Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Retired Socialite? Grown-Up And Responsible Doesn't Have To Mean Boring

It's a bit of a cliche that as you get older, you settle down. And there are some cases, undoubtedly, where it isn't true. You probably know a few people for whom it isn't. You may be one of those people. However, there is a pattern of behavior where, as rowdy as we may have been through High School and college, adulthood comes to most of us.

As we accumulate the things of adulthood - be that marriage, kids, owning a home - our priorities slant. And so, more often, when someone asks if we want to go out for the evening, we're more likely than ever to say "no". We've retired our dancing shoes. The shot glasses we brought home from parties are now used to hold change. It's a young person's game. Leave it to them now.

But should we give up that easily? Sure, we don't want to have those nights where we spend the next three days trying to work out how we spent the next week's budget in two hours. But getting outside the same four walls for reasons other than work can be an essential part of keeping your brain awake, if not young.

It's Not Every Night Or Even Every Week
There are those of us who look back on our college days and think "Well, I know I got my diploma, so I was definitely there, but...". If your early adulthood is largely a blur, you're not alone. Going out every night isn't good for anyone. And the more you grow up, the more you realize that quality beats quantity when it comes to partying. Not least because you remember the night later on.

Although it's sure to sound like a kind lie, there's an argument to say that keeping an eye on money makes going out better. In the days when debauchery was commonplace, many of us will have taken money out that was meant to last the night. Our bank statements tell a different story, as we see we visited the ATM another few times. And if we don't remember it, how good can it have been?

It doesn't mean you can't have a couple of drinks and enjoy the evening. Just that you have to be selective about it. Celebrating a special occasion sometimes merits a night out.

Being Responsible Means Leaving The Car At Home
Going out for an evening on a budget means making some choices about where the money can best be spent. Again, when we're a bit younger and more carefree, it's common to take a taxi home which can be expensive when you're not keeping track. As you watch the pennies more, you'll think about this more carefully. Checking out codes for existing Lyft users means you can get money off the journey and not have to worry about overspending.

By arranging transport ahead of time, you can ensure that you don't make stupid decisions. Bringing the car along on a night out means that you're limited in where you can go and what you can do. For the avoidance of all doubt, one drink before driving is too many. It's proven to affect reaction times. It's just not a chance worth taking, especially as you have less time to react in the darker hours.

Having Kids Doesn't Mean The Death Of Being Social
If you're ever invited to go on a night out, and say "Well, I would, but there's the kids," do yourself a favor. Ask yourself if that's the real reason, or whether you're making an excuse. You certainly should prioritize your kids ahead of partying, but millions of us who are parents still go out on occasion. As long as you have a responsible person who can babysit, why not?

You don't have to drink any alcohol at all to enjoy a night out. It can be very pleasant with a meal, but if you want to be clear-headed in case the babysitter calls, that's more than fine. It's about knowing what you're comfortable with. But let's be clear. Having kids, financial responsibilities and a schedule to stick to doesn't mean going out stops being fun. When did you last go for a meal and a movie? Or go and see a band?

For some of us, the social life does get canceled when family life begins. We can make any number of excuses for this being the case. But there are ways to still have the occasional night out without becoming a terrible parent or a financial disaster area. Balance in all things makes life kind of nice!