by Nicole McArthur , DVM
When I was a kid, I never wanted to go outside.
Long before the days of the personal computers and Atari, I spent play time with my Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids. My mom still recounts the time I packed up my dolls for the family vacation to Hawaii: I preferred spending time in the hotel room with Barbie et. al over time on the beach. Until the hotel got a Pac Man game...
Perhaps it was growing up in smoggy Southern California in the 1970s that created my aversion to life outside. Perhaps it was my need to control everything, including the ambient climate, that kept me feeling safe indoors. It wasn't until well into adulthood that I discovered the beauty of fresh air, space, quiet. What was once a scary unknown is now where I find my center.
I recently visited family and my daughter spent the bulk of her days playing outside with her cousin. When they asked me if I wanted to help them build a teepee, my brain reverted back to my own childhood and said no. But I forced myself to put my phone down and walked outside. And I quickly became immersed in all of the giggles and joy that I had missed out on as a little girl.
And I wondered what took me so long...