305 Days ’til 40: Back to the Basics

22 Apr

At the end of some days I pause and ask myself, “Can’t we just go back to the basics?”  Life has become so complex, so driven by demands to keep up with our high-tech society, so fast-paced.  What happened to the simple pleasures?

My daughters are growing up in an era so different from the one I knew.  I remember the joy of being entertained for hours riding bicycles and walking through my neighborhood, either with friends or my dog.  I remember saving for weeks to buy the new album my favorite band released and playing it over and over, hoping I would not scratch it.  I would play it until I knew the words to every song by heart.  I remember saving up to buy a new book that I looked forward to reading.  Sometimes I would read it twice in one day.

What happened???  Our society is more of a consumer society than ever before.  It seems we do not value things like we used to.  My daughters have access to more music today (at age 8 and 10) than I had in university.  They are not really aware of how we used to work so hard to save and purchase something and how much that meant.

I remember reading that book and taking that walk, and today we seem so plugged into our computers and iPads, etc.  My oldest daughter is desperate to get a cellphone – I had my first cellphone two years after I received my masters degree – yet in her social circles, she has learned to believe that she “MUST” have one now.  Where do we draw the limits?

Sometimes I ask myself if we would be better off, more connected, and more free, if we could get back to the basics – if we could learn to appreciate that which we have or earn, and if we can disconnect a bit from our technological gadgets and instead connect with those we have next to us.

Today, 305 days ’til 40, I am so thankful for the life I have led and for having the opportunity to grow up in a time that was less consumer oriented than today.  I will strive to find a way for our family to transcend the current societal influences so that my daughters will be able to appreciate the parts of their life that occur when they are not in front of a computer screen or cellphone.



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82 responses to “305 Days ’til 40: Back to the Basics

  1. Real Food, Real Deals

    April 22, 2012 at 01:47

    I couldn’t agree more. It takes such focus to shield our children from the consumerism and plugged-in craziness of today’s world.

  2. magnuminsp

    April 22, 2012 at 01:48

    At the risk of sounding like my father…things sure did seem to be different and better…in the “old days”! I remember the days of staying up late at night listening to my transistor am and white TV, and vinyl, which I still possess!

    I try to pass the experiences I had as a child on to my son as I feel they are important lessons in life. A lot of todays children seem to be content to live their lives vicariously through their idols instead of actually getting up and doing things.

    Everyone says we should get a we can play games, like golf, tennis, football, etc. Oddly enough, we have all of those things here and anytime my son wants, we can actually hit a real ball with a real bat, throw a real football and catch it, and “do” many other things.

    Oh well, it was fun while it lasted!

    By the way, 40 isn’t that hard……43 is when the “wheels fall off” so prepare yourself! 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 11:25

      Yes, everything you write is so true! So sad that our children play games on the WII instead of the actually games, isn’t it? So sad that they would prefer this to the fresh air and outdoors…. so sad that some neighborhoods are no longer safe enough to let our children run around for hours without worrying about their safety……

  3. bellissimom

    April 22, 2012 at 01:55

    I remember riding my bike or roller skating for hours on end in the driveway. It is rare to see kids out in their driveways just playing and being kids. It is too bad!

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 11:26

      Yes, I love those memories I had as a child, and I am so sad that my girls do not have those same memories.

  4. buckwheatsrisk

    April 22, 2012 at 02:37

    i remember those days…

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 11:26

      I wish we could bring some of it back…

      • buckwheatsrisk

        April 22, 2012 at 17:46

        yes, some of it was worth keeping!

  5. Pamela

    April 22, 2012 at 02:58

    This is a worry I have for my two year old daughter. We are trying to keep simple values, including outdoor play and family time prominent in our household, but I know with the mainstream culture, we are going to have some friction over the wants/needs/earning issue when she is older. I hope we’ll have given her enough of a foundation that she won’t see the need to keep up with the Joneses, but there are so many external messages that parents come up against so it seems like a tough love situation in the teenage years sometimes when you don’t give your child what it seems like every other child their age owns. I hope my gal is savvy enough at that point to understand why we will be saying no and encouraging her to earn her way sometimes. I do think that we parents need to be a powerful force to combat the rampant consumerism that exists in Western culture.

