The Carefree Days Of Youth

This post is inspired by an article at The Good Men Project titled “Those Long Summer Days of Our Youth—Then and Now, Carefree and Not“.

In the article, the author 

I remember the summer days when I was a teenager, certainly a young teenager.  I would go to my grandparents’ farm and help with the harvest.  Normally that would consist of stacking bales of straw on the back of a trailer.

It was an efficient system.  Someone would drive the combine harvester.  Someone would drive the tractor with a bailer behind it and another contraption that would sort the bails in to blocks of 8 would follow behind that.  Someone would be driving another tractor to pick up those bails and put them on a back of trailer for my brother and I to stack more neatly for transport.

It would then be home, probably later than we should have been.  A quick swim (or, rather, splash) in the neighbours’ pool might happen, or a walk down to the lake at the back of the house with the dog or to go fishing.

It’s interesting that those are the days I remember when I think of my youth, but I also remember something else that wasn’t quite so carefree.  I was terrible at throwing things away.  I wasn’t a hoarder as such, I was just very aware of the individuality of things.  I thought of everything as unique, so I didn’t like having to throw it away.  Interestingly I can only remember this manifesting itself in a large collection of sweet wrappers and I can’t remember how long it lasted, although I think it wasn’t very long.

I also got stressed about exams.  I hated them, but it was the pressure of letting people down rather than anything else about how they would affect me.  Again, I didn’t really have the problem at uni and I don’t have it in my working life now when under exam style conditions.

In the article I mentioned, the author talks about the sharp contrast between his carefree childhood years and those of his daughter now:

Now, I am concerned for my daughter’s safety.

In truth, I don’t want her walking in the neighborhood alone. And as far is being out all day on her bike? That’s not very likely to happen at least until something changes with our housing and personal finances.

She spends her time on tablet, laptop and phone or working on a Youtube video. Most [sic] everything she does is within her bedroom walls. I take her out to go shopping at the mall, for lunch, or some ice cream. We go for walks, too. And for now, that’s the best we can do.

The summers don’t seem so carefree anymore.

It was the bit about what his daughter does now that caught my eye.  He makes it sound like everything his daughter does now is a result of stress and pressure.

It got me thinking about who really doesn’t have a carefree life now.  Sure, everyone has stress, even children.  We all have things we could do without.  However, I don’t believe that the author’s daughter does those activities she does out of the pressure of it.  I think her phone, her computer and her Youtube video are our straw bales or our dog walks.  It may be no more stressful or no less carefree as our youths, just different.

But the thing I thought the article highlighted more was that the author’s life was no longer carefree.  He has to care for a daughter and he does; he worries about her because he wants the best for her and sometimes that causes him to worry because her childhood isn’t like his.  I wonder if he cares about her wellbeing, her life, her future more than she maybe does?

I wanna dance by water ‘neath the Mexican sky
Drink some Margaritas by a string of blue lights
Listen to the Mariachi play at midnight
Are you with me, are you with me?

Are you with me?

Are you with me?

Drink some Margaritas by a string of blue lights
Listen to the Mariachi play at midnight
Are you with me, are you with me?

I wanna dance by water ‘neath the Mexican sky
Drink some Margaritas by a string of blue lights
Listen to the Mariachi play at midnight
Are you with me, are you with me?

Are you with me?

I wanna dance by water ‘neath the Mexican sky
Drink some Margaritas by a string of blue lights
Listen to the Mariachi play at midnight
Are you with me, are you with me?

I wanna dance by water ‘neath the Mexican sky
Drink some Margaritas by a string of blue lights
Listen to the Mariachi play at midnight
Are you with me, are you with me?

Are You With Me? by Lost Frequencies

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