How do you feel about change?
The world we all inhabit has changed dramatically since I was a girl.
There were a lot more rules of etiquette, manners mattered, and going to church was a virtue. People were addressed as Mr. and Mrs. or Miss, no first names until later, and there was a lot less swearing. There were general fears about war, even epidemics, but no one closed down countries as a result.
Skirts used to be a certain length. Fashion magazines would tell us what these lengths were for a particular season. And fashionable young women would take their clothes to a seamstress who would shorten them by one Inch or let an inch or two out to get it right for that year. This seemed extremely important. Seeing someone whose dress length was all wrong, diminished them in the eyes of judgmental women.
Well, that is no more. Take a look at the photo below.
At a recent Easter event, the skirt lengths were extremely varied. Some were so short it looked dangerous. Others were full-length skimming the top of the shoe. One of the girls in this photo is actually wearing an old evening dress that once belonged to me. I wore it for years very proudly.
Language has changed. Words that would never be uttered in company in the 1950s are common and spoken by men and women and the young. Yet other words that were once commonplace or at least allowed, have changed in connotation or been appropriated by one group or another. Many of them are no longer in our lexicon.
Now I see them (words) in the strangest places. Pronouns appear that seem very out of place in a signature or under one. Why? Oh! I know what they are saying. How could I avoid knowing? But the human race got along for thousands and thousands of years without stating preferred pronouns. And I wish they would quit it.
Houses have always been places of refuge. Theoretically at least, they were cozy and warm and comfortable. But suddenly I am confronted with white, stark, angles and steel and glass. Where once well-rubbed dark wood and upholstery reined supreme; these have been banished as old-fashioned. I recently visited a club that used to be gorgeous, welcoming, softly contoured, where sounds were muffled and filtered light gently lit the interior. A complete transformation occurred under new ownership. It cost a fortune. Now it is all monochrome, angles, and as welcoming as an operating room in a hospital. The bare floor, no draperies, bright lighting blasts the visitor, and there is nothing to absorb the sounds from assaulting one’s ears. This is progress?
On the other hand, there are no barriers to anyone of any ethnicity or sexual preference. Women can hold any position. (by law). In fact, most people don’t even notice whether a radio host is male or female, or a Senator or a judge might be either without comment. Women fought hard for their right to all these choices. Along with this came some disturbing traits in those whom some call “snowflakes”. These poor souls need “safe spaces” to go to when something happens that they do not like. They are easily “triggered”. I am not sure I ever heard and certainly never used that word until the early 2000s … When did it begin? They stole that word from people who had actual trauma, people who had been in wars or horrible, violent situations. Now the words belong to spoiled brats who won’t put up with any idea they don’t agree with.
Therapy has improved a lot over my lifetime. One of my daughters is an art therapist. What a wonderful idea that is. I know that working with art can be very freeing and satisfying. Especially things you can do with your hands like sculpting, throwing pots, or even finger painting or playing with a musical instrument. Of course, writing is pretty cathartic. We should all be keeping a record of our thoughts and the events in our lives.
My time in this world is dwindling so that there is far more time that has passed than time ahead of me. But the view is great from here. Things seem to make sense in a way they didn’t when I was young or even in the middle of life. Some of the things that were so important at one time, just fade into the background. Some boyfriend you lost, a school you were not accepted into. Even for your children, disappointments led to other opportunities and so each experience is best embraced for what it is. In the end, it all forms a meaningful pattern we can only see in retrospect.
Life is full of change and surprises. Many are wonderful! Many are not. I am grateful for every day left to me whether things go my way or not. Overall I choose life.
Copyright©. 2022 Bonnie B. Matheson