As I think about my past, my childhood, I can’t think of too many things that aren’t with me today. I’ve been fortunate to be able to carry with me into adulthood most of the things I enjoyed as a child. The Daily Post challenged me to write about something or someone I’ve lost. But as I think about it, I haven’t lost much.
Of course some things change over time. People move away. I move away. Loved ones pass away and neighborhoods change. These things you can’t get back. But I’ve learned that a secret to happiness is trying to preserve or ‘recreate’ the things from your past that you once enjoyed. Loved ones are irreplaceable. But games, hobbies, passions, etc. can be enjoyed as an adult just as much as they were back then. You just have to use your imagination and allow it to take a different form.
Games are a good example. When I was a kid I loved to play outdoor games. I was fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood that had many kids my age. We used to play flash light tag, hide and seek, and cops and robbers. Sometimes this involved bikes. But usually just a large backyard (like my parent’s) would do. The fun part of these games, for me, was hiding. I loved to be sneaky, to be covert, and find the best places to hide. Behind the bushes, under the boat. There was skill and stealth involved. What fun! Today I don’t play hide and seek anymore. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to play outdoor games. But the desire to be covert and sneaky hasn’t changed. It might be diminished a bit but it’s still thrilling. It’s interesting to see how things from our childhood take a different form as an adult. Computer games are a form of play that adults use to experience those old feelings. Shooter games involve hiding, sneaking around, and finding people. Simulation games allow to to ‘stack blocks’ and build cities and theme parks. It’s a similar concept. While you can go overboard with computer games and play them too much, they do help us recreate some of those childhood experiences.
Something else that’s taken a different form over the years is my love of the outdoors. When I was a kid my family took trips every summer to our cabin in Canada. This place was a real outdoor adventure. There was boating, skiing, fishing, swimming, forts, wood carving, trails, rocks, woods. . . an endless amount of things for a ten year old to do. We went there every summer and at times sometimes I just wanted to go to Disney World. But I’m glad my parents chose that place for our vacations. It gave me opportunities to things I couldn’t do in the city. And to this day I still really enjoy the outdoors. I love pheasant hunting in the Fall, and deer hunting with my dad. I love just sitting in the woods. If you’re still enough you can actually ‘hear’ the silence. My love of the outdoors was planted in me when I was a kid and it’s something I continue to enjoy today.
I think it’s worthwhile to think about the things from our childhood, the games we used to play, and see how they’re still very much alive this many years later. It’s okay to relive them a little. Chances are they’re still alive and well, just in another form.