Herald Journal Columns
Jan. 7, 2002

Is it aging or responsibility that's changing?


Another New Years Eve has come and gone. This year my husband and I did something that we've never done before - we stayed home on New Years Eve.

I still can't believe it, and I feel so old. I think the transition from 20s to 30s has been rough on me.

We talked about what we were going to do, and in all honesty, nothing really appealed to us as much as watching a couple movies with the kids. We didn't much feel like going out, especially not on a Monday night.

I find as I age, I become more responsible. I know it's a good thing, but at the same time, it makes me feel almost as if things will never be as carefree and simple as it used to be. Once you settle into real adulthood, the carefree days of youth disappear. Now we have responsibilities to two children, as well as ourselves.

Since there wasn't anything really exciting going on, and since it was so cold outside, we decided to try something new and not leave the comfort of our home.

We gathered the movies, chips, pop, and wine, and bundled up on the couch to watch the movie.

The problem was that I never made it to midnight, even though I'm much more of a nightowl than a morning person, and so are my kids.

My husband, on the other hand, is very much a morning person, and has a tough time staying awake some nights. But this time, it was him who stayed awake, and me who fell asleep. Mitch, our eight-year-old who was treated to some Mountain Dew, ended up staying awake until around 2 a.m. He was thrilled.

So, to top off staying home New Years Eve, I fell asleep. Now I really feel old.

We never even ended up touching the wine. It was in the fridge, chilled and ready to go, and there it still sits, unopened. The mood just wasn't there, since we were more in family-mode than party-mode.

It seems to me that a lot of our friends stayed home this year, too. I don't know if it was because there wasn't much out-of-the-ordinary to do, or if they are feeling the same way we are - responsible. We seem to all be in the same boat, except for the friends that are expecting babies. They're obviously in their own, different kind of boat.

One thing that was really nice about staying home was that our son was so happy about it. He would rather have hung out with us on a night like New Years Eve than do anything else.

That is a nice feeling and a feeling, I'm afraid, that we will get less and less as we (or should I say he) age. I'm glad to have not missed out on the opportunity.

Now if only I could have borrowed some of his energy . . . maybe I would have been more fun for him. But he had a good time, nonetheless, and never once complained.

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