Saturday night. I am away for my birthday alone in a hotel room and loving the fact that I have absolutely nothing I have to do tonight, nor tomorrow morning when I wake up.
Not particularly the vision of how I expected I would want to spend a Saturday night during my birthday weekend, say, 15 years ago.
When you're single at a certain age, and you're looking for something to do, and someone to do it with, on a Saturday night, you might have the desire to find that special someone with whom to spend all of your Saturday nights. And when you find that someone, you might sit with them and long for the time when you will have babies together, that you expect will fill your days and nights with purpose and wonder.
Then, you may be where I am now... married to that someone with two small kids… In the thick of it, when Saturday nights are often not much different than any other night of the week.
After years of that, when your kids leave the house, having grown up and moved out, you will become an empty nester who talks about how much time you have on your hands, so much so that you don't know what to do with it all. Someone who would welcome a day where their house was full of noise and kids and ruckus again. You may even go so far as saying you "miss" the commotion of a life with small children in it.
And as for Saturday night? Watching the nightly news or Saturday Night Live may be the highlight.
This is a paradox. And there's a severe imbalance in it. It's feast or famine. Why are there long periods in life where you either have little to no free time (a.k.a. parenthood, years 1-18) or a lot, and maybe even too much, free time (i.e. all other periods in your life)? There is something out of whack in this somehow. I can't imagine missing this chaos after being free of it. I am hoping, in the future, I will fill my days with the things I love to do that I don't have much time for now; but I guess I will just have to wait and see.
So to review… before having it, you want it; while having it, you often want to escape it; and after having it, you miss it and want it back.
How f'd up is that?
This would also mean that I am supposedly in the EXACT place that everyone else wants to be in: I've got the spouse, got the kids, and am living the dream of a full family life with crammed and endless days of activity and bedlam.
And here I am, in a hotel room alone, by choice, as a gift to myself for my birthday... the gift of time, including this very Saturday night, all to myself to do whatever I will with it.
I'm not even going to delve further into this one… after all, I'm on vacation.