Easiest

Do you ever wonder why the older people get, the more boring they become?  For instance, my Grandpa Jones spent my entire life on a couch smoking black cigarettes and watching westerns.  However, in his younger days he drag-raced and started bar fights and fought at Normandy.  At what point did it change?

People say it’s the experience of having kids that slows you down, but I think it’s simpler than that.  I think it’s because as human beings, we always do what’s easiest and the definition of “easy” changes as we age.

For instance, how many times have you – or someone you know – drank way too much the night before a hard day’s work?  It’s probably quite a few times, but probably not lately.  If I were to ask you a story with “tying one on” in the subject line, you’d probably start it with the sentence, “I remember one time – now, this was years ago…” That’s because when you’re young, it’s easy to get drunk.  You don’t have any bills, so buying booze is relatively cheap; you don’t have anywhere to be, so spending time in a bar isn’t a distraction; and you bounce back from a hangover relatively quickly, so drinking doesn’t seem to have any negative effects on your health.

But as you get older, when you have bills to pay and appointments to keep and health issues to attend to, it’s actually easier not to drink.  So your stories go from, “Ok, me and Tommy were getting wasted one night…” to “So I picked up Tommy’s kid from soccer and…”

As you get older, being responsible is simply easier.  There comes a point where being out past ten just seems like more hassle than it’s worth.  Sure, I could come home with a pretty funny story about my buddy getting smacked by a waitress after telling her she had hips like a trucker, but that would mean I’d spend money I’d rather spend on other things and be too tired the next day to really function.

I say this because a friend of mine from high school called me up out of the blue last night and asked if I wanted to go see another friend of mine do stand-up.  Ten years ago I would’ve jumped at the chance; it was easy to drop the video game I was playing and spend the only money I would spend all week on something I deemed worthwhile.  Five years ago I probably would’ve gone, hesitantly; I could put off working on my home projects for another day or two while I tried to spend as little as possible (I have a basement to finish, after all).  But last night I said no; I have many more worthwhile things to spend my money on, and frankly, I didn’t want to be exhausted today while I took care of the house and family.

It became easier to do what’s right, what’s responsible.

But I still don’t know at what point that happened.  I’m thinking around the finishing of “left”.

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