Some days, not many but some, I have the feeling that life would be a lot better if I could reset my brain. Let’s not be silly about this. I don’t mean back to a baby. A 55 year old dribbling and making gaga noises would be ridiculous.
I am simply talking about all those things that seemed wonderful to your younger self but that your jaded older persona finds boring or unsatisfying.
Take films. I have recently set up a games/video room. Nothing fancy, just an xbox360, a VHS for the kids films we have collected in that format and a Blu-ray. Great. Bought a couple of newish films but the ones we already have we have seen many times. It occurred to me that I knew the plots off by heart. Some I never tire of, round this time of year that means Christmas favourites and maybe some classic old sci-fi. Thing is you can only watch those every so often.
Off I toddled to CEX debit card in hand and picked up film after film. The new ones just seemed to be based on exactly the same story be it superheroes or unrequited love or both. This is where the re-boot would come in handy. Would these films be attractive if I hadn’t seen a thousand films all with the same basic story arc. Mainstream films are usually based on the same clichéd stories. Every swords and sorcery movie has the same basic format and most are loosely based on Tolkien. The ultimate sacrilege was Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the Hobbit. If you read it, it is a very small book and the story is mainly for children. Yet Mr Jackson in his quest for profits stretched it to three blockbuster films. There you go….cynicism. Re-booting would get rid of that.
Same goes for love…as a younger man I was a romantic. I had few real encounters with love but I magnified it in my mind into a glorious, wonderful thing. Two Marriages, two children, a step child and two step grandchildren later that has been swept away. I saw a film starring John Travolta, as a teenager, called ‘The boy in the plastic bubble’. It was about the angst of a boy who suffered from a disease which forced him to live in the aforementioned bubble. He was in love and it was a story I related to. I was in a lonely place then and the situation seemed similar. Now I cannot even remember the ending.
Then there is food. I cannot remember my first taste of certain foods. I eat things and the taste is pleasant but I can’t remember the wow factor experienced on first eating that food.
All these things, of course, come with age and experience. At 55 you have likely experienced most of the things you are going to experience and all tastes become jaded. Many say the same about physical love, that the desire for it is in inverse proportion to you experience. I cannot answer for anyone else but I still enjoy it. Even though that is the case new experiences are rare.
All this might seem that it is just a middle aged man regretting lost youth and it is. It does not consume me with jealousy though it seems youth is wasted on the young as someone once said. I know that I am enjoying a good life, I am happy with my wife and with my family. I have realised that losing a bit of weight will be a good thing but apart from that life is great.
But sometimes, just once in a while, I feel that wiping away the years of cynicism and experience that has left me a little jaded in my view of the world and it’s pleasures would not be a bad thing.