It didn’t seem that long ago that it didn’t matter what day of the week it was, I could put in a full day at school or work, do something during the evening, even if it meant hanging out with friends until after midnight, and still get up the next day, bright eyed and bushy tailed, to grab the bull by the horns, to turn over a new leaf, and to move mountains.
I realize that the responsibilities of being an adult do consume a fair bit of time and energy. However, my responsibilities at work translate to food on the table, my mortgage and bills are covered and that I have the means to enjoy fun experiences in my down time.
But lately, a typical Friday night consists of picking up my groceries on the way home, then a reasonable facsimile of a meal for dinner, a glass of wine, watch the news, maybe one prime time show and then I am pretty much ready to call it a night.
When it comes to going out, there have been times that on the way back after an eventful evening, I see carloads of folks half my age headed in the opposite direction on their way out to party. Then I wonder what went wrong. That used to be me… “Where did my get up and go” go?
Worse yet is to wake up one morning and to be hit with the old familiar feeling: every classic symptom of a hangover. Then in thinking back, realizing that the night before was an evening on the couch with the cat, a ginger ale and Netflix. Sigh!
It should come as no surprise that my running joke about having a caffeine I.V. through the day seems to come up more and more often these days.
Apparently I “gallivanted”…
Back in the mid 1990’s when I would tell my Dad of all the fun stuff I was doing in my spare time, volunteering, hanging out with friends, taking continuing education courses, he would actually get a little steamed at me and say, “Keep an eye on your bread and butter, Mister. If you’re out ‘gallivanting’ all over town like that, you won’t be at your best at the office.”
Gallivanting? I gallivant? Who knew? But I digress…
At the time, I hadn’t the foggiest what he was talking about because I definitely had energy to burn during the footloose and fancy free years of my late 20’s-early 30’s. But as time went on, and my fading energy gradually reduced the number of nights per week I spent out and about, his words came back to haunt me.
I now understand, especially since I am the age he was when he offered the advice. I get it now, Dad. Sorry. You were right. It was good advice.
Panic on a Saturday Night…
As I sit here at 8:24 p.m. on my back deck, writing this in between yawns, it is painfully obvious that “gallivanting” is not much on my radar these days.
But in some ways I don’t mind.
Back in those days, I remember the feeling of occasional panic of not having plans for a Saturday night. Today, if I don’t, it’s no big deal and this is why:
There are some weeks where I use up a lot of extrovert energy at the office and need time to recuperate before tackling the next week’s activities. That is usually when the caffeine I.V. joke comes up.
And at other times, when I am focused more on research and writing, I may have a few extra joules of energy I can spare on the weekend for activities where the extrovert in me can have fun mixing and mingling.
The wisdom to recognize the difference and to be ok with it is one of the things I enjoy about this phase in life.
But I would like to think that this is a temporary phase. I hope that when I get to retirement, the time reclaimed from working and commuting will translate into renewed energy for the next chapter of my life.
I am hoping not only to see my writing projects come to fruition, but also to mix and mingle with my peers and to attend classes and conferences. And as well, I would like to see the spotlight on fitness, more time with family and friends, more time to travel and to finally attack those silly things on the household to-do list that never seem to get done.
I look forward to the day that my get up and go will come back and stay.
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