“What Can the Year 1985 Teach Us About Today?”


By: Seth Lejeune

It was the year of the Goonies, Back to the Future and too many great songs to count. (RIP Prince) “What can 1985 teach us about today?”

I’m fairly certain that everyone has (or at least I hope they do) a year or era of their lives where their recollection is one of pure innocence and simplicity.  For me, this year was 1985. As the youngest of 6 siblings and a full time job romping in the woods, those are the times that make me sentimental of my childhood. As I venture into middle age, I naturally find myself drifting back to those days with my curated memory, realizing we had a whole lot of fun and laughs back then. No digital devices, no internet, no Google, lots of board games and outside activities. If we needed something, we had to wait for it. We had to pick our Xmas gifts out of the Sears catalog by circling them. If our parents were late, we had to sit idly by and wonder where they were only to see that heavenly over-sized station wagon pull in a few minutes later …the symbol that everything was going to be ok. Overall, we experienced more discomfort back then, but we were still capable of being happy. In fact, were we happier? I’ll get back to that…

Since mid-March 2020, the posh regularities of life have been stripped away by an external force. Leading up to this time, we were overworked, overbooked & controlling. We all knew these things about ourselves… we would joke about it at parties or rhetorically ask ourselves privately when the hell we were gonna slow down and why we felt the need to fulfill all these obligations. Who were we trying to please anyway? What were we trying to prove?

Say what you want about social media but it does provide an interesting window into the mindset of people. As shutdowns began, it was apparent people were having trouble letting go of their old routines and obligations. But as time went on, something unforeseen (and predictable at the same time) began to happen. People starting letting go. Letting go of the “needs” and “wants”. Letting go of the structure. Realizing that their ways weren’t going to work in this “new normal”. Some have struggled more than others with this… some have hit their stride by now.

The question is really this: What if the key to cracking the code of this new reality is to reflect and remember we were all able to live perfectly well with a lot less in our own 1985. What if instead of fighting with our kids about “screen time”, we shove them out the door into the backyard? What if we stop worrying so much about perfection and focus on contentment? What if everything we need is right here, right now… it was simply hidden by all the extra stuff we were told by the world to integrate into our lives.

Is simplicity what we all thought it might be? The “way out”… not sure, but we’re gonna know one way or another in the coming weeks. I, for one, hope so…

Operating Partner and Leader of The Seth Lejeune Team at RE/MAX HOMEPOINT. Founding Partner at BWB Capital / asksethanything@gmail.com / 610.804.2104

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