“Mum, I’m bored!” I cried out last Sunday. As you know, there isn’t much to do these days, and even the city I live in isn’t as much fun as it used to be; no, my excursions into town are limited to short visits to the local supermarket, when I need food, and the post office, when I need to pick up yet another that book has been delivered there. Some people still live their lives to the fullest. I don’t.
So that’s why I became desperate and cried out I was bored. I asked my parents if I could come over for an afternoon. It would also mean driving a whopping thirty kilometers to their place, which is, in itself, a very exciting trip indeed. Unfortunately, they had other things to do. My mum did suggest coming to my place on Tuesday (my day off) so we could have a nice long walk there. How did that sound?
It sounded great! Even though I would still be in the city I haven’t left for a good four weeks, it would still mean I’d be outside, and that we’d explore parts of the city I didn’t know really well. For two nights I could hardly sleep, because the mere prospect of a long walk was almost more than I could take. At about eleven this morning, my mother showed up. I knew exactly where I wanted to go.
“Come on, mum, let’s go on an adventure!”
I decided that we were going to visit this park, about three kilometers from where I live. It would be a nice trip, and we would act like it was the Hundred Acre Wood, where Winnie the Pooh lives. Actually, it is based on a real wood in England, but since there’s no way we’re going there anytime soon, I decided that my mother and I could play make-believe and pretend to be there, like I used to do when I was a child. (I was doing the make-believe, while my mum was smiling at me in a funny way and telling me that yes, of course it’s perfectly normal to bring a huge book with you when you go for a walk, and by all means, make sure to bring a massive backpack too, while you’re at it.)
The best part about being a child is that you can let your imagination run wild. As you grow older, there’s always that little voice inside of you that tells you that some things simply aren’t possible, that they aren’t real. When I was a young little bookworm girl, untroubled by such voices, I loved being the characters I read about in books. I really wanted to have my own Winnie the Pooh, I wanted to cuddle the Cheshire Cat, I wanted to be in as many adventures as Harry Potter, and I just knew that Matilda and I would be best friends – oh, how often I wished my own life wasn’t so very boring!
In a way, I embraced my inner child today. What actually happened was that my mother and I went for a short walk, and visited a park. But I managed to convince my ten-year-old self that we were really going on an adventure. We’d visit the Hundred Acre Wood! And it was snowing! And it really looked like Pooh could be hiding behind that tree! I immediately let go of all the frustration I’d been feeling about not being able to go to a pub anymore, or go to the cinema or library, or play volleyball with my friends. Today, that didn’t matter, for today was about finding Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, and Eeyore.
Even as I child, I didn’t really believe that I would actually meet my favourite book characters. Therefore, I wasn’t really sad that we didn’t find them today. What mattered was that I managed to get out of my head for a while and act like a normal person for a change, unbothered by things like stress, pandemics, and isolation. (That is, if you consider bringing books with you on a trip and acting like you’re a child normal, of course. I’ll just pretend you’re a kind audience, that you’ll understand me, and that you’ll smile at me in much the same way my mother did earlier today.)
So here’s some advice to those who are, like me, desperate for something, anything, to happen: go outside! Grab your favourite book, and pretend you’re in it! Act like you’re a child again! Play a game of make-believe!
Today I visited the Hundred Acre Wood. I wonder where my next adventure will take me…
What is your advice to deal with the strange times we’re living in? Which imaginary world would you visit, if you could? Please let me know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to follow me for more book musings!