For the second time in this half term holiday, we all went to see the animals at Wingham Wildlife Park. Nestled among the trees in the garden of England, Wingham has expanded a lot since we last visited in 2013. Not only have they re-built some of the enclosures, but they have also added new animals including soon to be Chimpanzees from the USA.
As we wandered around the enchanting and very warm butterfly house, I was struck with a realisation that I wasn’t worried about the animals or the smells. I am a very accomplished worrier, especially where germs and dirt are concerned, but I had none of the feelings I would have expected.
Normally, I would be evaluating every environment and scrutinising the surfaces for dirt and potential pathogens. But this time, I was able to wander around, and look at everything without any of those intrusive thoughts. I still had to do the regular hand washing, which was helped by conveniently placed sinks and hand gel dispensers, but apart from that, there were no bad feelings.
Even when we went into the lemur enclosure and they started to climb on everyone, I wasn’t phased. Normally they would have been able to smell the fear on me like a tiger does with it’s prey. Then, because of the parks no touch policy, I would have had to stand there as they dabbed their muddy digits all over me.
I am going to count this a a small victory, even though some might say that no caffeine and my medication may have played a part. Nevertheless, I am chalking this up as a win for me versus anxiety!