Growing Back Down

Have you seen Mamma Mia? Silly question, who hasn’t? Do you remember the part when Tanya asks, “Whatever happened to our Donna? Life and soul of the party!?” 

A matter of fact Donna replies with “She grew up” to which Tanya says, “Well then, grow back down again!” .

Then along with half of the village they proceed to dance and sing to Dancing Queen (my favourite Abba song, might I add).

Losing our mum aged me in so many ways, which I have mentioned a lot in blog posts before. Mum would always call me a “party girl” which used to make me cringe, but I quite liked the colourful description. I liked that people thought I was colourful and energetic. 

After my mum passed away, I really struggled to feel my age, so that has been a focus of mine this year (minus the over the top dancing and feather boas, for the most part). In 2020 I chose to grow back down in the following ways:

  • Games – during the first lockdown this year, Evee and I revisited our Animal Crossing days. I did get bored of it quite quickly but the act of doing something that connected me to my younger self with no real intention was quite mindful. Now, Tetris on the other hand, is 100% my game. 
  • Music – Revisiting old music that I used to play as a teenager as well as the music Mum used to fill the house with (yes, lots of Abba). Unfortunately, with the pandemic it will be a long time before we can go to clubs again, so this year we have had to get creative by buying speakers with colourful lights.
  • Quitting my job!
  • Learning new things. Along with quitting my job, this year I finally realised what I would like to with my career. Finally I am on the right path working towards something that I align with. 
  • Self care – I do hark on quite a lot about self care but I am a real advocate for it. Taking time completely for you to paint your nails, go for a walk or run a bubblebath – what a treat. 
  • Watching childhood films – This December I have taken the time to watch so many cheesy Christmas films. They make my heart happy.
  • Crying – 2020 has seen a lot of tears from me. I cry at films, at music, when I’m happy, when I’m tired, when I’m frustrated, when I receive kind messages of support from the grief community, when I miss my mum. There was a long time that I was unable to cry at anything, now there’s no stopping me!
  • Being in the present – Time heals. I think with time and distance, the shock of losing my mum has worn off. Of course I still have my moments, but today grief doesn’t bind me to the past like it used to.
  • Perspective – I always try and see the brighter side of things these days, but again, I think that comes with time and distance. 

A couple of weeks ago it was my 26th birthday, and although we found ourselves in Tier 3, I felt happy and free dancing in the kitchen to Christmas songs. The same cannot be said for the day after our little Prosecco Party however…

It’s quite ironic to be writing about growing back down when I was alarmed to find my first grey hair this summer. After the initial shock and long conversations with myself I have decided that I don’t really mind ageing physically. Grey hair or no grey hair I’ve learnt a lot about growing back down mentally this year by focusing on feeling present, young and happy for which I am truly grateful. 

What about you, what makes you feel young? 

A gentle reminder that if you feel exhausted and aged by your grief, please know that it won’t be forever. 

Be kind to yourself x 

Katie 

14 thoughts on “Growing Back Down

  1. I really enjoyed your post about growing back down. Cultivating and loving that younger part of myself has and still is so important. It seems as though you have a lot of awareness and wisdom at 26!

  2. Your first grey hair! Haha that’s something. I’ve always had some grey hair since a teenager, just the odd bit that occasionally people would notice and point out in surprise lol. Then over the last several years there’s been a general peppering of some grey hairs, so for me grey hairs aren’t really a sign of ageing. Unless I notice them increasing a lot suddenly, which I have at times in the last few years during times of stress. Grey hair which is caused by stress can actually reverse, too, especially with meditation apparently. I actually like the texture that they add into darker hair— like wisdom highlights 😄.

  3. Great post, Katie! I think “growing back down” is a form of self-care we owe ourselves. My late husband had an extensive music collection and I go through it often, crying while playing his favorites, But, they’re happy tears as I remember all the good times and fun we had when we were “kids.” My love couldn’t dance his way out of a closet if the door was open, but that never stopped him from grabbing my hand and racing to the dance floor! 😀 😀

    Happy new year and continue to live out loud. 🙂

  4. A very insightful sharing. I discovered Interplay and Dance Church, both available via Zoom at this time, as a way to play as a mature age experienced human. I could tell how both of these supported that need to be free on a playground and interact with others who are like minded. Great post.

  5. I like the thought of growing back down. It’s too easy getting lost in the chaos of life. Funny how you mention revisiting old music. Recently I’ve been listening to music of my younger days as I means of stress relief. The nostalgia feels really good…. great post. I enjoyed reading it!

  6. Not strictly on topic but, Tetris! Such a wonderful game, and used to be my sister’s favourite when we were younger! One of the first mobile phones I ever bought had a Tetris game on it. You could exit out and the game would save automatically for next time. I ended up playing it for so long the score crept out onto the playing screen! One day I dropped the phone in water and it died, no more Tetris high score 😑

    Remembering good times, and making the effort to make more good memories in the present. I think that’s something that really helps me.

    Thank you for sharing. ❤

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