One of the positive things about growing older (and let's face it, there are many negatives) is the ability to roll with the punches when life throws its little curve balls at you.
I'm not talking about those life-changing curve balls like death or divorce, but rather those little disappointments which once made us feel inadequate, unloved or friendless.
For example, nowadays, if I'm at a party and not having a good time, I just go home. Once upon a time I would have stuck it out to the bitter end, in case something good happened and I missed it. It usually didn't (in my experience, if a party starts off kind of sucky, it's probably going to stay that way).
If I miss out on a job, I just shrug and try and improve the next time. If someone at work doesn't like me, tough, we still have to work together. The 20-year old me would have been shattered by these experiences as it would have been some kind of proof that I wasn't worthy of the new job, or the friendship.
I was reminded of this last night when we were out to celebrate a friend's birthday.
The night did not start well, as we arrived to learn the only option was a seafood buffet for $45. Several of our party didn't eat seafood. Others baulked at the cost - they were saving their pennies for the drinking, after all :)
The younger me would definitely be in the latter category. The 43-year old me just hooked into the prawns!
We managed to convince the restaurant manager to reduce the cost for the people who didn't want seafood (there were pasta and salad options), a pretty reasonable outcome, I think.
Anyway, the night settled into a comfortable mood, and I ate my $45 worth of shellfish, salmon and dessert. Unfortunately for one of our friends, the wine and the smell of the seafood turned her an ugly shade of greeny/grey with a bit of blue thrown in for good measure and she need to be taken home - about 45 minutes drive away. Some fantastic ladies (you know who you are) willingly left dinner to accompany her home.
After the bill came and was tallied (a whole other nightmare), some of the younger ones decided to brave the nearby nightclub. Me? I know when I'm beat, so I headed home.
I haven't yet heard the postmortem from those who went out afterwards. I sincerely hope they had a fantastic time to make up for teh earlier parts of the night.
Me? Once I would have felt I had missed out on something by going home early. Today I am just grateful I got a decent night's sleep.