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 11:28

      Yes, everything you say is so very true and we do need to be a very powerful source in order to combat all that is out there today. We are very open and honest with our girls and they know that things can cost a lot and that sometimes their friends parents are willing to go into debt for WIIs and other random toys, etc. that we are not willing to do…. but they also know they do get everything they ever really need and lots of treats along the way – I think they get it, at least at this stage of their development (heaven help the teen years!)

  6. terry1954

    April 22, 2012 at 03:26

    it took me a long time to learn to look at the smallest things in my life as pure joy . i thought i had to be doing,wearing, saying all that everyone else was, in order to fit in. this is not who i am. i m just me. so for me, today, the sun shining is enjoyable, my brother’s tears being gone for an hour is a blessing. i guess i have changed through the years and have gone back to the basics

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 11:30

      It is so wonderful and freeing when we are able to do just as you describe…… so see the joy in the small things and realize that those things are far more important than fashion clothing or a shiny new car….

  7. Louise Behiel

    April 22, 2012 at 03:37

    The hardest thing in the world is to prepare children to live in a time that we can’t imagine. That happened to me but I didn’t know it at the time. who could guess that the clunky Vic 20 computer was the beginning of a technological revolution? My first job was keypunching…putting holes in cards that the computer could read.

    now my 2 year old granddaughter has games on my phone. she can turn it on, find her game and play with great delight. her world will be different than her mother’s or grandmother’s. But ironically I think our values will continue to matter. my daughter is teaching her girls manners and caring and unconditional love. just as you will – because it’s who you are.

    all is well. life is good.

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 11:32

      Yes, this is so very true, and something I am going to write about soon (preparing our children for the unknown world ahead). Yes, I never would have guessed that the computers I worked with 30+ years ago would evolve into our iPhones and laptops of today…. crazy! More to come on this topic! 🙂

  8. charlesmashburn

    April 22, 2012 at 03:40

    If we could find a way back to those simpler times, we would all benefit greatly. I often write about those times–some bad, but mostly good–and oh, yes, how I wish we could have a do-over. But… life seldom goes the way we think it should, and there are answers. We just have to find them.
    Keep looking; it’s all we can do.

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 11:35

      Yes, so true. We do have to keep looking and see how we can somehow incorporate the values of these past times into our present.

  9. Katie

    April 22, 2012 at 04:43

    In a way, I think the economic situation may be helping a little. It seems to be more acceptable to not over schedule our days and to not be rushing out to buy the next best thing. Cell phones may be another matter and I can’t imagine many kids are leaving the house in the morning with instructions to be within ear shot when it gets close to dinner.

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 11:36

      Very good point. Yes, the families who really have no choice but to cut back are forced to take a look at what they really do and do not need…. yes, cellphones do seem to be in a category all of their own in today’s world. Even I do tend to panic when I leave mine at home and wonder how it is that I resisted getting one for so long, and then became so dependent on them in my life……

  10. Nicole

    April 22, 2012 at 06:30

    This is similar but not the same but tonight my husband, 4 boys and I sat around an old coffee table to eat supper outdoors. We sat in those cheap ish fold out canvass chairs with the springs in the back. It was crowded an uncomfortable and I thought – these are the good times when we know no different but are satisfied none the less. I hope that in a short while when I have a better outdoor dining set we will remember fondly when we did not AND maybe we do not need it! I am grateful for the tough times we’ve had for the very reason that we can appreciate the difference! Well and I could add do much more but yes indeed I agree that things have sped up and we expect so much more. It can seem crazy! Timely read mind you most of yours are…..must be the nearing 40 factor!

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 11:38

      I am sure it is the nearing 40 factor! I LOVE this post! In fact, this is something I want to do with our girls – we have a completely undeveloped small backyard (right now dirt and rocks) and I really want to find a way to fix it up so that we can all enjoy time in this little piece of the outdoors that is ours…. it will make a big difference.

