You could say this is a sign of getting older. Except that isn’t the case with me. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. I love going out. I love being around people I know and love, and usually I love meeting and getting to know new people. I also hate going out, having to make the effort to get dressed up and talk to people and do social things. I am well aware of the paradox. This happens to me on a regular basis. When faced with the opportunity to go out, my brain goes into over drive trying to decide what’s best. Don’t want to miss a good time, but what if I go out and wish I had just stayed home to chill. What if I stay home and wish I had gone out?
Thankfully, (well I guess I should say thankfully because it’s a good thing we agree on this) I am married to someone who also doesn’t care too much about the whole going out thing.
Picture this scenario: You’re married with 2 young children. The grandparents are taking the kids out for the day and keeping them over night. WHAT!? Yes, it’s real. I’ll give you a minute to process that first.
Well of COURSE you are going to go out right? It’s the thing to do, right? Except usually my feelings of “Yes, let’s go out” turn into “actually, I just want to get some take away and stay home and watch a movie on the couch” The silence is just far too appealing to me!
But then I start to feel guilty. Well, we so rarely get this chance. We really SHOULD go out! Well… who says? I mean really, who says? There’s no law that says you must go out and be social. So why do we feel like such losers when we make the choice to stay in? Social media is filled with sarcastic posts about grown up “wild” Friday nights spent in PJs with a netflix movie and a few glasses of wine. There is always some implied guilt or judgement that it’s uncool or loser-ish.
Want to know how I see it? It’s perfectly cool to want to stay home. It doesn’t mean you hate people or don’t want to be part of society. It just means that you are content with yourself and value a nice quiet night in. Learning to be ourselves without feeling apologetic can be really difficult. Don’t make it harder on yourself than it needs to be. Do what you want and don’t criticize yourself based on your perceived expectations. Something most of us need a reminder of just about every day.