While being educated and going to school, things that seemed important were indeed so. They were big things. Examinations every year determined your future, your schooling, and thus in effect your friends and family. There were pleasures out of birthdays and parties, but definitely everything paled in front of major events like half yearly and annual examinations, annual vacations (holidays of a day or two didn't count) etc. It was the Big Things in life that mattered - whether you likes Science or Arts. Whether you'd prefer to be a Doctor or an Engineer.
As we grew older, priiorities seem to have shifted. We seem to have become more innocent. The smaller things in life have become more important. Annual performance reviews are important but seem to be just another annual event. Whereas a longer weekend or an unexpected day off, a dinner out with close friends somehow become so very important. Sometimes even more important than the life changing job shift.
The excitement of having watched a good movie with great company over the weekend can eclipse a whole two bad days at work. A new desk or co worker can occupy one for weeks. A new boss - months!
Compare that to childhood - a new teacher was interesting only as long as that first class of introductions. A new table and chair in class entertaining till the lunch break at most, and weekend activities expired by the time the morning pre-school chit-chat of bus ended.
The value of a birthday cake was never felt like the one given to you when you are 25. Or when you are 53.
Our grandparents thought more about the afternoon meal that we can ever imagine. An evening out without a stomach upset could mean joy to them for a full day - or more. Perhaps more than those diamonds you gifted on that evening out.
The more we know life, the more we value the smaller pleasures of living.
As we get more jaded, more innocent we become.