      • Nicole

        April 22, 2012 at 21:49

        Backyard time is the best! If you do not mind can you tell me what you see about me when I comment on your blog? I am new to blogging and I wonder if people just end up linked to my renovations blog when really I have two parenting blogs. Whic then makes me look like a renovation carpenters wife posting on parenting blogs. Not sure how that works. Or does it somehow list all of my blogs? Please only if you have a second…………

        • 400daystil40

          April 22, 2012 at 21:52

          Yes, it links to the renovation blog…. I think you have to choose a primary blog and that is what shows….

          • Nicole

            April 23, 2012 at 03:36

            Thanks – I am going to have to look into that!

  11. Denny

    April 22, 2012 at 07:22

    And at an even more basic level, enjoying simple pleasures like feeling sand between your toes, paddling in shallow water, playing ball games with your kids, playing board games … It wasn’t until I broke my back and damaged my spinal cord leaving me unable to walk and without sensation, that I truly understood the simple pleasures. My kids are grown up now, but I broke my back when they were young and they grew up appreciating simple pleasures. They understand the pleasure of walking and running and swimming, cycling, dancing. They grew up skiing with physically disabled people, people with head injuries, the blind and visually impaired. They have seen tetraplaegics unable to scratch their noses.We know that their are many people stuck in their homes unable to get out into the community. It’s ironic that my physical injuries allow me/energise me to enjoy the smallest movements I have, to be excited and motivated by the basics.
    Good post!

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 11:43

      Yes, so true!!! My girls have stacks of board games (because I think they are so good for development) that go untouched too often because they would rather watch Bieber videos on youtube (we don’t allow that often) or read on their Kindles (we do like the reading part). Thankfully, my girls do like being outdoors, even if they only seem to like it in smaller, limited moments of exposure…….. I think it is wonderful that your children had the opportunity to meet differently abled individuals and understand those challenges. My girls have as well and it is always such an important lesson for them. I agree with you, I had a major car accident over ten years ago. Thankfully, I almost fully recovered, but I did have a brain injury and for a few years things were pretty bad. Suddenly making it through a half day of work without passing out was a huge goal I was thankful for, something I would take for granted just weeks earlier. Still, years later, if I am overly tired, I cannot find the right words to say and get really light-headed. That accident still forces me to slow down, which is good and bad…..These rough experiences change our perspectives forever.

  12. silverbells2012

    April 22, 2012 at 10:29

    I agree. My daughter is five and so I think it is natural for her to want things NOW and not realise that this is not (always) possible. However, in today’s society, it is harder to foster the idea that waiting might be necessary.
    I recently went from full time to part time work and so my income has reduced quite drastically, which means that I need to change my own habits. I did used to accommodate my daughter’s wishes a lot more, so it is going to be a mind-shift for both us as we adjust to the new, hopefully healthier situation.

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 11:46

      Yes, you are so correct – teaching children to wait in this society that encourages instant gratification can be quite difficult. Interestingly, I read an article not so long ago about the connection between delayed gratification and success in later life (ahh, I see an idea for a post emerging from this! Stay tuned!) 🙂

  13. Felicity from Down Under

    April 22, 2012 at 13:10

    I’m sure this is the lament of all parents, that things were slower/easier/better in the old days. In many respects, I’m sure there was a real element of that because there was a greater sense of community, families were larger and tended to look after each other (to the best of their abilities) and very often there was a church family/society as well to add structure and provide companionship, entertainment and the like; and public telephones were reasonably prevalent.

    I have a teenage son who likes to do meet up for coffee or a meal with his friends in the city, but is just as happy to go off on his own on his mountain bike; mostly we’re happy for him to do so and the proviso with either situation is that we need to know where he is and when to pick him up if necessary – enter the mobile phone. 😉

    Speaking personally as a woman, I don’t want to go back to those older, supposedly simpler times that meant a significant amount of difficult physical work (not only for women, of course, but probably in ways that modern women wouldn’t want to go back to). I like my automatic washing machine: it saves my energy and because it’s a high star rating, it’s energy and water efficient. Ditto my dishwasher. I don’t want to go back to having to use wood to fuel my heating and cooking. That would contribute to local pollution in a huge way. There certainly is a place for simpler, less materialistic values but we need to be a bit careful that we don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 18:55

      You bring up a very interesting point – progress has brought about good and bad changes and one of the good changes has been less oppression for women (and less work/ demands) – so I suppose it really is about balance. 🙂 Yes, and another interesting point you brought up – it is very hard to find public phones now that most people have cellphones……

  14. Eve Redwater

    April 22, 2012 at 13:24

    I had this feeling only last night. Me and my partner were settling down to watch a film; he had to spend at least 10 minutes setting everything up, turning on the amp, sorting out the blu-ray, etc., and I suddenly thought, “Wow, really? Do we always need all of this ‘stuff’?”.

