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  • Writer's picturePaula Wesselmann

Life Was Simpler Back Then

I was fortunate as a child to have experienced amazing Christmases. It’s funny, when I look back at my past it wasn’t the presents I remember, it was the beauty of the Christmas tree all dressed up and glowing with the divine light of joy and peace. It was the story of baby Jesus, the love of Joseph and Mary for God’s child, the angels, wise men, shepherds, and animals among the straw where baby Jesus lay. The smell of a fresh pine tree, and the excitement of preparing everyone’s favorite foods, desserts, and cookies. Singing with my father as he played our favorite Christmas carols, and even though I was sometimes off key no one cared. Watching the flames from the fireplace slowly die down, and as bedtime approached my romantic heart wondered what awaited me as the new year approached. I loved my stocking Christmas morning, not filled with little presents, but a juicy red delicious apple and orange, nuts, and candy. Life was simpler back then, and it taught me an appreciation for whatever I had at the moment.

Life should be fully enjoyed at any age and yes, life was simpler without the highly sophisticated technology that we are exposed to today. I often hear from acquaintances that meeting new people and finding your significant other was easier years ago when there weren’t so many distractions. The advantage back then was that couples weren’t on their cell phone instead they were staring into each other’s eyes and falling in love or reconnecting. I read that there have been no real “Golden Ages,” in human history. Simpler lives were lived, but were they happier than humans today? People from the past remember the value of patience and a slower pace of life that encouraged them to enjoy their work, come home to a family dinner where conversations were face-to-face, and take time to unwind and focus on the family. There may not have been any “Golden Ages,” in human history, but I experienced the “Golden Age of Travel” as a Pan Am stewardess when the thrill of the jet age began. Each decade in the 20th century was huge in technology and change and we enjoyed the freedoms of this country that allowed us to explore our imagination and accomplish our dreams that changed the world. Each generation has its own challenges, and since the most constant thing we have in life is change, it is about not living in the past, but remembering it, and enjoying the moments of life that are given to us in the now, and all the possibilities that await us with each new day.

This holiday season, I wish for you whatever makes you happy, and may that happiness bring you good health, and the perseverance you need to achieve your dreams and to be the best you can be. Merry Christmas.

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