We Were Carefree

In the car, we always listen to the 80’s radio channel. Hubby loves 80’s songs and, while some of his other music choices make me want to pull my ears off (yes, I mean you, angry metal noise), I can handle the 80’s channel. It’s okay. Their playlist is limited to the same 50 songs which they play on repeat all year round, but fine.

One day a while ago, we were driving somewhere and 80’s songs were playing. And I thought to myself, wasn’t that an amazing time to be alive actually? Everyone was just so hedonistic and carefree.

Travelling without a thought for the environmental impact, keeping dolphins in tiny tanks so kids could gawk at them, smoking cigarettes like there was no tomorrow. It was like mankind was invincible. We could do what we wanted. There was no Wikipedia, no internet to guide our thoughts. We didn’t know anything was wrong in the world, or going to go bad if not stopped.

We just weren’t thinking at all, mostly. Or so I assume – I was just a kid. I was busy playing.

But wait… can we go back to keeping dolphins in tanks in the various seaworlds of the world? Do you think that’s fishy?

I can’t stop myself from wondering, what about all the other animals kept in captivity? Crocodiles doing similar shows in zoos, jumping to showcase their exquisite length and strength. Farm animals in petting zoos, existing for the sole purpose of letting kids pet them (or maybe they have other life goals I don’t know of?). Fish in aquariums, both commercial and at home – we saved the dolphins but are fish not considered animals in that sense either (I’m reminded of the vegetarians who eat fish) – how are they happier in a tank than a dolphin? And what about pet hamsters in cages and all of the other animals we keep as pets. Why do people who say they love animals insist on keeping them captive?

I’m not judging: I’ve been as much a part of all of the above activities as anyone else. And next summer, I’ll most certainly take my animal-loving kids to a petting zoo again. But it won’t be a carefree trip, my conscience will be nagging me. “Confused and conflicted”, that could be my status update if I were on social media. Or even my profile description – after all, it seems to have become a permanent state of mind.

The 80’s though, now that seemed like a fun decade. At least for kids. Cartoons on Sunday mornings, colourful ice cream, cool pop music videos, action figures. Movies with actual plots and actors who acted (i.e. not reality shows). No one was saying too much screen time was bad for you. Barbie dolls that were too skinny but that wasn’t an issue back then: political correctness hadn’t yet been born. We weren’t overthinking things, we were just doing.

Kids swam unsupervised, rode bikes without helmets, traveled by car sometimes with no seat belts.

It wasn’t all rosy, but the photos of that time captured only the good moments. The bad memories are long gone.

We traveled to see new places, learn about different ways of life. We needed to learn different languages because there were no translation apps.

Nowadays we travel to tick it off a list we learned about on social media, feeling peer pressure.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a safety freak. I wouldn’t want to go back to smoking in airplanes and not wearing helmets when they are needed.

But even I must admit that the carefree 80’s way does seem tempting right now. If only I could unsee and unknow. I’d like to un-Wikipedia myself, please.

In the 80’s, I don’t think we gave the future much thought. The world was ours to enjoy, it was our oyster. That seems like such a long time ago, I think with anxiety.

Covid, online and real life bullying of youngsters and increasingly violent crime committed by teens, climate change and all of its side effects, from an increase in rat populations and ticks to natural disasters and cross-continental mass migration in search of livable land, causing cultural conflict. I wish I had a time machine. Or a large eraser. What would I do differently?

Maybe the little things we do in 2021 can make a difference. Here’s to happy oblivion, cin cin!

Sweet dreams are made of this
Who am I to disagree
I travel the world and the Seven Seas
Everybody’s looking for something

(Eurythmics, 1983)

42 responses to “We Were Carefree

  1. There’s a saying that the grass is always greener … on the other side for the space & time continuum. I’m sure people will look back on the aughts and reminisce about unfettered world travel, eating in restaurants and breathing freely without a mask 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Yes, it seems now, the 80’s were the best time ever but it’s because we were carefree children. There were for example the chernobyl case 1986 but we didn’t quite understand (or care so much), we were just kids…still, I would like to go back for sure!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Agree! Everything is becoming more…..lifeless. I love 80s fashion but had just entered the world then. Still, I like to wear bold colours today- something about pushing ideas and existing boundaries of the world that is important to me. Let’s hope we’re not looking back at 2020 one day with the same nostalgia, if we did, the world would be in an even worse state!
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 80’s were great! yes, some of the things could have been done differently, with more concern for the environment for example, but we all did have a pretty carefree life/childhood. p.s. love that song

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful photos, especially the first one. So hard to think back. Everything in the past has acquired a museum feel to it. I don’t wish to un-Internet everything though. I know that without the net I would have gone crazy by now already. Confused and conflicted is right… Everything we do, no matter how little, makes a difference. Wishing you love and light in 2021.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I am the Queen of Greener Grass! And I need to get over it …

