*This is a collaborative post and all content/thoughts/effort are my own
So I’m working with Ireland’s leading insurance brokers Chill.ie on today’s post and they asked would I write about whether I prefer to stay in or go out during the Winter months and run with it in my own way. So it got me thinking about how I spend my time but also how differently I define time well spent compared to when I was as a teenager. Then I started rambling and this is the result.
When I was a teenager, I could have lived in the middle of the Antarctic and I still would have managed to struggle to the pub on a Friday night in the depths of Winter. AND a Saturday night. Nothing, including weather or lack of money ever stopped me from a night out but a harsh reality has sunk in since I turned 30. I’ve gradually realised I’m not the woman I once was. Now, I bloody love a good night in. I look out at the wintery weather we’re having at the moment and I’m as snug as a bug on the couch with Lar and our toddler, cuddled up watching a movie with an optional takeaway and snack selection on the side. I’ve no more interest in tottering into town in a pair of heels in a gale force wind and struggling to hear what anyone is saying over thudding music. And something else changed in my 20’s. I just stopped drinking. Lar and I both did, despite being two very prolific lovers of a good night out with all the trimmings. There was no point where we chose to stop, we just met, fell in love and realised that we actually had far more fun hanging out sober than drinking had ever offered us. It was a gradual slow-down (which included giving up smoking for me as well) and the less we did it, the less we were bothered about it until we both realised we actually didn’t really want to drink anymore. It’s genuinely something we still find awkward saying to people because there’s some strange stigma around not drinking, especially in Ireland where the culture sometimes seems so defined by it.
Some people assume you don’t take a drink because either (A) you’re religious, (B) you’re on antibiotics or (C) you’re odd. And I can’t even blame them. When I was a teenager into my early 20’s if someone didn’t understand the allure of smoking a ton of cigarettes and drinking a bucket of beer on a night out, I gave them that slitty eyed look, assuming they were so strange and removed from myself that they wouldn’t know a good time if it hit them in the face. Of course now I realise I was the eejit. Weekends that revolved around nights out and dates with Lar always involved the pub, now they involve a nice pizza out, a movie, a gig (we go to a lot) or if we’re feeling adventurous, an Escape Room adventure which is genuinely THE most fun if you love mysteries (basically you’ve 60 minutes to work as a team and solve clues to unlock more clues and eventually break out of the room within the allotted time). And we still love a party, that never changes, we just sip Diet Coke instead of a beer now. Does this mean we’re uncool? Would my 18 year old self be achingly ashamed of the person I’ve become? I dunno, at one time I thought so but I think if teenage me saw me now, so happy and content and in love and able to be myself without worrying about what’s the cool thing to do, she’d give me a high five.
Thanks to chill.ie for collaborating with me on this post and understanding that keeping your magical home safe and sound is the key to a cosy sanctuary for movies and general messing.
So the question I pose to you lovely ladies is, how do you spend your Winter evenings? Do you still trek bravely to the pub or have your hobbies changed to include other things you would have previously thought were, God forbid, deeply uncool?