You hear it a lot. ‘When I was a kid…’ Usually it’s to let somebody know that you’ve had it a lot harder than them and that they should be grateful that they have what they have. I’m no exception. When I was a kid you had to go outside to play sport. Now you just stand in front of your television and take a swing.
Times have changed, that’s for sure. But I’m not so sure that it’s all been for the better. We have access to better technology and global information at a press of a button, which is great. I’m not knocking the internet and the fact that I can order anything online and it will be shipped to my door pronto – you just need to have a credit card. I live on and island and while the isolation is great for those stressed out muscles, it can be a bitch to get to the shops in a hurry if you need to.
Anyway, back to the island. I’ve been here for a couple of years now, but we had been holidaying here for at least ten years before we decided to buy. It’s like a small country town with a beach around it. Kids can wander around in reasonable safety and in the summer you can find them selling the spoils of the local fruit trees for a few bucks at the side of the road. Life is pretty slow and cars don’t usually go more than forty kilometres an hour. For you folks that are used to miles, that’s not much over twenty.
It reminds me a lot of when I was a kid. I grew up on the outskirts of a city when there was still a lot of pastoral land around. It was like a country town, and you would only drive into the city for an outing or to visit a relative on the other side of town. There were cows everywhere and a lot of grass, fields, trees and ….quiet. Things didn’t move too quickly and we got up to the usual stuff that kids did. I was a bit of a tomboy and owned more tip trucks than Barbie dolls. I had a lot of fun climbing trees, digging tunnels, fishing for tadpoles and blowing up backyard sheds….but that’s another story…
Suffice it to say that I’m from another time and place, and I think that I’m lucky. Sure, now kids think they have it all and would die if they had to go all day without watching television, or had to go outside without their gadget of choice and actually play using their imagination. But when I look back I see something worthwhile that shaped the person that I am, and probably gave me the independence and the skills to get through life’s crap. We did it tough when we were kids, outside and in the dirt. But we had fun, and we didn’t get sick or die from being adventurous and roughed up a bit.
The world is a different place now. I wonder what kind of memories future generations are going to look back on when they look at their offspring and say…’when I was a kid….’