    It’s not that I’m not thankful for it, but sometimes I really, really wonder where the heart goes once it’s covered in electronics. The gadget fan inside of me often craves new things; a shiny new camera is something I’m saving up for right now, but still, things like books just feel so abandoned these days.

    I read more now than I ever have, and I’m thankful that I’ve been able to realise that simple pleasures like that can still be indulged by someone in my age group…

    And I’m all for cycling and dog walking, can’t beat that! 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 18:56

      Yes, I agree! (As someone who rides a bicycle 5-7 hours a week, I really get that!) I am also trying to balance the desires (want, not need) for new electronics and the realities of what these do to my daily life……..

  15. jensine

    April 22, 2012 at 13:32

    I’m with you I think going back to teh basics is a much needed thing … after all I think some people have become slaves to the internet, iphones, ipods and tablets … says she as she types on her mac 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 18:57

      Yes, it is quite ironic that as I share all of my thoughts too I sit here on my Mac, near my iPhone and iPad… hypocrisy????? maybe a little….. 🙂

      • jensine

        April 22, 2012 at 18:59

        or maybe it is using the medium for a differnt message … or maybe we just have a yearning for something else but know we also live with what is around us?

  16. oakritchie

    April 22, 2012 at 13:58

    It seems to me that what we are still missing in our society is balance. Balance between our experience with the technological world we are heading towards and the natural world examples that I hear echoing through many blogs that I peruse.

    The tricky thing is: I doubt our technological advancements will slow down. They will likely speed up, and our wisdom, judgement and sense of purpose will have to be our guiding light through the very distracting environment we are navigating.

    At the same time, I also recognize that my romantic memories of “how things were” is colored through rose-colored glasses. Going back a couple decades, the status of women worldwide was less favorable, people’s view of people of color and unfamiliar cultures were unsatisfactory to say the least, and many other things an honest eye might see still needed improvement.

    I guess my point is about progress. It isn’t always pretty and in fact is quite messy, but as we learn and develop, I believe we will move in a healthy direction. Lord knows that scientists 50 years into the future will look at our present patterns and wonder what the hell we we’re thinking…eating the quality and quantity of food we eat, not interacting enough face to face with people, not experiencing the necessary components of community, going to war for ridiculous reasons, and so on. But…such is the way with maturing, no?

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 19:00

      Yes, exactly! It is indeed balance that is missing. Yes, you are one of a few people who mention that simultaneously with the technological progress has been progress in women’s rights, rights of minority groups, etc…. these are things we would not want to lose by going back to the “good old days” -because these things were not good.

  17. Kate

    April 22, 2012 at 14:40

    While it is not easy, I am digging in my heels with my daughter about all the “stuff” she continues to insist I buy for her. I know I can fall prey to the consumerism trap at times, too. So, I suppose frugality, living more simply and appreciating what we have are three lessons I will continue to learn right along with her.

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 19:02

      Yes, it is hard! One thing I am also doing with my daughters is sometimes giving them money and having them see that the money will only go so far and they have to make choices about what “stuff” will be in their lives.

  18. sued51

    April 22, 2012 at 14:47

    A great post. I really do feel sorry for the kids these days. And don’t get me started on the politically correct people who continually try to take more things away. In a town near me they want to outlaw ice cream trucks for some silly reason…It is a nice memory from my childhood.

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 19:03

      Thank you. You are kidding – outlawing ice cream trucks? I wonder if that is another reality of legislation geared towards obesity in America – the funny thing is that we LOVED the ice cream truck growing up and none of us were overweight… but we did run outside in a freer way, which did give us much more exercise…..

