Last week, I did something I haven’t done in… ooh… yonks!
I watched an entire TV programme, which wasn’t Made In Chelsea (and, no, I am not at all embarrassed about that! 😐).
So, why the sudden change in TV watching activity?
Well, for the first time, in what seems like forever, a show dedicated to someone of my own generation (X), someone I had been a fan of in my younger years, appeared on the small screen!
And that person was none other than Gary Barlow of ’90s’ boyband Take That fame. 😍
From start to finish, I was transfixed!
As an added bonus, some of Gary’s guests on his Night At The Museum Christmas show included former ’80s’ and ’90s’ heart-throbs Rick Astley, Jason Donovan and Ronan Keating (all of whom appeared to have hardly aged at all! ☺️).
It was all so familiar, so warm ’n’ fuzzy, so comforting that I ended up (as you do nowadays) falling down the YouTube rabbit hole of anything and everything related to the subjects of Gary’s show…
Such as… Robbie Williams, the first member of Take That to strike out on his own back in the mid-nineties (if anyone cares to remember😉!).
My YouTube search of Robbie’s name led me to his recent appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, where he sang his most recent release, You Can’t Stop Christmas, a cheery ditty with a movingly profound meaning in the light of the events of this past year.
Oh, what a miserable year
Feels like we’re at war!
That was it!
I had opened Pandora’s box and the genie was well and truly out of the bottle.
The memories came flooding back, thick and fast…
My all-time favourite Take That hit which came out in 1995, just as I was coming of age.
The apparent youthful innocence of Gary, Robbie and the other members of the band back then reminded me of my own wide-eyed innocence at that time…
The intense feelings of hope, trust and faith that I had in a bright future.
The world was my oyster and I had no doubt in my ability to conquer it and win at the game of life!
Such fanciful naivety seems rather misplaced now in today’s pandemic-preoccupied world.
However, painful as that nostalgia-induced realisation might be, it has highlighted for me just how necessary nostalgia indulgence is for us all this Christmas.
”Why?” you might cry.
Well, I can think of at least three great reasons to dabble in nostalgia over the festive period…
(And, let’s face it, with pandemic lockdowns tightening their grip all around us, it’s not like we have much else to do! 😬)
1. It reminds us of the past
As I fell headlong in that YouTube rabbit hole of Gary Barlow/Take That-related nostalgia, I was reminded of all my youthful hopes and dreams…
The things that I, as a wide-eyed seventeen-year-old, had wanted (and expected) to achieve in my life.
Back then, we were told that we could do anything we put our minds to…
Indeed, I pretty much based my life’s ambitions around that well-worn trope.
And, you know, there might well be something in the power of positive affirmations after all, because I did, for the most part, achieve much of what I had set out to do.
University, a career, extensive travel and my precious little family all came along in due course.
Life, give or take a few inevitable disappointments, was good until…
The pandemic and all the accompanying talk of a “new-normal” hit!
The more I dipped back into those old YouTube videos and those dusty, old photo albums containing the remnants of the glory days of my youth, the more I realised that I didn’t ever want our “old normal” to be buried, forgotten and made extinct.
I needed to engrave the freedoms of my youth, of those glorious pre-Covid days, into the deepest recesses of my memory before that essential frame of reference, our “old normal”, was stolen from my children‘s future. 😨
2. It makes us focus on the present
Let’s face it!
2020 has been a hellish year!
Easily the worst of all my years in this earthly realm!!
The state-sponsored programme of fear, the lockdowns, the seemingly interminable restrictions, the estrangement from our extended families, the cancelling of anything even remotely joyous in our lives…
And my recent willingness to get caught in the nostalgia trap tells me that something is very gravely amiss with the present.
After all, we only tend to look longingly backwards when fear, stemming from our present experience, permeates our future! 😭
3. It warns us about the future
They don’t call them ”the good old days” for nothing!
If our trip down memory lane (minus those rose-tinted specs! 😉) tells us that our quality of life is on the decline, and, even more worryingly, that our children’s future happiness is being threatened, it might be high time to stop doing the same thing in the hope of getting a different result.
Otherwise, we could very well wake up one day to find that our hitherto peaceful societies have suddenly been turned into The Hunger Games, with no way back!
So, there you have it, my dear readers, nostalgia is almost as necessary to our basic survival as food and water!
Until next time…
(And here’s hoping for a truly bright New Year! 🤞 🎈🎉🎊💞)
💋 Mostly Mum
*All gifs are via GIPHY