Every so often I find myself thinking about the simple things in life which will create lasting memories for my kids, and how I can make them happen. I wonder which adventures will be the ones imprinted in their memories forever, generating those really special feelings about their childhood. It usually crosses my mind when it seems as though we are in the midst of one of those moments, and I feel deeply happy about it.
But I can absolutely guarantee, that although my own parents would have loved the sight of me and my siblings enjoying the simple things in life, that not a whole lot of thought would have gone into the creation of that moment, or into where that moment would end up in the grand scheme of lifelong memories. Why is that? Why do I spend time thinking about family traditions, and ways to create great childhood memories, when it seemed to just happen quite naturally thirty or forty years ago.
I think it’s because life was inherently more simple in the seventies. That’s my memory of it anyway. Those ‘towel over the shoulder, bike riding to the sea’ memories were a dime a dozen. Sunday picnics in the park happened more often than not in the warmer months, and camping was the natural form of most family holidays. Alternatively in our family, we would head across the Nullabor plain to visit relatives on the other side. We would listen to Abba, tear Mintie wrappers into the longest strips possible, and play ‘I spy’ for hours on end, to entertain ourselves during the 36 hour drive. Once there, it would be a total farm life experience. We would feed chickens, shoot guns, ride on harvesters, and do all the stuff city slickers rarely get the opportunity to do. Amazing memories. Nothing fancy. None of us needed to be reminded to ‘stay present’ or to ‘live in the moment’. Simplicity just seemed to happen, and we were there to experience every second of it.
Today it feels as though all of the simple things I crave for my family, need to be sought…and then created. Life has evolved into something so complex, that it needs to be consciously pared back to reveal the basics.
There are probably loads of factors influencing the shift; an obsession with consumerism and overindulgence, our need to be in a permanent state of ‘busy’ to name a few. But in my mind, technology is the greatest threat to a simple, wondrous childhood and life full of sweet memories. Technology, mostly screens, consume us. Our minds and our time is consumed, and our energy and creativity is diverted and sapped like never before. Children role model on screen obsessed parents who are unable to sit for more than a few moments without checking a device or looking for entertainment. There is an entire generation of young people unable to walk around without being physically connected to a device, and essentially disconnected from the world. No-one is denying the problem, I’m pointing a finger directly at myself as I write this…but it’s not something which will change without conscious effort. I would suggest that it’s one of the main reasons that so many of us are seeking lives less influenced by the rush of modern life, and more inspired by the traditions of the past. A life for our kids which somehow reflects the childhoods we remember.
Linked with Essentially Jess for IBOT