By Peter Kelly on 20 February 2018
One thing that is certain is that the older we get, the more memories we have – both good and some not-so-good.
As we are now into the last month of summer, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit nostalgic.
These days, particularly in the heat of a summer Queensland midday, I prefer to sit in air-conditioned comfort rather than tearing around like a madman which I might have done in the past. The idea of cruising down to the Gold Coast on a hot summer’s day with the sunroof open no longer holds a great degree of attraction. To me, Noel Coward’s words ‘mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun’ rings very true.
About a year ago I subscribed to the premium service from Spotify. This allows me to access any music I like - when I want to, without ads, and without having to amass a collection of records, CDs, and cassette tapes (remember all that stuff?). Streaming music is just very convenient. All I need is my phone, iPad or laptop and I have all the music I could ever want.
In reality, I have never been a big music fan. Sure, there are some tracks that really get my heart beating but there are others that cause suppressed memories from the past to resurface.
In line with my summer theme, I have gone back and started listening to some of the music from the 60’s that was so relevant in my formative years.
This was back in the days where you were either a fan of the Beatles or the Rolling Stones – but not both. It was a bit like the old ‘Ford v Holden’ (or was it Holden v Ford?) loyalty – you were either firmly one or the other.
However, my preference was for surfing music. Mind you I couldn’t surf to save myself, and swimming was just a necessity for staying alive when in the water.
Groups like the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean, the Surfaris, The Ventures, and The Shadows - the list just goes on and on - were some of my favourites.
So, where is this all going?
Over this long summer, I have been listening to some of those tracks that were so popular back when I was in my teens.
And it is all just so nostalgic…
We all have memories of our formative years. The dreams, the goals, the aspirations for what life would bring us. But over time, everyday life sort of just gets in the way and our many inspirational dreams drift into the recesses of our mind.
But then we listen to a piece of music from the past and it flicks a switch. Those memories, dreams and aspirations come flooding back. At least that is what has happened as I listen to songs I haven’t heard for years. It brings a lump to the throat.
Nostalgia, and re-living the past can be either a good or a bad thing.
If it results in pain, a sense of a wasted life, or having failed to achieve what was important, then it may not be so good.
But if it brings a warm sense of fulfilment or reinvigorates us, then perhaps nostalgia is really a good thing. It can revitalise us and provide us with a new perspective on life by offering a whole range of things we can look forward to accomplishing in the future.
Perhaps I am not too old to buy a 1965 Ford Mustang convertible and cruise the Gold Coast beaches or even to learn to surf (I would like to see that!).
Listening to some of the songs of my past filled me with mixed emotions.
I had many feelings of regret – for lost opportunities and the time I didn’t spend with family and friends because I was too busy building my career.
But, I also experienced a tinge of excitement as I realise I can go back and revisit some of those goals from the past, and actually re-prioritise and pursue them.
What brings back memories for you?
Is it music, photos, people, experiences or places?
Let’s savour the good memories and well, let the not-so-good ones just drop back into our subconscious.