      • sued51

        April 23, 2012 at 15:06

        It is something about obesity, but it also has to do with it being unfair to diabetic children…
        When I was a kid I had to go a long way to the ice cream truck…I lived on a busy street and had to cut through the woods to get to the dead end where the truck would be…Yes, we were always outside running around…

  19. ssgt leslie

    April 22, 2012 at 15:08

    i hear yah, even though i dont have chilidren, i have 2 nieces, and yes it is a different world, we can still try to give them a bit of our world when we were their age, my mom used to tell me and my sister they had good times growing up in south philly.

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 19:04

      I wonder if our children will be talking about the “good old days” too with their children – and how much the world will change by then! ??? 🙂

      • ssgt leslie

        April 22, 2012 at 22:09

        good point and question, in my humble opinion, yes. do you think we are a reflection of our parents?

        • 400daystil40

          April 22, 2012 at 22:48

          Probably, but I don’t really want to be! I want to be a reflection of me! 😉

          • ssgt leslie

            April 23, 2012 at 00:42

            individuality, good one….

  20. saymber

    April 22, 2012 at 16:13

    400 I’ve been struggling with what you talk about here for probably 20 years. When I started in the Air Force as a Personnel Specialist back in 1986, we were still using cards to process data! If you dropped a box….omg. I experienced the evolution from that to our current Ipads in just that short time. I can remember playing Atari’s Pong and going to video arcades and now we have the PS3 and so much more! I watched the “lie” manifest — “Oh this technology is going to make life so much easier and make so much less waste!” and lived it. I had old time Colonels who couldn’t adjust to sending around documents electronically, even though it was possible, ask me to reprint huge documents over and over again for just minor changes….because they could. Looking at it on a computer screen just wasn’t the same as holding a tangible document in their hands. As I get older and am now reading most books on a Kindle….I can relate! Our world is getting so “intangible” and as a result we are experiencing the fallout of that – physical, mental and spiritual problems. The consequences of losing touch with our physical world is the loss of conscience and consciousness. My husband and I use to play ALOT of online MMORPG’s and finally I realized that by spending all that time in the cyber world, we were dumping our hearts and souls into nothing….nothing tangible would ever come from making jewelry, swords, mining etc., in a video game. So my husband is now in certification to become a welder and I have taken up crafting. To see in your hands a real thing, to experience the reward of making something real cannot be replicated by an Ipad…yet.

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 19:05

      Yes, what a great point – it is so funny that we are spending hours and hours building our virtual farms and cities, but not doing anything in real life! This is why I have made sure to start exercising and knitting (and blogging) all of which give me some tangible result of my time….. though I must confess that I will sometimes play these games on my iPad while riding my stationary bike! 🙂

  21. simon7banks

    April 22, 2012 at 17:19

    As often, the new technology brings great benefits and great disbenefits, and the former are more anticipated than the latter.

    I don’t think we can avoid the pressure of instant access and instant gratification most of the time, but to be totally dependent on that is to be horribly damaged and vulnerable. If it’s physically possible, camping trips, long walks in the hills or forest (leading up to a whole holiday of a walk), a day fishing or in a boat, with a rule of i-pods, blackberries etc left behind and phones switched off (taken for emergency use only) can teach there’s something worth having in a slower, quieter, more reflective life. Some kids love going up mountains, sleeping in a tent, helping take control of a boat and so on, because it’s unusual and a challenge. Likewise some adults. Even going to a sporting event can teach that the computer game or TV version is second best to being there!

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 19:08

      Yes, so true – and I suppose one aspect is to remind ourselves of the benefits we do receive from this new technology. I agree with you that the total dependence on the technology is certainly part of the scary reality of our lives today. I love days when we take a break from technology!!! 🙂

  22. viveka

    April 22, 2012 at 17:33

    I think we have to be careful because I we seems like we are go to very lonely futures … don’t see little elderly kids play outdoors anymore … so soon they come home from school they goes online playing games and chatting. I personal love to be connected and I should really disconnect more often, but ???!!!!!

