The Joys of Yesteryear
Reminiscing about Dip Dab’s, Playing ‘Tag’ and the Egg and Spoon Race.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when we stop still, look behind us at what we have come from and look ahead of us to consider what’s coming next. Often that is referred to as middle age, or having a mid-life crisis but introspection is good when trying to make sense of our present lives. Our past is a path of well trodden experiences and memories of what was. The past encompasses our childhood in all its glory and gore. The fun and misery that we lived through reverberates through our very being as we exist today.
I remember things being a bit simpler ‘in the old days’ than life today, but that could just be my rose tinted glasses. Being a Gen X person myself I was a young child raised in the 80’s, a teenager in the 90’s and entered adulthood around the turn of the century in the 2000’s. I was raised with the study hard, work hard and play hard mantra.
The fact that mobile phones never existed when I was growing up is mind boggling as I couldn’t live without one now for work or home life. What is even funnier is the fact that my 11 year old son could not fathom how a landline phone plugged into the wall worked. Or why it had two parts or how to use it. After laughing and explaining it all I wandered down memory lane recalling my own past. The best thing about growing up in the 80’s for me was the music. We had so much variety and the lyrics were all meaningful and melodious. Pop king Michael Jackson and queen of pop Madonna were at their peak. Nothing beats 80’s music.
Can I hear my fellow Gen X crowd agreeing? I recall using VHS tapes for watching movies on old bulky machines and cassette tapes for recording songs from the radio. The trick was trying not to catch the adverts either side of the songs. I remember having to sit through endless TV adverts because there was no other option and having only four main channels to watch. God how things have changed since then. Oh and the food, the lovely 80’s sweets, Sherbet Dip Dab’s, chewy fruity Drumsticks, good old Chupa Chups lollipops which still live on today. Hard boiled sweets bought by the quarter on scales in corner shops, cola cubes, aniseed balls, strawberry laces, fizzy straws and jaw breakers. I guess as a child everything tasted better. Some of the above still exist today but they somehow taste different not like they used to, although they still remind me of the past.
TV shows like ‘Happy Days’ with the ‘Fonz’, ‘Knight Rider’ with ‘Kit’ the car that talked starring David Hasselhoff and ‘The A Team’ with ‘BA Barracus’ they kept my young brain excited and alert. Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes were also firm favorites. I never won at any sports day races at school particularly with the Egg and Spoon race- darn that egg it always fell just before the finishing line. ‘Stuck in the mud’ and ‘Tag’ were my favorite playground games.
What generation did you grow up in? What things do you recall about those times in relation to the music, food, games, technology and experiences? Can hearing a song from your childhood transport you to a different time and place altogether? I believe that music is powerful and speaks to the heart in ways nothing else can reach. Life experiences are often recalled through our senses, what we can hear, taste, touch, see, smell and feel. I have covered some of those above. What we feel is linked to our lived experiences and how we interpret life in relation to the self and others. Regardless of how happy or sad our childhoods were the universal connectors are things we remember happening in society at large.
Now taking off my rose tinted glasses the 80’s were tough times of recession with vast economic challenges. The song by Band Aid ‘Feed The World’ released in the Christmas of 1984 highlighted the plight of the homeless, poor and needy. It brought together a collective of well known artists to offer a charity single to help those in need. I remember that like it was yesterday. How time flies.
Journal if you can it rocks!
The one thing I regret is not keeping a journal or diary of my time back then. I only wrote a few bits in my school days which make me laugh when I read them now. I have since encouraged this practice in myself and others. Keeping a journal allows us to re-visit our past in a beautiful way through our own version of reality. It helps us to reconnect with our past selves in a way that is otherwise quite difficult to achieve. What it also does is track our journey through life, the highs, the lows and all of the relationship stuff with friends and family. That ‘stuff’ is priceless. Our journals act like a time machine that upon reading transports you to yesteryear reminding us of all of those memories we once lived through. Even the sad stuff, the pain the hurt as well the happiness it all has it’s place in our lives.
Owning who we are..
The idea is that we own our stories whilst not being defined by or living in the past. To acknowledge the life we have led to date encompassing everything that happened instead of filtering out just the good or just the bad stuff. All of those experiences have shaped us into who we are today and deserve recognition, and acceptance as part of the tapestry of our lives. Our present existence and future need not repeat the past if it was an unhappy one. It is never too late to start fresh and make every decision count to shape a better future. Have faith and believe in yourself. The past has happened, the present is now and the future is yet to come. I shall leave you with T.S Eliot’s quote to ponder on.
“Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.”