Is it just me or do you think the older we get, the more comfortable we feel in our own skin? I’ve realised, especially over the last year, that there’s some things about myself I don’t need to worry about or change because actually, I’m okay being me and I really don’t care anymore if other people have a problem with that.
I love a glass of cold, white wine, or some Friday fizz, or a good G&T. I’m definitely not against drinking! That said though, I’m pretty fussy about what I like.
One thing I’ve always hated is shots, but does that mean I’ve never done them? Of course not. Because people get weird about shots; they buy a round which you must accept and chant “do the shot” when you say you don’t want it.
Can you actually imagine this with anything else in life? Like if you went out for dinner and everyone started chanting “eat your peas”?! If you like shots, do ’em, but as for me, I’m going to politely decline.
Beyond just shots, we seem to have such a weird culture around drinking in general. I know a few friends have, at different points over the last few years, decided to have a break from drinking because it’s worsened their anxiety and sometimes that’s met with eyebrow raising and “but why?”.
I did the same myself in the final year of uni, because at a time when I was prone to panic attacks, alcohol definitely didn’t help.
Let’s not question why someone might not want to join us in our drinking, but respect their choices. The older I get, the more comfortable I am in drinking what I choose to, and that feels good.
Staying in vs. going out
I used to love going out. Even as an introvert, the prospect of picking out an outfit (after discussing it fully with friends), getting ready and glammed up together, picking out where we wanted to go, and then spending the whole night being silly with my best mates made for some of my favourite memories from my late teens and early twenties.
But I have to admit to myself that I just don’t enjoy it that much anymore.
If I’m going out, I’d rather meet for food and spend the night being able to hear what my friends are saying. And more often than not, I’d so much rather just stay in.
This might all make me a grandma I know, but I’m okay with that. My happy place is on the sofa, with good food in front of me and good friends around me.
Sometimes I feel a bit sad about that because I wonder if I’m missing out, but I think that’s more because I’m nostalgic and look back with rose-tinted glasses, when in fact now I’m more content with my life than ever.
What we do for fun
Here’s the thing, I’ve never liked sport because I’ve always been bad at it.
I dreaded ice skating (namely because I spent the whole time either clinging to the edge or braving it and hitting the decks), I’d get so embarrassed about bowling because every throw ended up in the gutter, and the idea of joining in a rounders game at a picnic would make my stomach lurch with nerves.
If unlike me, you do have hand-eye co-ordination, it’s hard to explain. (I wrote a separate blog on it way back when).
I know a lot of people love all these things and that’s great – for them. But since it’s a long time since P.E was compulsory, I can actually choose not to do them. It’s easy to forget that but there really is no harm in turning down the stuff we know makes us miserable, when we could be spending our time doing activities we enjoy.
I don’t mind an occasional game of bowling to be fair, but now if I don’t want to do something, I politely say no to the meet-up and join in the next time.
For you that might not be sport but something else. Do you find yourself going along with stuff for the sake of it, or do you feel comfortable in saying no?
I guess one thing to make clear on this point is I’m not saying to never go out of your comfort zone. Earlier this year I went to a hen do which involved quad biking and go-karting among other things and I was terrified, but I felt great afterwards for trying it.
Now and then yes, it’s worth trying stuff out, especially if it’s for someone else’s event. But on a day-to-day level, why waste energy doing stuff that doesn’t bring joy? Good friends will understand that we don’t all enjoy the same things equally.
What have you come to accept about yourself that perhaps you didn’t previously? Are there maybe things you still do to please other people which make you unhappy? I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this one.