It’s an interesting thing getting older. What you once could have sworn described you to a T is no longer necessarily true.
Like, for instance, I used to be the reigning queen of the Night Owls at one time in my life. In my 20s, friends used to marvel at how I could pull all-nighters to study or finish college papers, work all day and then attend classes that same evening without missing a beat.
They used to tell me, of course, that it would all catch up to me one day.
Clearly, “one day” is here. And, okay, so for me, “one day” occurred sometime around the turn of the century. But now every time I try to do the night owl thing, it only serves to remind me that I have officially become an Old Fogey.
These days if I don’t get at least 7.25 hours of sleep per night, I am a basket case the next morning as the bags and dark circles under my eyes will attest.
When Vince and I went on our first cruise together, we selected the later 8 o’clock seating for dinner. This allowed us plenty of time for the daily activities on the ship or at port as well as time to unwind on the balcony with a glass of wine before dressing for dinner that evening. We’d attend a show or performance after dinner and felt thoroughly entertained. Then we’d get up early the next morning and do it all again.
It worked perfectly.
Then on our next cruise (a couple years ago) we went with friends who are the early-to-bed/early-to-rise-type of folk. They wanted the earlier dining slot, so we acquiesced to accommodate them. It worked out well, except we lost out on the relaxing happy hour on the balcony.
Don’t get me wrong, we still enjoyed a glass of wine on the balcony…but it was a little more rushed than we had experienced on our earlier cruise.
So on our latest cruise, we once again selected the later dining time.
We were mostly able to enjoy our wine time on the balcony, but more times than not, we ended up drinking wine in the cabin while I got ready for dinner. I’d apply some makeup, take a swig of Pinot Noir, pat, swirl and blend (the makeup – not the Pinot) and then take another swig. It was not quite as restful and relaxing as sitting out on the balcony watching the sun set and the waves roll by.
But that wasn’t the worst of it. Getting through dinner was fine, but finding the energy to do anything after dinner was the problem.
Apparently, once you hit 50, time moves at warp speed. And what I could do at 50, I can’t do a few scant years later.
By the time our meal was finished somewhere between 9:30 and 10PM, I was exhausted and all I wanted to do was head back to our cabin and go to sleep.
Sad, isn’t it? My partying days are over.
There were one or two nights during the cruise when I managed to keep my eyes open long enough to watch a show or attend an event. And that was enjoyable. But for the most part I was okay with going back to the cabin for a little shut-eye.
I think Vince would have liked to have seen a few more shows, but the only reason he didn’t protest was because he had caught a cold and was sneezing and coughing and generally feeling miserable. He was happy enough to pop a Nyquil and drift off for a short snooze before his next coughing jag woke him up.
Needless to say, we had no drinking and dancing ‘til dawn debauchery on this cruise. (Or the last cruise, for that matter…or the cruise before… or… Oh heck. Let’s just say it has been a LONG time since there was any debauchery going on!)
Ah well. I’m okay with this new regime. I have to be. If I stayed up ‘til dawn these days I’d need a vat of Visine to get the red out and I’d be applying concealer with a trowel. And I simply don’t have the energy for that sort of nonsense these days.
So lesson learned. Looks like we’ll be selecting the “Old Fogey” dinnertime on our next cruise. We’ll be sound asleep before there’s even a whiff of debauchery going on. We’ll leave that to the reigning Queen of the Night Owls.
Aw man. Just writing about this is wearing me out. Might be time for a nap.
Yeah. I’m an Old Fogey. And the title no longer even bothers me.
That, my friends, makes it official.