There was a time in my life when the thought of staying home on a Saturday night was darn near horrifying. To me, Saturdays were invented to combine friends and fun – and preferably outside of the place where I spent the entire work week. People who stayed in on Saturdays were one of three things:
1. Battling the flu or a cold or some other illness preventing them from having a good time,
2. A loner who hates the company of others, or
Not going out on a Saturday night was something I would NEVER, EVER do. Like, ever.
Fast forward some years later. While I still believe that Saturdays should be spent breaking the restrictions of Monday through Friday, these days I prefer to spend my Saturdays nights in a much different way, even – dare I say – spending a night or two in the comfort of my own home.
My 24-year-old self would be so disappointed in me. But please, give me a minute to explain, sweetheart.
First of all, I’m not saying that I want to spend every Saturday night for the rest of my life on my couch watching Bravo and eating ice cream (although that sounds pretty darn good right now) . As much fun as I have with other people, sometimes I just need a break. A break from going somewhere. A break from doing my hair. A break from having to stay up past the un-Godly hour of 9:00 pm.
The unfortunate fact is: things just wear me out more than they used to. I could try to blame this on being almost 8 months pregnant, but that would be a lie. I’m almost 30, and my priorities have taken quite a shift since my early twenties. I use to LOVE getting dressed up – and taking a long time doing it – every time I went out. I wouldn’t think twice about driving all over Northeast Ohio to meet up with friends. And if I had my way, there’d be no dinner reservations earlier than 8:00.
But now, just the thought of doing my hair makes me want to take a nap. I grumble if we have to get on the highway to go out. And by 8:00 I’m yawning and dreaming of my yoga pants.
As I write this, I realize how sad that sounds. But it isn’t as pathetic as it may seem. Really! My social life has, is and always will be a priority to me. My husband and I are a weird combination of social-butterflies and home-bodies – and so far it’s worked out very well for us. I can’t speak totally for Mr. B, but I think we both are fulfilled with our balance of alone-time, us-time and friend-time. Of course, it really helps that we have some pretty kick-ass friends. They make it pretty easy to have a good time.
But over the past few years, these good times have morphed into more laid-back kind of outings. I’m much more likely to accept an invite for a friend’s dinner party than one for a bar-crawl. I’d much rather chat with friends at a local wine bar than scream to be heard at the newest downtown bar. I can’t even remember the last time I went dancing with girlfriends, but I could quickly name my last 10 coffee dates. Fortunately for me, I’m not the only one: most of my friends seem to be going through this as well. And when we talk about our fast-declining desire to go out, we laugh and explain it away with “We are getting soooo old!”.
I know many people my age – and older – still enjoy wild and crazy Saturday nights on a regular basis, and that’s good for them. Some weekends I wish I had the energy for all of that. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that as time goes on, it also becomes scarce. Increasing responsibilities take up more and more of the time that I used to spend having a good time. Therefore, I’ve been pickier about what I want to do with this time. So if I want to spend a Saturday night making kale chips and watching the entire first season of Orange is the New Black while cuddling with my husband and dogs, well then I’m going to do just that.
For me, it’s not the quality of WHERE I’m spending my Saturday night – it’s the quality of WHO I’m spending my Saturday night with. My mom always told me that as I got older I would find I would need less and less friends; instead, the friends I did have – the ones that stuck with me through life’s ups and down’s – would be the best friends I could ask for. She was right, and I think that philosophy applies to my social life as well. I might go out less as I age, but when I do got out, the people, places and activities are of much higher value and substance than they used to be.
And if that’s part of getting old, I’ll take it. Gladly.