I have a pair of friends who are in their early twenties. They are considerably younger than most of my friends, and reasonably younger than me (I am in my late twenties). I met them through work, and we are friends because they are kind and fun to be around. Also, they play a mean game of Cards Against Humanity. However, spending time with them has alerted me to one undeniable truth: I am getting old. The following is a list I have compiled of things that may indicate that you, like me, are getting old. Or maybe you have always been old to begin with, because let’s face it, we’ve all known those people who were basically born as 40 year olds.
1. You refuse to go to anything that starts after 10 PM.
In reality, I usually turn down any plans that begin after 9, but I’m also really lazy, not just old. There is a transition period that occurs each night (between 8 and 9 for me, but again, this may vary). If that time has passed and I’m not already out of my house, it means that I have already completed the process of changing from respectable clothing into sweats, and there is almost nothing that could get me to reverse that process. Once those sweatpants are on, I have certain expectations about my evening. Those expectations involve Netflix or a book and my bed, and sorry, but dancing up on randos at an overcrowded club downtown doesn’t fit into that plan.
2. You really, really don’t want to dance up on randos at an overcrowded club downtown.
3. You can’t (or don’t want to) drink the way you used to.
I’m probably being hyperbolic here, but I swear to God, when I was in college I could take ten drinks to the face over the course of a night and wake up totally fine the next morning. I no longer possess this gift. In fact, given three craft beers of reasonably high alcohol content, it is entirely possible I’ll wake up the next morning hating everyone and everything and cursing the day alcohol was invented. It’s like my body suddenly decided to say, “Nope, we’re done with that,”
4. You can’t (or don’t want to) eat the way you used to.
For me, this is more of a “can’t” situation. I still love a good, greasy slice of pizza (or three). But the food hangover is so bad the next morning that I’ve just decided it’s not worth it. My arteries are probably really happy about this development. My taste buds miss the pizza.
5. Cooking no longer involves the microwave.
I’m no chef, but I now have a repertoire of meals involving more than three ingredients that I can make without consulting a recipe, which is more than my post-college self could say.
6. The idea of getting up early and being productive on a Saturday morning is suddenly appealing.
Give me those farmer’s markets, those coffeeshops, that early morning run. Let’s shop for some home decor, man!
7. When you go back to your hometown, you would rather hang out with your parents than hit the local bars with your old high school friends.
I love my high school friends, but at some point, you realize that while you may not be in touch with your old basketball teammates for the rest of your life, your family is always going to be there. And despite what you thought when you were younger, they’re pretty cool. I still meet up with my old friends, but seeing them is no longer the most exciting thing about the trip home.
8. You (sometimes) do financially responsible things.
When I was 22, I spent basically all of my paychecks within three weeks of getting them and scraped by for one week on the fumes of food and alcohol purchased at the beginning of the month. Student loans were an abstract concept that affected other people, not me. Now a chunk of my monthly paycheck goes into a savings account. I don’t enjoy it, but I can recognize a necessary evil when I see one.
9. You know you’re getting old, and you’re kind of ok with it.
Getting older is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it pretty much happens whether you want it to or not, so may as well embrace it. Revel in your Netflix nights, and don’t let anymore make you feel lame because you’d rather stay home, cook a nice dinner, and drink a glass of wine than take shots at the bar around the corner. Go ahead, host a game night with your friends. Hit up the produce section at the grocery store. Put some money into that 401(k) and watch it grow!