I can’t lie, this past year and a half has changed the way I live my day-to-day life. Back in 2019, if you were to look up “party animal” in the dictionary, a photo of me would’ve been there exemplifying the term.
Now, things are just different. Was it the pandemic? COVID-19 probably had something to do with my change in behavior, but I always loved people. I always loved being surrounded by family and friends. Not entirely sure if coronavirus was the puzzle piece that disabled me.
Did it have to do with the fact that I was getting older? No spring chicken anymore. I can’t bounce back from a hangover like I used to when I was 21; those pesky things last all day for me now.
Maybe it had something to do with my friends and family, all settling down, buying homes, adopting dogs, having babies. Everyone seemed to be heading onwards to their destined path of adulthood.
I don’t know. It’s probably a combination of the three - maybe even more factors have been contributing to my change, but I’d have to dig too deep to find the specifics.
Whatever it was that made me like this is fine by me. Why? Because I’m having so much more fun. There are a hundred reasons why I’m having so much more fun, but I’ll just go ahead and give you my top seven. Seven is my favorite number, so stopping there seemed fitting.
1. It’s free to stay home, and I save money.
Technically, it’s free to stay home. Sure, I pay monthly rent but doesn’t everyone? Outside of that, I’m not paying an arm and a leg for a good meal and some entertainment; the food in my fridge and the shows on my television screen will do me just fine.
For me, staying home allows me to save more money. With that saved money, I can pay down my student loan debt more each month. I can also save up to go traveling and see sights I’ve never laid my eyes on before. Or, I can purchase something I’ve been dying to own, like an updated laptop to continue my writing career on or a few new board games I can play with people when I invite them over.
Instead of spending my money thoughtlessly on endless apps and drinks every night, I can stay in the comfort of my home and rack up those dollar bills - or so the kids say these days.
2. Staying home makes me more productive.
Going out night after night always had me in a fog the next day. The booze would catch up to me and make me sluggish or the lack of sleep would make me walk around like a zombie. Ultimately, that doesn’t make me want to move fast and earn money at work. I can’t count the number of times I would take a nap in my car at lunch instead of eat. I also can’t count the number of times I went home early to take a nap because I couldn’t keep my eyes open.
I’ve learned that if I stay home, I’m more productive the next day at work. I’m also more productive at night when I get home from work.
My full time gig is an office management position. My passion is my writing career, which I do as a side gig right now. I like it better that way - I’m not pressured to make a living off my passion, I can enjoy it and take on projects to have fun versus struggling to pay my bills.
But, when I would go out all the time, I realized my productivity went down, in turn affecting my writing.
I also didn’t want to clean my apartment - do the dishes, vacuum, dust, clean out the fridge, etc. I didn’t want to do laundry. I didn’t want to cook. All I wanted was to go out again, come home, get a few hours of sleep, work a half day, and so on. Staying home helped me be better.
3. I can learn more by staying home.
I used to absolutely love school. Attending high school and then college was my jam. I even went back to college after I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree just to learn a few miscellaneous things that really interested me.
But going out constantly never granted me any “me” time. I couldn’t do what I loved; I couldn’t keep learning on my own time. I was making plan after plan barely able to breathe.
Thankfully, staying in now lets me pick up a book. I can read an interesting story, an autobiography, or learn something entirely new - like cooking, a new language, etc. Expanding my knowledge means a lot to me, and I’m pretty grateful I’m able to get back to that part of my life.
4. Staying in allows me to relax.
Being on the go 24/7 isn’t good for our minds, bodies, or souls. It wears us out and then we have nothing to give to the people surrounding us, whether they be our friends, family, or co-workers.
Which is why I highly suggest having some free alone time at home; I started doing it and it feels fantastic. I’m actually able to kick back and relax, meditate, do some quick workouts, and really think through my thoughts.
5. I’m a huge show and movie buff.
I love, love, love shows and movies. I quote my favorite actors, actresses, and characters practically on a daily basis. Maybe it gets annoying, but I don’t care because I have fun with it.
Staying home is so much fun to me because I get to catch up on new shows that intrigue me. I get to watch that new Netflix movie everyone’s talking about.
Here’s the thing - writing is my passion, as I’ve said. For me, shows and movies are a way of learning about other writers. How did they script this? Did the actor or actress interpret it correctly? Was it well played out? I love analyzing the works and enjoying different styles.
Also, when I have writer's block, I’ll pick a show or movie that is somewhat similar to what I’m currently working on. I put the notebook and laptop away and get so into the show or movie, as to not think about the assignment that’s upcoming. After a little while, I’ll go back to the article or story with a fresh mindset and new ideas (I know what you’re thinking, no I don’t take the ideas I just viewed. But I do spin them in my head a million different ways until I find something original that I’d like to write about).
6. I can learn more cooking recipes.
I love experimenting with cooking - the spices, the juices, the sauces, the meats, cheese, veggies, fruits. Ah, I’m getting hungry just babbling on.
But when I was going out, I was lazy. I ordered food at restaurants or fast food places all the time because I didn’t have the hour or so of time that it takes to whip up a delicious meal.
Now, I’m getting back into cooking - even if it’s just for me! I like to find a recipe and put a spin on it and see how it works. Lately, I’ve been sticking with simple stuff like chicken, shrimp, ground beef, and steaks. Obviously I pair it with sides and figure out different ways to cook the plates. But because I’ve technically only been getting back into cooking for six months now, I wanted to take it easy and see if I still had a knack for it.
7. I drink my bottle of wine … without a glass.
Last but not least, I get to drink an entire bottle of wine by myself without anyone around to judge me! My favorite part? I can sip straight from the bottle without having to dirty a glass. I mean, come on … it’s classy to drink from the bottle, isn’t it?
While I’m home alone or with a friend, I still like to have fun like I did years back. So if this is my risky choice, to sip red wine out of the bottle while sitting on a grey couch, so be it. I enjoy myself, you might if you start staying in a little more, too!