Posted on January 17, 2014
The Friday Feeling Goes Back to My Interrupted Youth
Friday is always a challenge, and some day I guess I’ve gotta grow up and accept that I don’t have to have a grand plan or even a small idea of a plan to be happy. I start out the day thinking about what I am going to do that night, and when plans fall through or none of my friends are around, I get sad and out of sorts. But I think it goes back a long time, so far back that I didn’t even have kids yet. To reach that far back I would have to dip into the decade of the 1970s. Wow.
When I was a young adult, at 21, we had our first child, and nobody else we knew had any kids. It was 1980, and we were living in Amherst, working at the Advocate there. Most of the people our age we knew were in school, or single and carefree. I remember bringing our daughter Kate to parties and events, and watching her stay up late, and never feeling that bad about it. She probably should have gone to bed earlier, but we wanted to see our friends and the night was young. She was usually the only toddler around.
Sometimes I think that at age 55, I still am reacting to having my first child so early. As if those precious years that might have meant freedom were taken away from me. So that’s why I think I want to have plans, and make every weekend full of lots of socializing, and activities, and going out. I think I missed so much of this when I was in my ’20s that I want to pile it on as a mature adult.
Many, many people are content with no plans for Friday at all. I remember once asking a friend what he was up to on a Friday night. His reply was “collapsing in a heap recovering from the tough week I had.” I never could relate to that sentiment, as I have never collapsed after a week of doing anything. But he could not imagine doing anything social he just wanted his collapse.
I am trying in my elder years to rein in my need for speed–to relax and take the socializing as it comes. I’m working on trying to realize that if I have a good plan for Saturday night, and perhaps something fun happening on Sunday, then it’s not a tragedy or reason to be depressed if there are no plans at all for Friday. Hey, I’m looking at a cozy fire here and I’ve got some terrific red wine in a little glass. All is not lost.