When I was younger, I looked forward to Saturday mornings all week. I had time off from school, a leisurely breakfast with my parents — and lots and lots of cartoons. Now, Saturdays are a lot like any other day with responsibilities and worries. Every once in awhile, though, I make time to fire up my laptop and watch some of those classic cartoons with a bowl of my favorite kids’ cereal by my side.
It’s amazing how years later they not only take me back to those fond memories but also still resonate with me and the pressures I face as an adult. We can all learn something from these characters, as well as taking some time away from emails, texts and social media to have some good, old-fashioned fun.
- Doug — No matter how old I get, I will always relate to Doug. He had to deal with bullies, friends and a crush. He wasn’t the cool kid and often had anxiety about life, a side of childhood not many cartoons covered. Doug was always trying to do the best he could, and that’s something we can all relate to.
- Recess — As a writer and baker, I use my imagination all the time, and I like to think some of that is due to all those episodes of Recess. This group of friends — misfits really — used their imaginations to find an outlet from the real world. They didn’t conform to normalcy just because they should, and that’s a lesson I hold dear to this day.
- Garfield and Friends — Okay, so maybe there aren’t a lot of actual lessons to be learned from the food-and-sleep-obsessed tabby with an attitude, but Garfield is always fun to watch. As an adult, I appreciate many of the jokes that went over my head as a kid, giving the show new life for me.
- The Jetsons — I still want to live in The Jetsons’ world, just like I did 15 years ago. I find it equally amazing that our world isn’t a little more like it — perhaps that’s just my Recess-watching imagination talking. The Jetsons continues to give me a future to dream about. I could definitely use Rosie, the robot maid, to help me through life!
- Pepper Ann — I’ve made a lot of mistakes in life, but not many of them live up to the ones Pepper Ann made. When I feel bad about something I’ve done and can’t stop reliving it over and over in my mind, I let Pepper Ann show me that it could be worse. She took everything in stride — since most things aren’t truly worth worrying about.
- Sabrina: The Animated Series — I’m not the only one who still wants to be Sabrina, right? I still happily watch her try to navigate her normal world with a little magic, whether it’s the cartoon, live action series or the movies. I’ll read the books too! Now, if only I could wave my finger and get the computer game to work.
- Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers — It’s bad I still know the theme song, isn’t it? It only takes moments for me to get caught up in the action and wish I had a sibling just like Chip or Dale. They always got the job done with flair and fun, just like I hope to do, in just about everything.