As a kid, it's hard to imagine what life will be like as an adult. Grown-ups just always seemed so foreign and, well ... grown up.
Of course, as a grown-up myself (at least chronologically!), adulthood doesn't really seem that mysterious or exotic. It's just the day-to-day business of life, now.
Weirdly, in fact, it's childhood that seems slightly perplexing and strange. I've already been through it, but it seems like children today are entirely different than the ones of yesteryear.
While innovations and technology certainly improve our lives for the better, there's something to be said for the old customs and traditions that seem to have fallen by the wayside in recent years. Take a look back, and tell us if something couldn't be gained by bringing these simple pleasures back into everyday life.
1. Neighborly Friendships
Today, we live closer than ever in terms of distance, but are often very far from our neighbors on a personal level. In the past, everybody knew everybody, and neighborly hospitality was a given. However, it's completely common now for people to live next to each other for decades without ever speaking.
2. Everything From Scratch
I'll be the first to say that frozen pizzas have saved my hide on more than one occasion, but there's just something about homemade food that can't be replaced by the convenience of boxed alternatives.
Pre-made food is all but essential for the busy lives we lead today, but we shouldn't let cooking skills and from-scratch meals fall completely out of favor. It's usually healthier, and everyone knows homemade buttercream frosting knocks store-bought out of the park any day of the week.
3. Respect For The Elderly
While many parents have made sure their children know how to pay respect to their elders, it seems like what used to be common courtesy is falling increasingly out of favor.
Simply opening the door or helping someone across the street goes a long way!
4. Let Kids Get Dirty
Video games are fun, and television and tablets can provide all kinds of educational lessons, but kids need time to just be kids. Who doesn't fondly remember splashing in puddles, climbing trees, and riding bikes until sundown as a kid?
If nothing else, physical activity has been linked to increased academic success for kids. So, let them run free and enjoy their childhoods ... you only get one!
5. Quality Entertainment For The Whole Family
Today, there are hundreds of channels on the television that play around the clock; that doesn't even count content being published on YouTube and other websites. With so much to choose from, there's bound to be at least a little (or a lot) of less-than-stellar programming.
Kids are exposed to much more today than they were previously, and, in terms of family time, there's little that Mom, Dad, and the kids can agree on. Before the advent of the television age, there were several shows on the radio that were happily part of every family's quality time.
6. Handmade Items
Now, it's easy to buy mass-produced everything, but there's something to be said about warming yourself with a handmade quilt or wearing a dress made by Mom, with love.
While today's fashion might be cheaper and take considerably less time to make, items made with love just have a quality that can't be reproduced.
7. Take Your Time
Today, we're rushing from place to place with barely a moment to relax. We're all so busy that it can be hard to find time to visit with friends and family, much less sit quietly and relax in someone's company.
Even when we're in the same place, we're often distracted by smartphones, televisions, or school and work obligations. Sadly, it seems like family relaxation time is a thing of the past.
8. Not Afraid Of Hard Work
It used to be that if something broke, you could fix it. Now, most people's first reaction is to take the item to be repaired. While it's true that some things, like cars and washing machines, are much more complicated than they used to be, practical repair skills seem to have fallen out of favor, especially in education.
Think of all the money you could save by having the know-how to fix things yourself!
9. Making Education A Priority
We have certainly made education more accessible in many ways over the years, and we have more college graduates than ever ... but, sadly, that doesn't mean we have the same respect for education. It seems very much like a case of making something readily available, only to have people take it increasingly for granted.
10. Privacy Was Paramount
Personal matters used to be just that, personal. Now, with increased ease of communication, particularly on a global level (thanks, internet!), people often overshare. It's nice to be able to keep up with friends and family regardless of geographical distance, but it never hurts to keep some things to yourself.
"Airing dirty laundry" usually comes around to bite you in the end!
11. Avoiding Overspending And Encouraging Saving
We live in a culture built on easy credit. Although we've learned some lessons after the last financial recession, people often find it much harder to live within their means than they used to. Granted, inflation is up and wages are down, making it harder for families to support themselves without working themselves to the bone, but the "keeping up with the Joneses" mentality is also to blame.
As for saving? Forget about it! Studies have shown that between half and three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
12. Quality Family Time
For previous generations, nightly family dinners were non-negotiable. Everyone sat down at the table, at the same time, with no phones or TVs to distract them. Family members shared the high points of their day, as well as the lows, and generally listened to what was going on in each of their lives.
With all the commitments we find ourselves trying to fulfill, it's almost impossible to get everyone eating at the same time one night a week, let alone seven.
13. Helping Hands Were Readily Available
In the past, no youngsters would have ever dreamed of seeing an older person trying to cross the street and walking past. Stopping to help anyone in need, especially elders, was a given for everyone, not just kids.
Today, we all often pass each other by without even thinking of what little thing we could do to make someone's life so much easier.
14. Romance Was Alive And Well
No "Netflix and chill" or swiping right and left for past generations!
Couples used to fill their dates with long talks, nights of dancing, and many other romantic activities. Taking things slow and taking the time to really get to know one another doesn't happen nearly as often anymore ... but maybe it should.
15. Over-The-Top Customer Service With A Smile
Today, if you ask someone at the store where an item is, you might get lucky and have a friendly employee show you exactly where you can find it and make sure you don't need anything else. But, often, you'll get a concise reply that may or may not have answered your question.
While there are still waiters, cashiers, and more who are happy to go that extra mile, customer service often just isn't like it used to be.
16. Passing Down Stories
Some of my fondest memories are of sitting with my grandmother, doing tasks "the old-fashioned way." As we would shell peas or stitch by hand, she would tell me stories about growing up that were like something from a whole different world.
Today, we don't often take the time to just listen to stories from the past and, sadly, one day they'll be gone.
Take the chance while you have it and spend time with your loved ones!
Be sure to SHARE these nostalgic traditions with your friends and family.