Anyone else wondering just where this year is going? Because, ME! After the never-ending month that was January, this year has made up for it by speeding past at the speed of light and suddenly we’re in spring – almost. (If someone could just let the weather know this, that would be grand.) We’re midway through March, halfway through Lent and almost at Easter Bunny visit time. WHERE IS THIS YEAR GOING?!
It’s not just this year though. Admittedly in the past handful of years, I’ve had some tough ones. Ones that not only dragged past, but were accompanied by problems, heartache and their fair share of stress. But also within the past few years alone, my family size has doubled, my blog has exploded and I’ve turned the big 3-0. Craziness!
It’s only when we look back that we can see just how much has changed, and especially now I’m a mother of two, I look back at my own childhood and teens and compare how much things have changed since then. As a mum, it’s important for me to find the right balance for my children. My oldest son is seven, nearly eight. At his age I was knee deep in Barbie dolls, using VHS boxes to create houses for them, obsessed with dodgy 90’s soundtracks and content to play with my friends outside all day and into the evening. Without a care in the world. Those trusty VHS boxes not only housed my Barbie dolls bedrooms each day as I became their home architect, but they also contained some of my most loved memories – films that hold a special place in my heart. Nothing beats a dodgy early 90’s or late 80’s children’s film. ET, Labyrinth… cor blimey I feel old when I think of it, but I smile at the memories.
Nowadays my seven year old loves movie time just as much as his mumma. But compared to my favourite Disney animations, where the characters had no facial features, just lips, eyes and a nose (and sometimes some seriously dodgy eyebrows) the characters in his favourite films are designed with perfection. The animations almost look real, they’re so delicately created. Thus is the wonder of how much has evolved in just this one area of technology in only twenty years or so. His films are intricate, detailed, precise and they look great. Fortunately they still retain that childhood magic or else I’d be sad, but the comparison is huge.
It’s not just the quality of the movies themselves, but the machines we use to view them. Back in my day (I’m 30, not 80, but still!) we literally had a VHS player and a TV. Maybe one of our friends had a Nintendo at some later point and we’d all take it in turns to play a game or two. But now my son has a console and an iPad of his own. He views more than films: he views shows, news and content of every type on these platforms. He learns from them, plays on them and is entertained by them. The age of the Smartphone means we’re never more than one click away from the content we want. Even if it is a YouTube video unboxing of the latest Ninja Turtle Toy…
While so many things have evolved and flourished with possibilities, one thing I do feel sad about is child safety. We used to play outside until it got dark – sometimes in the holidays even later. My cousins lived a few doors down in a sleepy village. If I played there until bedtime I had to run down the road back home at bedtime. The terror and also the thrill of this used to make my heart pound. But my parents knew it was safe. Playing outside was natural and part of childhood, and I loved our adventures. Sadly now for my son at the same age, I don’t have the same confidence that my parents had. I don’t trust enough to let my soon play outside yet. There’s too much in the world that seems to have sprung from nowhere to worry us. Too much danger now. And for the life of me I can’t understand why 20 years has seen such a huge rise in it. Either that or we just didn’t hear about it as much back then…
But going back to changes I am pleased to be living in: dating and relationships. I’m not part of the nuclear family as they say. And I’m proud of that, and proud that society has evolved to a place where that’s accepted. My partner and I moved in together and had our son before we were married (we still aren’t) and there’s no shame in this. It works for us and we’re very happy this way. But in my Grandparents time, you just wouldn’t have been able to behave this way. Instead you’d have faced shame and guilt. I for one am glad that my children get to live in a society where they can pick their own paths in dating and relationships without the expectation of anything other than their happiness to seek out it’s destination.
Another thing that I love now, is the evolution of this little thing we call social media. I get to build a whole life based on the online world and social media. Blogging is my favourite thing, my absolute favourite thing. I have self-taught myself photography, found a unique style of writing and am trying to perfect my Instagram theme. Social media gives us that content in quick snippets, in a way that’s easy to digest and fun to use. As someone who is quite sentimental, I love that it’s capturing and storing our memories of the journey along the way too.
There’s simply so much to have changed in the past twenty years as I’ve grown into an adult. I pay bills, I work, I worry about my kids and our future. But I also adore watching them evolve, learn all these wonderful new things through the amazing opportunities that increases in technology has seen become the norm. I get to experience a freedom that my parents and grandparents didn’t, I get to walk in more equality than women have ever done before me, and I get to make my own choices.
If this much has changed in twenty years, think back even further – think back to how much has changed over the last 100! Sunlife have an amazing tool that shows just how much has changed in the last 100 years and it’s really interesting to see. If you have inquisitive children like I do, then sit down and show them this, they’ll enjoy the lesson. Otherwise check it out for yourself and take a walk down Memory Lane because one thing is for sure, time flies.
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Sunlife but as ever all opinions are entirely my own. Please refer to my Disclaimer page for more details.