I used to go out a lot. Of course in college, and in my 20s, but even in my late twenties and early thirties. I was one of the last to get married so many of my friends were married and having kids, but we still got out at least once a week. As more kids were born the logistics of going out got a bit more difficult. Finding a sitter replaced where to go as the most challenging part of going out.
When I met my husband he had just gotten out of his first marriage. Along with him came two little girls who had just barely turned three and four years old. I had an instant family! From the beginning of our relationship, and still today, we share custody 50/50 with his ex-wife and her husband. Meaning, we are kid-free half the time, which should mean we have an easier time going out.
Not so much.
Something crazy happened along the way. Even though we don’t have to find sitters most of the time, going out started to feel like a lot of work. There is just so much to do at home. Even when we don’t have our girls.
In an effort to force myself to go out and see my girlfriends we started having a monthly wine night. It’s the same night every month, we rotate who hosts, and we hold it regardless of whether four girls can go or ten. Sweats are encouraged and it’s a low key evening with girlfriends.
As time goes on, the more I don’t go out, the more work it feels like it requires. It’s so much easier to come home, deal with dishes/laundry/the dog/bills, or just watch whatever is on the DVR. There have been several times in the past six months that it took every ounce of energy to get my ass to wine night. WINE NIGHT! With girlfriends I trust completely and with whom I don’t need to wear make-up and I can wear sweats. How is this possible?!
Last night was supposed to be our January wine night at the home of one of my girlfriends. Her kids and husband were all sick and her parents were in town to help. Earlier this week the options were to either cancel (this would be the second canceled wine night in a row) or to go elsewhere. Since we just got through the holidays I didn’t think it would be fair to ask another of the girls to host, so instead we decided to go to a towny bar we used to frequent. An old school girls night out.
It ended up feeling more and more challenging as the week went on. My husband is in school on weekends, and the Winter Trimester started last night. We have the girls this weekend so we had to figure out what to do with them. My inclination was just just bail on wine night and stay home with our girls. I can convince myself of just about anything and I started thinking of the millions of reasons that staying home was in fact the best thing to do.
But this is 2012. The Year of What If. And frankly, I’m tired of the version of myself that feels like going to a crappy towny bar is too much work. So damnit, I arranged for the girls to have a sleepover with an aunt, I drove an hour across town in rush hour to get them there, drove back another hour in rush hour to pick up my girlfriends, and I got my ass to the bar.
Three girls couldn’t come, two bailed a couple minutes before we were to meet, and it ended up being just four of us. We ordered horrible bar food and beer and had the best time ever. This morning I woke up feeling, well aside from being really tired and having a bit of a headache, I felt refreshed. Renewed. More like me. And that’s what happens every time I go to wine night or go out with a group of friends. Getting out and about and being with people other than my immediate family is not only GOOD for my health but I’m pretty sure it’s INTEGRAL to my sanity. I don’t know if it’s just talking with my friends, or being out among strangers, or realizing that guys other than my husband really do still check me out, but the combination of all of that mixed with a lot of laughter makes me better. There is no doubt about it. Which brings me to…
Today: What if I not only continue to attend monthly wine night but what if I make an effort to GET OUT at least twice per month? To a place where sweats are not allowed or are at least frowned upon.