Thursday, 14 December 2017

A CHANGE IS AS GOOD AS A REST - OR IS IT? WHAT DO YOU THINK...?



"A distinctive quality or atmosphere."  That's one of the definitions of the word 'flavour'.  And every neighbourhood I've ever lived in has had its own distinct flavour.  Whether it was intrinsic, or just the way I perceived things, I'm not quite sure;  perhaps a little of both.  In the latter case, if you live in the same house and area for many years, that perception can change with age, because when you're a kid and the territory is your playground, the way you view your surrounding environs differs from when you're an adult and it's only the place where you live.  As a grown-up, you no longer play in the woods and climb the trees, or go exploring the boundaries of your locale with your pals, so your perception (and thus the flavour) of the place likely adapts to your shifting experience of it.

In my case, I know that my neighbourhood no longer 'tastes' exactly as it did when I was a teenager.  That's due to various reasons, many of them ones of style.  For example, the pavements no longer have light grey slabs, but instead sport a dark tar macadam.  Street lights are no longer painted light grey, but for many years were of a much darker hue before being replaced with bare aluminium ones.  The designs of the cars parked in the street are totally different to cars of the '70s.  There are fewer green spaces for kids to play, and the horizons are narrowing because of new edifices blotting out the sky.  Even something as seemingly trivial as the shape and colour of window frames can alter the mood of a street in quite a significant way.  The 'feeling' I now experience of my surroundings when I leave my house to go shopping or visiting is not the same as when I was a teenager or young adult on my way to school or work, or simply going to see friends.

But there's another factor.  When I was younger, lingering thoughts of mortality did not concern me with quite the same intensity as they do nowadays (after all, the prospect of death seems far more remote in youth), and I had a sense of optimism about life.  Free from the worry of earning a living, or securing a future and raising a family, when I was a kid life seemed like one big adventure and I couldn't wait to see what a new day would bring.  Now, rapidly approaching old age and in physical and intellectual decline, I fear for the future and could see tomorrow far enough (except when waiting for some item purchased on eBay to arrive).  All those different factors coalesce to alter not only my perception of my place in the scheme of things, but also to change the 'scheme of things' itself.  A two-pronged attack as it were.

Perhaps it's a mistake to stay in the same environment for any significant length of time.  Maybe people need to change their surroundings every so often, otherwise the taste of daily living becomes stale and no more than an endless repetition of things that no longer satisfy, no longer inspire.  True, the pattern of life is pretty much the same wherever we live, but the illusion of 'freshness' and 'newness' that comes with a change of locale is perhaps the closest we'll ever get to feeling that our daily grind has been infused with new 'life'.

Are you an adult who's lived in the same house since you were a kid?  If so, do you recognise what I'm trying to say, or does the continuity of your life from infancy afford a comfort that you'd be loath to relinquish?  Or do you sometimes feel suffocated by it and yearn for change?  Particularly if the place as you once knew it no longer seems the same, and you're merely clinging on to the ghost of a memory of how things used to be.  If you can make head or tail of what I've been rabbiting on about, I'd be interested in reading your thoughts in the comments section.      

8 comments:

-3- said...

You're mocking me...

(That'll make more sense in about 5 hours)

Kid said...

Oh, that's right - you've jumped about a bit in your time, haven't you? Was there ever a time you wish you'd stayed in the same place for longer than you did?

-3- said...

Not just that. You've since seen how poorly my post on my past compares to yours, eh? And we've seen how disconnected i am from my own timeline from your post earlier this week.

Yeah, there were times. Note that not only locations were constantly changing, that also prevented any long term friendships/relationships during those early decades. No doubt that contributed to my hermit nature.
But, on the plus side, that constant change and shifting view of the world taught me at a very early age to understand how much of what we're told is pure BS. I find the very broad exposure to the world and to many different peoples gave me a perspective that was a fair trade, to me.
The lack of roots diminishes connection, but is liberating in return.

Kid said...

By the time I was 13 and a half, I'd lived in 5 different abodes, so I was always the new kid on the block - then I was gone. However, I first moved into this house 45 years ago, and I do like having the familiar around me... sometimes though, it just doesn't seem all that familiar anymore. I'm not sure I want to be 'liberated' though - not at my age.

John Smith said...

God, I want to comment on this but I'm so tired. Maybe later..

Kid said...

I've just awoken from a sleep 'cos I'm tired all the time, so I know how you feel. Grab a kip and return later as I'd certainly be very interested in your take on this.

Dougie said...

I've moved house 13 times. I don't think I want to go back to my childhood home, if that were possible. And I found although I yearned for years to come back to Glasgow that I didn't enjoy it at all. The house I'm now renting in Elgin is the nicest place I've ever lived, I reckon.

Kid said...

Going by the photos you showed on your blog, it certainly looks like a really nice house. Funny that in sometimes yearning for a 'golden age', we don't realise that in clinging on to a dream of the past we might be depriving ourselves of an even better future.

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