I’m 31 and feeling the pinch

Last night I sat on the couch and couldn’t even finish a glass of wine. It’s not an isolated incident but seems to be the norm for me now and a sign that my body is changing. One drink and either half with through the first I throw it in the bin or fall asleep reading the national geographic.

I remember in my early 20’s going out to party and party hard. I’d smoke weed, drink and play music or dance all the way to 6am.

Now I am more interested in how my garden looks or what needs to doing to the house to make it look more like a home.

Other things that occupy my mind is how to make more money to feed the family and maybe go on a pilgrimage somewhere like Jerusalem and what I need to do in order to save for that.

If I’m invited to a party I find it difficult to keep the drink down and as I no longer smoke ciggarettes. The smell of them off someone when they come back from the smoking room is so horrid that this is alone should be reason enough not to darken the door of any nightclub.

I’m totally turned off nightclubs. The only reason I even attend these is when there is a particular work or family function that is unaviodable and requries I be there.

I can’t even remember the last time I sat down in a quiet public bar and had a pint but it if I’m pushed to go out this followed by a good movie in the cinema seems to be my thing that keeps me going.

Other exciting hobbies of mine are usually ones that exclude people. For example I love photography and the silence I get from wandering around the countryside taking pics of the land and wildlife.

Music is another one that fills the silent void during the day but most of all my wife and children whom I love to please and play around with on a daily basis are the house I’ve built on the rock of Christ and his church and its a rock not easily shaken.

I am not feeling miserable about my day to day tasks but I definitely feel a change in the body that somehow is also effecting the psyche too. I feel almost compelled to look at my physical change and the change of my once bygone friends around me to be an unchanging reality out of my control.

Whenever I meet with an old friend or aquintance from school I am immediately struck by how much their personality has changed. No longer am I speaking with the bubbly childish personality of 6th grade but an adult who posesses a different personality than that of his childhood or teenage years.

We tend to do that don’t we? It is very easy to look at someone you havn’t seen for years and immediately assume they havn’t changed. When we realise they’re different and no longer fit our shopping list of likeable friends because they no longer posess the behaviour or personality that led us to befriend them years ago, there is a swift departure onto other personalities that now fit what we are looking for.

This is what happened me when I became Christian. It was kind of a 50/50 departure as I knew that becoming Christian meant a radical change of my life and friends whom I felt were nice but could lead to my downfall because of my weakness under peer pressure. And as far as they were concerned the whole new Stephen who wouldn’t back down on anything to with his Catholic faith was disturbing their day to day rhythm as a secular party going animal.

Here I am. I’m 31, can’t hold down a drink and have no friends to socialise with who fit my Christian shopping list of personalities. In fact one could even say I actually have become so accustomed to my life of silence in which I focus merely on my immediate family household, that I am reluctuant to mix even with Christians.

It reminds me of men who choose not to leave prison because they’ve become so instituionalized in their day to day tasks but lets be honest isn’t that the perfect description of us all?





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