Went bowling tonight with some of my Sunday school peeps. Had a blast, even if I looked like a doof in my rental shoes. It was nice to be out with friends, just eating dinner and goofing off, sort of how life was before adulthood set in and life got hectic.
Every now and again, it’s nice to be able to revisit the feeling of those years when the world stretched out before you, before you knew about bills or overtime or IRAs and just lived each day for itself. The exhilaration of milking each moment for its fullest potential, laughing so hard that you completely forgot what was so funny, standing shoulder to shoulder with people you like and darn near love and enjoying the flight of time. It’s nice to recapture that from time to time.
But you pay a price for those moments – you feel the gnawing sense of guilt for enjoying a few hours away from your kids, or the BlackBerry, or just life as you’ve come to know it. You feel like maybe you’re cheating on your life, slipping away from the obligations you’ve taken on to party with the life you used to have. It’s not true – you’re not doing anything wrong by stepping out of your routine from time to time, even if you are sorely tempted to not pick the kids up from the sitter – and thankfully those moments only last that long – for a moment.
Because the truth is, you don’t want that kind of life anymore. If you did, you wouldn’t have chosen the way you did. You wouldn’t have become the person you are. You wouldn’t be ecstatically married with two wonderful kids whom you secretly can’t wait to hug and kiss at the same time. You know full well that a life without family and obligation is a life without direction and purpose, and is the kind of life that would kill you before you really enjoyed living.
That’s why nights like tonight are so important – they remind you that every choice you’ve made, the person you’ve become, is exactly who you want to be and why you can’t go back. Not really. But for a few hours it’s nice to visit.
Tonight was one of those visits, and I had a blast.