Things Ain’t Like They Used To Be

Skinny? No, normal. Boys running on the beach in the 1950s.

Today is my eldest daughter’s prom day.  Of course High School Prom’s are a dreadful American import that serve to part doting parents from their hard earned cash – but now is not the time…  I know that for many this is a day full of significance as they are leaving school and will be off to College next term and albeit that in many cases that college is on the same site as the old school it is a major milestone on the road to adulthood.

I can imagine that many parents will be a little shocked at this ‘coming of age’ and will be wondering how their baby grew up so fast.

For me it was my youngest daughter who gave me a jolt.  My eldest has been ‘grown up’ for a while and the Prom feels natural.  But this morning the newly minted teen left the house early on her way to meet friends and then go to Oxford shopping.  That was all ok – it was the reason she left early – to go to the bank.  What happened to my Baby! When did she become mature enough to have a debit card?

Things do have a habit of creeping up on us.

Over the last twelve months I have been doing more exercise.  I was very pleased when my belt moved back down a notch to where it had been three years ago.  I was however caught by surprise when I put an old suit on and it was way too big.  The belt needed a new hole knocking in it.  I hadn’t noticed that I’d lost that much waistline!

The above picture is of normal healthy kids on the beach in the late 1950’s.  It feels very familiar to me and could have been me in the late 60’s. The image comes from the Guardian and was used to illustrate an article on obesity.  The suggestion was that to many the kids look undernourished.  However what we see as normal now is in fact overweight.  Therefore we take no action until the problem is well established.

We humans have evolved to spot danger.  And danger normally comes in the form of something sudden and different – after all if I wasn’t eaten yesterday and nothing has changed it is probably safe.  So we tend to over react to sudden disruptive events and underestimate the importance of small incremental changes, if we even notice them.  When faced with the consequences of small incremental changes over time we often try to attribute the cause to significant events.  After all we reason that minor changes achieve nothing much.

It’s worth reflecting on what small things are changing, unnoticed, in your world that might have a big impact?  What seemingly major changes are in fact an accumulation of small changes over time?  And most importantly what small  (and therefore simple and easy) changes can you make that over time will take you closer to your goals?

I went around the way for you
Did all those things you asked me to
I thought it was the perfect day
Till she just opened up to say

It doesn’t mean a thing to me
It doesn’t mean a thing to me
And it’s about time you see
Things ain’t like they used to be

The Black Keys


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