Rediscovering Childhood Joys: Embracing Nostalgia as Midlife Women


Pam Drzewiecki


As midlife women, many of us proudly wear the badge of being part of the latchkey generation—a generation known for its resilience, independence, and ability to thrive among the challenges of growing up in a fast-paced world. We were the kids who walked home from school with a key dangling from our backpacks, letting ourselves into empty houses where we learned to fend for ourselves until our parents returned from work. It was a time when self-reliance wasn’t just a virtue but a necessity, and those afternoons spent alone shaped us in ways we may not fully realize.

Think back to those afternoons spent in the company of our own thoughts, where creativity blossomed and imagination ran wild. We turned empty cardboard boxes into makeshift forts, transforming our living rooms into enchanted castles or secret hideouts. We created elaborate obstacle courses in the backyard, challenging ourselves to feats of agility and daring. And when boredom struck, we raided the pantry for snacks and settled in with our favorite books or cartoons, losing ourselves in worlds far removed from our own. “Saturday mornings watching Conjuction, Conjunction What’s Your Function”.

But it wasn’t just about entertaining ourselves—it was about forging connections with others, too. We gathered with friends on front porches or in makeshift clubhouses, trading stories, and secrets until the streetlights flickered on and it was time to head home. We formed strong bonds that have been in place for most of our lives. They have stood the test of time and continue to sustain us as we navigate midlife.

So, as we reflect on those cherished memories from our latchkey days, let’s celebrate the resilience and independence they instilled in us and recognize the invaluable lessons they continue to impart. Whether it’s the importance of self-reliance, the power of imagination, or the strength of friendships forged in the crucible of childhood, these memories serve as reminders of the resilience and resourcefulness that define us as midlife women. And as we incorporate these lessons into our lives today, let’s do so with a sense of pride and gratitude for the journey that has brought us to where we are now.

As we look back some memories bubble up that we can incorporate into our lives today and find some joy in our past.

Playing Outdoors Until Dusk

Do you remember the days when the streetlights coming on was the signal that it was time to head home? For many of us, childhood was synonymous with endless hours of outdoor play, exploring the neighborhood with friends until the sun dipped below the horizon. The freedom and exhilaration of those moments are etched in our memories, reminding us of a simpler time when joy was found in the simplest of activities. Having the ability to learn self-reliance.

Bringing these cherished elements into our lives during midlife:

Reconnecting with nature and embracing outdoor activities can bring back the sense of freedom and joy we experienced as children. Consider taking regular walks in the park, going hiking on weekends, or even starting a garden in your backyard. What would it look like if you started jump roping again? Engaging in outdoor activities not only nurtures our physical well-being but also rejuvenates our spirits, allowing us to recapture the carefree essence of childhood.

Creative Play and Imagination

Who didn’t love building forts out of blankets, staging elaborate tea parties for stuffed animals, coloring, or embarking on imaginary adventures to far-off lands? Childhood was a time when our imaginations knew no bounds, and every corner of our homes became a canvas for creativity. Whether it was playing dress-up, crafting masterpieces out of cardboard and glue, or inventing fantastical worlds, we reveled in the magic of make-believe. There were no boundaries of our creativity. 

Bringing these cherished elements into our lives during midlife:

Reignite your creativity by indulging in artistic pursuits that unleash your imagination. Try your hand at painting, drawing, writing, or crafting—whatever speaks to your soul. Joining a creative workshop or attending art classes can also provide opportunities to explore new mediums and connect with like-minded individuals. By tapping into our innate creativity, we not only honor our inner child but also cultivate a sense of fulfillment and self-expression.

Bonding Over Simple Pleasures

Some of the fondest memories from childhood revolve around the simple pleasures shared with family and friends. Whether it was gathering around the dinner table for a home-cooked meal, snuggling up with loved ones for bedtime stories, or laughing until our sides hurt during game nights, these moments of connection were the heartbeat of our childhoods. The bonds forged during these times of shared joy and laughter continue to shape our relationships and nourish our souls.

Bringing these cherished elements into our lives during midlife:

Prioritize quality time with loved ones by creating opportunities for shared experiences and meaningful conversations. Plan regular family dinners, movie nights, or game evenings where everyone can unwind and connect. Additionally, consider starting new traditions or revisiting old ones from your childhood, such as baking cookies together or taking annual camping trips. By fostering strong connections with those we hold dear, we not only nurture our relationships but also cultivate a sense of belonging and contentment. Find communities and activities that cherish what is important to you. 

As midlife women, we carry within us the memories of our childhood—the laughter, the adventures, the bonds forged with loved ones. Even if there were times that were dark and difficult, was there one thing you could hold on to? By embracing these cherished moments and incorporating them into our lives today, we honor the essence of who we are and the values that have shaped us. Whether it’s rediscovering the joys of outdoor play, nurturing our creativity, or fostering meaningful connections, let us embrace the spirit of our childhood selves and infuse our lives with the magic of nostalgia. After all, age may change our circumstances, but it can never dim the sparkle of our inner child.

Hi, I am Pam Drzwiecki. I am a business and life coach, strategic planner, and community builder who helps women live their best lives and thrive. 

Jump on my calendar and let’s have a virtual coffee to connect. I would love to hear all about a cherished memory of your childhood. 

Take the first step and sign up for new pathways of gratitude, positive thoughts and transformation delivered to your email.