Posted on February 12, 2017
Here we are now, entertain us
Because I am middle-aged now, I see entertainment in a whole new light. It’s definitely changed since I had kids, and has even changed since my kids were small. Today, in terms of line items in the budget, the majority of our entertainment budget goes towards the kids and their needs. Mr. Tucker and I rarely go out, and we don’t feel much of a loss from that because we have hobbies and other pursuits we enjoy.
This week we did make the effort to go out and have stereotypical fun. You see, it was Trivia Night at the pub where my stepson and my SIL work and my brother was keen to get the family together to play. For context, you have to understand that Trivia (capital T) is an Olympic sport in our family. Holidays are full of angry words and pedantic definitions as my brother and I jockey for the title of Smartest Sibling (capital S’s) during rousing games of Trivial Pursuit. So essentially, Trivia is our jam. So when he suggested we head out for fun family times at Trivia night, we were on board.
It was a special event for the pub, so the place was absolutely slamming and we barely got a table. Still, we ordered food and drinks, laughed, got most questions right (and some wrong) and even though we were a wee table of six (some were over 20 people) we ended up with a respectable score. It was some fun family times and I don’t regret heading out at all.
Know thy limits
Of course, my brother and my mother headed out after Trivia but Mr. Tucker and I stayed to have drinks with my SIL & some of the staff. We played cards with some awesome people, watched the music set of a super fun duo, and generally had a good time. To be honest, even that could have ended at about midnight and still have been considered a great night out. But it didn’t. Mr. Tucker and I pushed it and kept drinking way past the point where we should have and when we finally left at 2am it was just our little group and the Bar Stars.
Needless to say, the next day was incredibly rough.
A long time ago, Mr. Tucker and I had decided to make better decisions about our entertainment. We found we got very little value in going out to bars until the wee hours of the morning so instead we made better decisions about when to cut our evenings short. I guess we hadn’t been out in so long that we had completely forgotten how to judge: inertia took ahold, we kept ordering drinks well past the point where we were having a good time, and we spent way more money and wasted more time than we should have.
This is just another opportunity to point out just how applicable The Fulfillment Curve from Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence really is. Had we just stayed for a few drinks and a few games of cards after Trivia night that would have been perfect. But we didn’t. We were so excited to have babysitting and a night out that we pushed ourselves to stay and tried to force ourselves to have fun. In the end, doing that actually reduced the overall experience rather than added to it.
I suppose having not gone out in a long time contributed to our entertainment amnesia so I am grateful for the reminder: stop while you are ahead. In a sense the money we spent was a harsh lesson on what happens when you are mindless about your behaviour but it was a harsh lesson indeed: it physically took me a whole day to recover (hello middle-age!) and our bank account took a fairly substantial hit.
Conversely, Mr. Tucker has taken the kids skiing for the day and I will be home alone where I will sit in front of the fire with a pot of tea and my library books. It will cost me nothing to enjoy this time and I bet it will be the highlight of my week. Our priorities change as we go through life and my ability to enjoy peace and quiet has far surpassed my enjoyment of being out with a lot of people. That’s not a judgment on what people find fun but more of a reflection of self-knowledge. If you aren’t thinking about what will satisfy you, you will never be satisfied.
And on that note, time to put on the kettle…