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 19:08

      Yes, I agree – technology does indeed allow us to isolate like never before. 😦 sadly…

  23. dogdaz

    April 22, 2012 at 18:56

    Interesting posts and comments. Every generation, I think, asks a similar questions as they are faced with the challenges of progress and change. What looks like simple and basic for your grandparents might have been actually complex and challenging at the time. If your life is in balance and you control the speed in which you allow the world in around you, then, no matter how complicated and crazy it may get, you can define your basic needs (for you) and live the best life for yourself. I embrace the progress and wonderful new inventions that the world places in my path, but have taught my children to chose wisely, so that they own their lives vs the things in their lives (stuff) owning them. Love your blog. – DogDaz

    • 400daystil40

      April 22, 2012 at 19:09

      What a great comment, and what a great lesson you have taught your children! I strive to do the same! 🙂

    • bluepetalz

      April 23, 2012 at 17:03


  24. lawman83

    April 23, 2012 at 01:10

    OK, things were a little different in the ’50s, 60s, ’70s, and so on. However, I do not think they were necessarily better or healthier for children. I used to run around our small town with friends, but frankly the stuff we did was pretty stupid and dangerous. Anyway, my daughters, who are now in their 20s, had cellphones from an early age and spent hours and hours watching TV and playing video games. However, they are both healthy and athletic and have very wide circles of friends. I attribute much of their independence and accomplishments to having been in daycare from infancy. It is not the environment that shapes the child, so much as the relationship with the parents. You can be tuned in and switched on and still be a loving, caring person with a wide group of relatives, friends, and acquaintances.

    People lament the violent video games that kids play, but when I was young I watched Gunsmoke, Peter Gunn, Have Gun Will Travel, and other shows in which shooting people was acceptable behavior. I don’t think my generation is any more or less prone to violence than the preceding or following generations. Hell, I haven’t even killed one person in a gun battle, or stabbed or poisoned anyone. People are pretty much the same, generation after generation.

    • 400daystil40

      April 23, 2012 at 14:18

      This is a good point. I do think that myself and others can be very quick to judge and be very black and white with labeling things all good or all bad. I think the biggest true change we see is the reality that we are moving into a technological age that is forcing us to change and adapt to keep up with it. Video games, TV, and the like are not all that different, I would agree. As we look at these issues, I think the key, which you clearly gave to your children, is balance.

  25. allthingsboys

    April 23, 2012 at 01:37

    Looks like you really hit the nail on the head with this! You are absolutely right too! Our boys were the last of their friends to get cell phones–at 15 and 16! And we heard about it too! Great post!

    • 400daystil40

      April 23, 2012 at 09:41

      Yes, my girls think I am torturing them! 🙂

  26. allthingsboys

    April 23, 2012 at 03:45

    I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award. Check out this Link:

  27. irishsignora

    April 23, 2012 at 13:49


  28. Nancy Werking Poling

    April 23, 2012 at 16:25

    Y’all see the differences as parents. Think of the gap for grandparents! As grandparents, my husband and I watch our grandchildren absorbed in their gadgets. He decided to study the flora and fauna of our region. When our grandchildren visit us in the mountains he takes them on hikes or just walks around our yard pointing out various gifts of Nature. Rather than fight the changes, he’s providing a more exciting alternative, and the kids love him for it. Now I need to figure out what special skill I can offer.

  29. Wayne to the Max

    April 23, 2012 at 16:39

    Wonderful thoughts.

  30. bluepetalz

    April 23, 2012 at 17:01

    I totally agree. It is why most relationships fail, because people focus more on virtual necessities. I am also determined to keep things in perspective. That is the most important thing. 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      April 23, 2012 at 22:10

      Yes, the reality of living so much in the virtual world has certainly strained many relationships.

  31. Nancy Werking Poling

    April 23, 2012 at 17:01

    Imagine how grandparents feel when we observe how obsessed our grandchildren are with their gadgets! My husband is studying the flora and fauna of the area so he can lure the kids away from technology for just a little while. They love exploring our lot with him and taking hikes. Now Nana needs to figure out how to use her skills.

    • 400daystil40

      April 23, 2012 at 22:11

      Yes, I am sure this is the case – the generational gaps are quite large now!

