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Brambline
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 Post subject: OT: Getting old and latching onto childhood memories
PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:09 pm 
Just a funny little Off Topic thingie to share.

For some odd reason I'm going through a very strong phase of remembering my childhood and my history. Or rather, latching on and trying not to forget it before it's gone from my memory. There's nothing that special about it mind you. I had my share of ups and downs (never any dramatically terrible downs either) - so it's not a matter of self therapy. It's more about getting older and wanting to keep the memories alive as they slip away year by year. We all remember what happened to us today and the day before, but we don't remember what happened last week equally well. We remember stuff from last year even worse - and it's this effect of now being 42 and having so much time behind me eroding those memories.

Lately I've been documenting everything I still can remember, by jotting down years and memories, gathering images online of toys I had, tv shows I watched, candies I loved. I've been making a playlist in Spotify of music I listened to as a kid. And even though I never bought anything before on Ebay even though I've been browsing stuff since it first came online in the 90's, well lately I've been shopping like a mad man, searching and buying items that I used to have as a kid but which were lost or thrown away over the years.

I wonder why I've never had this kind of phase before in my life. And will this obsession with my past pass by, or just grow stronger? Who knows!

Anyone else ever experience this?



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 Post subject: Re: OT: Getting old and latching onto childhood memories
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:51 am 
Forgive me for saying so - but everything you describe actually points towards a mild mid-life crisis.

This is nothing uncommon about 10% of all men and women in the western hemisphere experience this between the age of 40-60.

By the way, the term crisis in mid-life crisis should not be taken as the meaning of 'emergency' or 'danger' but rather the meaning 'ready to change state' (this definition stems from the natural sciences).

Mid-life crisis is most commonly known from the way they are presented in american sit-coms where they are caricatured and often blown out of proportions and to the extremes (mind you that the representations can happen in real life - but they are not the norm).

One of the symptoms of mid-life crisis can be a desire to achieve a feeling of youthfulness - which can be satisfied by holding on to some of the fond memories of childhood or youth by trying to recreate the feelings from back then - which is exactly what you describe.

With regards to this 'obsession' growing stronger or leaving you I can only say, that a typical mid-life crisis lasts anywhere from 2-5 years for women (and up to 10 years for men). But some of the symptoms may stay with you forever turning the symptom into a hobby (fun fact: interest in genealogy is often sparked during a mid-life crisis, but often stays as a hobby).

Hope this makes sense.

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Brambline
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 Post subject: Re: OT: Getting old and latching onto childhood memories
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:48 am 
Mid life crisis? Hmm that never crossed my mind actually! I guess it was because I always connected mid life crisis to feeling unhappy about getting old, wanting to pursue young romantic partners and wanting to look young again. All of which don't fit me (at least yet!). I also looked the term up and came across this page.

Unhappiness with life and the lifestyle that may have provided them with happiness for many years.

Well I am pretty tired all the time, but I don't think I'd say I'm unhappy with life.


Boredom with people and things that may have been of interest to them before.

Feeling a bit bored with WoW at the moment, but aren't we all? (those of us who have been playing from the start) Not feeling bored of the people in my life though, then again I'm quite introverted so I don't socialize with more than a couple of very close friends "face to face".


Feeling a need for adventure and change.

If I weren't so weary all the time, maybe I might feel this. But being tired means that I pray for as little change as possible to just try and deal with the here and now before being bombarded with new stuff.


Questioning the choices, they have made in their lives and the validity of decisions they made years before.

On the whole, I'm pretty happy with how things layed themselves out and am exactly where I wanted to be. But of course, there are a couple of minor things that I could have done differently. I guess that's natural though.


Confusion about who they are and where they are going.

This would not fit me at all, it's just the opposite.


Anger at their spouse and blame for feeling tied down.

Well I've been single for many years now, but I reckon that if I were living with a partner right now I'd most likely feel this way yeah. I've always enjoyed being on my own more for some reason. Which is why I also prefer solo play in MMOs.


Unable to make decisions about where they want to go with their life.

Since I've attained pretty much all the things that I was striving for when I was younger, I don't have a strong urge to "go" anywhere. Right now it's just enjoying what I have and letting one day come after the next.


Doubt that they ever loved their spouse and resentment over the marriage.

Again being single scratches this one out for me.


A desire for a new and passionate, intimate relationship.

These types of feelings come once in a blue moon, but I guess being so independent and needing solitude keeps these feelings at bay. I don't know why I enjoy being alone so much, it could be because that's how I spent most of my childhood as well - always preferring to go fishing, draw, catch bugs or other calming and reflective solo things. So now spending time all day at work with hustle and bustle around, then being with my sons in the evening, "alone time" is something I cannot get enough of. And if I had a partner, I'd have even less alone time - which is a draining thought. Mind you, once my kids fly from the nest, or once I become a pensioner and I start to have all the alone time I could ever want, this is likely to change. I'll probably start yearning more for romance then. Who knows.

My conclusions: Since I'm pretty happy with my life and since there is no spouse around to make me feel tied down, I do not fit the bill of a common mid life crisis set of symptoms. However, what if this is a normal psychological phase trying to happen, (I mean, these things must have a purpose, just as teenage rebellion does, right?) so maybe the mid life crisis is channelling itself out in other ways, such as making me obsessed with childhood memories and objects. And it's not that I want to "go back in time", but rather I'm scared of forgetting them as years pass on and my memory of them gets worse. Once a memory - say for instance "Sharing a blue candy in our school yard with Elena by both biting down half and half so that we look like we're kissing and being scared of her biting on my lip" has been "documented" by my gathering images of a) the same exact blue candy b) a picture of our old school and c) Elena... once the google map location has been found, once I've jotted down the scenario and why we figured this was the most practical way to divide the candy. Once all that has been done, I'm satisfied and feel like the memory is now safe and have no need to go over it again in my mind. It's processed, completed, taken care of. Which will make it interesting to see whether this phases passes as soon as all of my memories have been documented!



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 Post subject: Re: OT: Getting old and latching onto childhood memories
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:58 am 
Quote:
However, what if this is a normal psychological phase trying to happen, (I mean, these things must have a purpose, just as teenage rebellion does, right?)


This is exactly my point - that we probably all experience a mid-life crisis, but it differs in how it manifests itself - and the 10% mentioned are the ones where the crisis manifests itself severely enough to break the norm behaviour (just like teenage rebellion manifests itself differently from teen to teen and only a few percent actually act out enough to actually break the norm).

Actually I believe, that we jump from "crisis" to "crisis" during large parts of our lives - e.g. recently the term quarter-life crisis has been coined for the period from early twenties to early thirties where the most prominent feature is the fear of confronting one owns mortality (typically around the 25th or 30th birthday) and insecurities about the transition from student to professional.

And as you mention yourself the teenage rebellion....and before that childhood is divided into several periods of change (or crisies according to the definition from natural sciences).

One psychologist (Erik Erikson) divided development into 8 stages (crises according to the previous definition) where the 7th corresponds to the mid-life crisis, and while I don't necessarily agree with him on what the different stages contain, I do agree with him on the point of us jumping through stages almost all of our life - but how we act on the changes in each stage manifest itself in different ways where only the most severe manifestations are recorded in pop- or scientific culture, while all other manifestations are "normal" as they fall within acceptable behaviour.

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You get what you need


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Odiun
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 Post subject: Re: OT: Getting old and latching onto childhood memories
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:04 pm 
I understand how You feel Bramb, Im also going through something similar. Maybe its simply a midlife crisis, gonna be 38 in july and somehow I feel that I missed something important on the way.


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