Perspectives change as we age and for the most part it happens for good reason. Having a family means more responsible thinking, focus on retirement means prudent spending, and not wanting life-threatening diabetes translates to no more “40 McNugget Challenges” (this is an actual thing, look it up). For all other changes, I have one thing to say:
Buck the Trend.
Some people are wired to be low key, anti-social, or homebodies their entire lives and that’s perfectly okay – it’s all you other yahoos I’m talking about here. Once we wrap up school, lots of people go from John Belushi style Animal House to what I like to call “Working Man Syndrome”. There are a lucky few who are constantly challenged by their career and love every second of it (like stuntmen, Scotch tasters, and Chuck Norris). For most, however, work is something that passes the time while it drains the energy to maintain the kind of social life you only see in Dos Equis beer commercials.
Here are some symptoms of Working Man Syndrome
- You’re so tired from work you skip exercise more than half the time and pickup beer or wine on your way home.
- Rather than planning a night out with friends you often stay in to read a book or watch that trendy show on Netflix or cable. (This brings us to symptom #3 below.)
- When you finally do hang out with those friends you haven’t seen in over three months, all you talk about is what happened on the latest episode of that show everyone watches because nobody goes out much and creates fun memories of their own.
- The last spontaneous thing you did was order out for dinner to go along with that book or show you’ve been binge watching.
- Your idea of keeping in touch with friends is liking their social media posts and commenting on occasion.
The causes of Working Man Syndrome include decreased energy as we age, laziness, and going through the motions of things as a result. What’s the prescription for this?? You guessed it:
Buck the trend.
As I said, some things are meant to change and for good reason. Others just happen out of complacency and those are the things you should smack yourself in the face about. The first thing you need is WILLPOWER. Sure, a lot of that requires having physical energy in order to have mental energy (https://scotchreflections.com/2015/02/14/you-work-out-you-go-out/) but having the attitude to want more fun out of life is key.
But who are we kidding – this is where most people fall short like a kid who packs one pair of underwear for a week long camping trip. The other thing you need is MOMENTUM. Whether that’s a friend or significant other to jump start your coma patient of a social life or blasting your smart phone’s to-do list, you need constant reminders or else you fall back into complacent mode again.
So get out of that boring rhythm and quit being lazy. This goes for single, non-single, parents, and non-parents. I’m not talking about barhopping or clubbing like you did in your early twenties but there are plenty of things you can (and should) be doing that are much more fun than sitting on your couch day after day until all of a sudden you’re eighty years old and regret not having experienced more. Just because everyone else is like that doesn’t mean you have to be too.
Buck the trend and WAKE UP.