The Lessons I Learnt From Feeding A Giraffe

Facing Fear at the Safari Park

Today was the first time I have taken my 3 daughters out since nearly 4 months. Like the rest of the world, day trips, car journeys and social activity have been on hold for a long time.

I would count myself in that category of person who is desperate to get out and beyond excited that things are starting to return to normal – so I never saw this coming.

I was nervous, verging on scared.

· Nervous of booking tickets and making the commitment

· Nervous of driving for an hour.

· Nervous of going somewhere totally lovely and enjoyable.

· Feeling nervous and not even really sure why.

What on Earth was wrong with me ?????

Luckily I happened to make the commitment to my very bored children, who were beyond excited to go and see the animals at the Safari Park. Thank goodness for making the commitment, otherwise I would definitely have put this off until next week or the week after.

The day was awesome, and I am so glad I forced myself do it. The kids appreciated it more than they have ever appreciated a day out or a treat in their lives.

And I learnt such a valuable lesson – that nerves and fear, for me, came from not doing something for a long time. I feel absolutely ridiculous writing this article and admitting that I got nervous about going to the Safari Park with my children. However I also reflect on the fact I am human (well last time I checked) and I am sure I am not alone in getting nervous about something that before lockdown, I did without a second thought.

The good news is – the nerves past really quickly. Once we had arrived we had a lovely experience, the nerves were forgotten. A sprinkle of wonder at feeding a giraffe from my hand and a lot of joy watching my children do the same was amazing. And a very powerful lesson to me - next time I feel I might leave something until next week, I’m not going to feed that fear with the time and space it needs to grow. If I can’t face it straight away, that’s exactly the reason why I should tackle it right now.

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