    This Christmas tested my mental health. I need to focus on the good and the positive. Lately, I seem to be focusing on the negative – Covid, faraway kids, the “old days,” like those awesome 80s and our old Christmases. Sometimes, it’s hard to see what we’ve gained, how we’ve grown and improved. I need a good shake – here’s to 2021 and some recalibration! Happy New Year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I try not to dwell on the past but I am constantly making plans for the future – near and far. The kids make me stay present and remember to be grateful for right now. For 2020, if I have to find something positive, it’s most certainly working from home!! Though I can’t believe it took a pandemic to make it happen – humans are just so stubborn and like to keep other humans under tight supervision, I guess.
      Here’s to 2021 bringing many more family meet-ups!!! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Not sure I could drive too far with 80s music as my soundtrack, especially if they only rotate 50 songs, but I’m with you on angry metal noise. Perhaps the carefree factor of those days had more to do with being a kid than it being the 80s. When I was a little kid (earlier than that), I used to hitchhike to catch the school bus. Parents would be arrested for allowing that nowadays. And it’s not that bad things didn’t happen back then. I’m sure they did, but people didn’t know about it the way they do today and there wasn’t the constant element of fear that’s so pervasive now. Of course, a great deal of that had to do with whether your home life was OK to great versus so so to hideous.
    Some decades were great for some people, awful for others. I’m not sure you’d enjoy traveling back to the 80s in a time machine. You’d be looking at it through different eyes, with a different perspective. It might spoil the fond memories you have of that time.
    Love the photos by the way, particularly the top two.

    Liked by 3 people

      • I don’t typically listen to music when I drive. Radio reception is erratic and changes quickly. On a longer trip I might put a CD (Yes, I still have some) which could be anything from classical to rock and roll. I have a couple of CDs labeled ‘Music that makes me smile,’ which are a very eclectic mix!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Growing up in the 70s & 80s was just so good, I could relate to your post. We do what we do, not giving much 2nd thoughts about anything much actually! You put it in words tremendously well the same thoughts that I have but I don’t know how to write it. Hahaha, thanks, what a pleasure to read. In 2000s, I started to have guilty conscience about choices I made. Now, sometimes if I forgot to bring containers for take-away, I would just refuse to buy it and go home. Haha. Dang! A happy new year to you and family Snow!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Starting from Notre Dame burning in Paris and then your evil bushfires, 2019-2020 really have been tough! Surely it can’t get worse? Fingers crossed we’ll be back to carefree hedonism in no time! Happy 2021,Andy!

      Like

  9. Pingback: Last day of Magic, Tschüss 2020 – justbluedutch·

  10. Interesting thoughts about pets and animals in captivity. I think there are animal-lovers who believe they look after their pets really well, and give them a great life (and they quite possibly do). However, people wanting pets (well-intentioned or not) is the very thing sustaining breeders, pet shops and even animal shelters. If no one wanted pets, there would be no breeders, no pet shops, and no chance for animals to be mistreated/abused and end up in shelters. Sure, there are plenty of proven benefits of pet ownership, but what about, for example, the environmental impact?
    Anyway, I better not go rambling down a tangent.

    Spectacular photos as always, particularly the skeletal trees, and the one with the tiny plane in the sky! Hope your 2021 is tranquil and joyous 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I was thinking about these things too (pets) and wondering if they have evolved to a point where they wouldn’t make it without us? Dogs, for example. But then, what would a world be without pettable animals? 🧐 But yes, I agree with your pondering.
      Many happy wishes to you for this brand new year!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You’ve captured the 80’s perfectly there! They certainly were carefree days if you were a kid, there seemed to be less rules for us back then…aaah the good old days! And no internet, wow am I pleased there wasn’t. Computers were just starting out, we had some pretty ropey versions which we played very basic games on…oh and game and watch games, now they were all the rage when we were kids in the early 80’s! Things feel very different now, but everything moves on I suppose, but I think there are quite a few things we can improve in today’s world!

    PS I have nominated you for the 10 Day Travel Photo Challenge – http://mydustyflipflops.com/2021/01/02/10-day-travel-photo-challenge-day-2/
    It’s just a bit of fun, so absolutely no pressure to take part, I know these things aren’t everyone’s cup of tea 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m flattered you thought of me for the challenge! 😍 I’ll browse my pics a bit and see if I get inspired! For most of my early travels, I didn’t carry a camera or wasn’t snapping many pics. But maybe I can do a modified version of the challenge, just for fun! ☺️Like shrink it into 1 post, perhaps. Thanks for reading and commenting, Dusty!

      Liked by 1 person

      • My pleasure Snow 🙂 No worries at all! Ah, I sometimes feel I should leave my camera at home when I go away, so I’m not looking at everything through a lens. But then I do love taking photos, I just have to remind myself to put it down and appreciate where I am as well! Playing with the challenge sounds like an excellent idea, after all the rules are there to be broken 😉 As I said, no pressure at all!

        Liked by 1 person

        • …Can I call you Dusty, btw? 😀 I kind of like the sound of it, heheh. I think we once chatted about blogging anonymously (?) but please tell me if you have another name you go by! (Snow isn’t my real name, either!! Some people have thought it was over the years…) 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • Yes I think we did, I’m still doing that for the moment, so yes, please feel free to call me Dusty 🙂 I like Snow too, even if it isn’t your real name… I wonder if there is anyone out there called it for real, there must be somewhere!

            Liked by 1 person

  12. The 80s were the best.
    If you ha e two-way to go back to that sort of life, I’m in!!
    STILL, I refuse TO wear a fudging helmet when riding my bike, let alone skiing. I’m vintage that way 😊.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Loved the pictures and loved the text. It’s such an interesting reflection on time and generations, and I completely agree with you in that we are no longer carefree, though we wish we would be! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 2 people

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