  32. artistspromenade

    April 23, 2012 at 17:07

    I hear what you are saying, raising boys your daughters age, life is more complicated now then when we were young. Gladys Knight said (on an album no less), “As bad as we think these days are, these will become the good old days for our children.” In this ever-changing world I try to hold on to making small memories like the ones I had as a child, playing when it rains outside, family movie night with popcorn, and continuing to fight against the “condiitioning of immediate gratification” on a daily basis. Ah life! Really great post and topic of discussion!

    • 400daystil40

      April 23, 2012 at 22:11

      I LOVE the Gladys Knight lyrics you shared!!! Thank you!!! 🙂

  33. CubicleViews

    April 23, 2012 at 22:33

    Great, great post. The summer days of leaving home in the morning and coming back “when the street lights came on.”
    It’s a different world now…better?…worse? Who knows, it’s just different.
    The good news is all of our kids will likely be saying the same things in 20+ years!

    • 400daystil40

      April 23, 2012 at 22:41

      Yes, I look forward to hear what our kids are saying 20+ years from now!!! 😛

  34. Spider42

    April 24, 2012 at 13:02

    In a way I understand your conundrum, though perhaps not agree with your assessment entirely.

    The way I see it, the world as it is now can never be the world that came before it (even if we blew it all up and rebuilt – it will be a new world with new ideas and ways).
    What IS important to remember though is to do the one thing that humanity at large I feel does not do enough of (and this confounds me daily), which is to study the past and learn from it.

    As regards your children, be patient. Youth beings energy and intensity and if you recall, a level of peer pressure – one that I assure you is in ways getting worse and worse as kids are getting smarter/sharper/information and ways to bully, tease and exclude become greater. I’m not saying acquiesce to all demands (like a cell at age 10), merely put them off for the time being.
    It’s one of the many things that unfortunately I think we are forced to tell our children “you will understand when you are a little older”, but that wait till understanding is a tense one.

    One big upside is that you mentioned in a prior post about how you make your kids read, well keep at that, take them to lovely, natural places, do things that “modern” kids don’t, teach them to ride simple bikes if you have the space nearby to do it and anything else you can think of while they are still young enough to listen when you are stern enough. Once they hit puberty, there’s a 50/50 chance they will either be/stay good kids or they’ll be the quintessential teenager who you’ll have to wait to cross over to their early 20’s before their brains normalise (apparently there was a study that showed that teenagers do in fact have a slightly different brain processing/chemistry than “normal” people and hence their unfathomable emotional and such reactions to various things).

    Am I overdoing it? If I am and am going into senseless territory, ignore it – if not, hope that helped at least a wee bit. Or at least didn’t freak you out in some way! 😀

  35. Lucianus Mauricius

    May 1, 2012 at 07:41

    Ok, I’ve read posts like this one several times and they all put forth two major flows, one of the writer, and one of the times we live in. Lets start with the the writers of this kind of posts. They’re usually parents or of a certain age which for some strange reason gives them an innate need to compare their lives to that of their children or the younger generation, my mother is an amazing poster child of this kind of people. One thing they all forget, is that though you can be nostalgic in regards to the past and what it means to you, and how it shaped you and perhaps (made) you who you are today, in no way can you compare that to the younger generation, which some people helped bring forth by becoming parents. There’s a simple human truth and uncompromising behavior we all must understand; under no circumstances can we expect the next generation to be like us, nor to understand us, cose case in point we never truly understood our parents unless they died early in life, and now strangely we miss them though we couldn’t stand some aspects of them while they were still alive..
    Second, and most important. Yes indeed we’re a consumer driven society, we can’t get enough of what we can’t get enough, so keep on trying to achieve and buy what we always wanted, but aren’t we working harder than past generations to afford that damn 13 ft plasma TV, or are we still paying 0.5 cents a coke at the 1 cent store??? Yes, money has become as intimate to us as our falling apart relationships, but can you really blame money for that??? How else are you suppose to live?! There are nice things, like family time, bonding, retreats and vacations, but they all cost, trust me they do, you need something to creating something else, cose even a nice evening to myself costs money just for the simple reason I love scented candles and white wine, so I must work in order to have the money to buy the things to create that one evening a month for myself, by myself and no one other than myself.
    Food for thought…


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