up racing the 100 meter dash when she was in her 80's!!!

This. My brother specifically got an exercise bike to do in-home therapy and strength rebuilding after his knee surgery in the winter.

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Thanks for the encouragement about knees and biking. Honestly, I can't see it ever working again. I can only peddle three times on each leg, and then I can't. At all. And I am in pain the rest of the day and really struggle with stairs.

:(

 

Can you talk with your doctor or PT about the possibility? I'm sorry if it isn't possible. :grouphug:

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Hiking or skiing through a forest, enjoying the sounds and smells, always has an immediate, positive effect on me. 

 

Climbing something - a tree, a climbing wall, a big hill - makes me feel great.

 

Sitting by a fire and tending it makes me feel like a kid. I love watching the flames.

 

I bike on our greenway that runs along a creek in sort of a wetland area.  I love the nature sounds and smells.  There are baby deer right now that I get to see off from the path!

 

I used to love climbing though I'm a bit heavy for that now.  

 

I love marshmallows over a fire!  Maybe I'll have more fires when the weather gets cooler.  My little firebug is off at college, so maybe I'll just make them for myself!

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Ice cream!

 

Exploring the woods.

 

Reading anything all afternoon.

 

Playing tag.

 

Ice cream!  Marshmallows!  Hmmm, there's a reason I'm a bit heavy.  The sweets part of childhood I didn't give up!

 

I do need to curl up with a good book.  I slowly switched to audiobooks so I could get work done while I listened.  It's always about the work!

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Thanks for the encouragement about knees and biking. Honestly, I can't see it ever working again. I can only peddle three times on each leg, and then I can't. At all. And I am in pain the rest of the day and really struggle with stairs.

 

I hope it will be possible for you :-(  You probably need to start with a PT stationary bike with zero resistance and have the PT make sure you are in the right mechanical position.  If you can tolerate that then you can build strength and add a little resistance.  And then work up to being able to carry your weight along.  If it helps, I never thought I could do it either, but with tiny baby steps, I'm making progress.

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I run a belly dance troupe that is made up mostly of middle-aged women with a sprinkling of younger and older women at the edges. Working on technique and choreography together is just good active fun that involves our whole minds and bodies. It's very therapeutic to just focus on something fun that's not your everyday life. It sounds like you get that in improv. We do feel young . . . until the next morning :-/

 

Fun!  Even with improv I can feel old.  I'm nearly twice the age of the other class members.  The other day we had to start with a movement and then our partner came up with a story line for us to follow through on.  I ran out of ideas and for some crazy reason decided that my movement would be jumping jacks...Ouch! for the next few days.    But for that moment, I completely forgot that I was an old lady and not supposed to be doing jumping jacks, I was just a kid again.

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Getting a massage and taking myself out for fro-yo afterwards.

Reading the next book in a good series.

A walk in the woods and seeing something wild...even banana slugs can be cool.

Beachcombing -- only a few places to safely do that here as we are a "don't turn your back on the waves" kinda place but I love it.

Learning a new recipe -- so cooking classes?

Giving something I've handmade (I crochet to TV) to someone who wasn't expecting it. I donate baby blankets to a pregnancy crisis center and scarves to Operation Christmas Child, so I often don't get to see the handoff.

Teaching something I love to people who enjoy learning.

 

I used to love tennis but trying to restart it @ 60....my feet hurt, a lot. Husband wants me to try pickleball but it sounds like a sport for old people (says the 60yo) and I'm not ready for that yet.

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Turning up my favorite music really loud and dancing around the house

campfires and marshmallows

being barefoot in soft grass

randomly going out somewhere late in the evening just because I want to (like for a drink or a dessert or Ihop)

 

great thread!

Randomly going somewhere late makes me feel young too!

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Bird watching. Even in my utterly built-up suburb there so many varieties of birds!

 

Yesterday I saw a peregrine falcon hunting among a large cloud of starlings and sparrows. The birds were flying just above my head, trying to avoid the falcon. It was incredible and completely unexpected. I mean, here I am taking a walk through a typical suburban street full of parked vehicles, power lines, and - peregrine falcon. I almost pinched myself. Of course it happened too fast for me to pull out my phone and take a photo.

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