Some mornings as I stand in the shower I go through multiple to-do lists in my head:
There’s the to-do list on my desk regarding all things work, there’s the immediate to-do list that includes making packed lunches, getting child dressed and exiting the front door on time without leaving my hair straighteners plugged in.
There is also the more longstanding never-ending to do list of household excitement such as renewing family passports, paying bills, waxing, tax returns…yawn, yawn YAWN.
I’m hardly running a country or even a low-grade business operation but sometimes this list of dull, repetitive grown-up chores and first world problems makes me want to remain in the confines of my shower cubicle forever.
As a child most of what we do is for fun, heck even going to school is fun. There’s going to the beach, playing with friends, dance club, sports, discos, parties. Childhood, for the lucky ones, is awesome.
For teenagers and young adults there is still plenty of fun to be had, fun with girlfriends, fun with lovers discovering sex, fun at university, fun nights out on the town, fun with booze and fun long hangover induced sleep-ins.
There’s a pile of old photos I have of myself as a young, loveable idiot which helps me to recall my own carefree days of fun with my dear friends.
In that pile of dusty pics, there is a photo of me licking a giant cardboard Ruski bottle (remember those?) that was ‘borrowed’ from a nightclub. I remember that night, and so many from that period with my friends. We would dance til the break of dawn, laugh so hard it hurt, eat souvlaki’s as the sun would rise and possibly go home and vomit our faces off. They were good times.
I do miss those carefree partying sessions that were not laced with health related, calorie related, responsibility related guilt.
I read this article in the Washington Post recently about how recent research in the UK proves alcohol makes us feel happier.
It doesn’t talk about alcoholism or weight gain or drunk driving or the dangers of drinking while pregnant. These things we all know and as adults, we (mostly) respect.
But it does prove that when we drink, we are scientifically happier and that is the reason we all love that cold pinot gris at the end of a long day. It makes us FEEL good. And as grown ups with mammoth do to lists and kids birthday presents to buy and rubbish to take out and emails to send, no bloody wonder. So – thank you Science and thank you Moderate Amounts of Alcohol.
I do of course still enjoy a wine or two these days and while I have so much to be happy about, I feel a twinge of sadness and longing for that drunken, stupid young version of myself staring out of that ancient looking photo from 2001.
You see I kind of miss her, that dance floor loving, burger munching, Ruski-guzzling, carefree chick who was a bit fat but gave zero fucks because: friends and good times were where it was at.
As I grow older and lose myself to family and work responsibilities and multiple to-do lists, I wish I could go back, just for five minutes to that carefree night with friends where we danced and laughed about song lyrics, boys we loved and pink hair instead of vegan recipes, school reports and our various mental health and weight-loss concerns.
For now I’ll have to make do with the occasional good belly laugh at old drunken photos and remind myself to be grateful that I have lived long enough to be a boring old grown up with beautiful family and friends.
And there is always scientifically-proven-happiness-inducing-wine.