Last night I went out. I don’t usually go out on a weeknight because I’m nearly 40 and have two kids that by the time I’ve got them into bed, have left me with barely enough energy to make myself a chamomile tea before I retire for the night, which will probably only be 30 minutes later because I’m tired and have to get up early. 

Our nighttime routine is probably the most important phase of the day to get right because it is the only time that Matt and I get to take a moment, relax, breathe and talk to each other like adults who love each other might do. It's such a shame that most nights we’re too exhausted to do anything other than sit quietly on the couch reading (me) or watching Netflix (Matt) but we work hard to claim that time so to sacrifice it by going out late is kind of a big deal.

I’ve been reading This Is Not a Book about Benedict Cumberbatch: The Joy of Loving Something--Anything--Like Your Life Depends on It by Tabitha Carvan which is an exploration of what happens to women's desires after we leave adolescence. She highlights how motherhood especially manages to reduce the time a woman spends on herself, doing something exclusive for her own joy and fulfilment, to maybe 5 minutes a day she's lucky. 

Drawing attention to this encouraged me to go out last night. Yes, it was a school night, yes I was breaking the routine but god damn it, I wanted to go out. It took every bit of my focus to break the habit of putting on my trackies as soon as I got home, but I remained in my civilian clothing all through the bedtime routine, my tight jeans and belt a constant reminder that I was going out!

And ‘go out’ I did! 

Like a real adult who likes meeting new people and socialising. I met a lovely bunch of young creative types and watched some beautiful music being played by some remarkably talented friends. Not drinking at these sorts of gatherings has given me a new appreciation for people. Being clear headed and confident has turned out to be a great asset at parties - if only I could go back in time and tell my 21 year old self that you don’t need all the beers to get there, just being yourself will more than suffice. 

I got home just after midnight and Alice (the 5 year old) was waiting for me. I put her in my bed with Matt knowing that she’d be up in 20 minutes complaining of being lonely and we’d have to swap beds then anyway. This has happened every night for the last 6 months, Alice getting up and needing to be put back to bed (normally ours). I was even excited that I’d preempted our nightly exchange and would have a good but short night's sleep in Alice’s bed.

Unfortunately that was not meant to be - it turns out that trying to go to sleep in Alice's bed when you're jacked up on minties (yes minties, I’d taken a handful on my way out of the party!) is a different scenario altogether. I’d never noticed how bad the roll together on her mattress was. I felt like I was being pulled through to the upside down world in Stranger Things, but instead of there being black, slimy tentacles and eerie red lights dragging me down, it was unicorns, plastic jewellery and giant soft toy animals.

I finally got to sleep at 5.30, which left just enough time to hit deep sleep when my alarm went off at 6. This is the opportunity cost. The cost of choosing to do one thing over another. My relaxing pre-sleep rituals verse going out and meeting new and interesting people. 

In her book Tabitha talks about going back to work after having children and how, even though she was in the workforce again, her responsibilities as a parent limited her commitment and progression to her career. Not being able to attend evening networking events, only working three days a week and having to leave at 4.30 on the dot to make daycare pickup leaves very little time for the natural growth of the professional relationships that can lead to more career opportunities and perhaps some interesting tangents that emerge from just being there. 

While last night obviously wasn’t a work networking event I genuinely believe that every single person you meet  - yes, every single one - has the potential to change your life in some way or another. That person maybe a tiny blimp on the radar of your existence but they could be a a new friend, collaborator or enemy even - it doesn’t always have to be good but I love the anticipation and excitement of who will turn up in your life next - unfortunately you can’t do that sitting in your trackies in front of the heater, reading books every night.

It’s a shame I only got an hour of sleep last night but in the spirit of concluding this blog with an upbeat vibe I’m going to channel this lack of sleep into an opportunity to feel ‘out of it’ for the day - not in a bad way of course but in the kind of way where you can’t stop laughing at things that aren’t really that funny because your so tired. It's been so long since I’ve been inebriated that it's kind of fun feeling tipsy again!

Video of the week
Alan Alda: Grow Your Empathy Through Better Visual Perception | Big Think
Podcast of the week
How to fail: Jane Goodall
Font of the week
Zangezi: Font of the week by Daria Petrova

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