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How do you avoid being a "glory days" guy

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Just now, TripItUp said:

The main reason I haven’t got married or had kids.   I have no interest in stopping the glory days.   Every weekend is the adventure I want it to be.  I’ll never give up that freedom. 

Society frowns upon my decisions but I don’t really care.

do you have friends to celebrate it with?

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20 minutes ago, FBG26 said:

Maybe it's because I was never a huge partier, or because I am a relatively new dad, but I generally enjoy life now at 35 more than I did at 22. Sure, college was great, but as I age, I find every new stage in life to be awesome.  The joy I have playing with my 2 year old and hanging out with my wife is great, just in an entirely different way from my early 20s. 

I have young kids as well.   Certainly it's great, but my kids are kind of jerks sometimes also

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14 minutes ago, Dentist said:

do you have friends to celebrate it with?

You find them, but it’s an astute observation.   My friends all in their 40s have very little time to hang with careers peaking and kids requiring so much of their time.  To be honest many of them are really struggling with it.

I find myself hanging with groups both older(50s) and younger(30s) than me, but dudes in their 40s just don’t have very much time.  It helps that my gf is in her 30s and that circle hasn’t entered the kids zone yet.

It is a weird/interesting existence though...it feels like not many guys I know have chosen this path.  I’m staying at the W in London for 4 days Halloween weekend after doing business for a week prior in Switzerland so there are definitely some high points.  The low points are when there are weekends I’m bored...I can usually find something to do though.

Edited by TripItUp

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Get new friends.  Seriously. 

All of my close HS and college friends live out of town.  Some really distant, some within a few hours drive.  Its really hard to get together over long distances (or for most simply not worth the time commitment).  Make friends with your neighbors.  Get together for NFL games, go to an away game together.  Get together as families, have nights out as couples.  Its very likely most of your neighbors are in a similar situation as you.

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4 hours ago, Jackstraw said:

Stay relevant. Have something exciting ahead of you. Adventure. Plan a trip. Be politically active. Have something in your life that fires you up. 

I agree with this. I know some people whose entire life is their kids. Kids activities occupy 100% of their free time. All they talk about is their kids. I don’t think that is necessarily very healthy. Don’t get me wrong, your kids should absolutely be a huge priority. But you also need to tend your own garden. Because when your kids leave and you become an empty nester (just months away for me), you don’t want to have your entire identity walk out the door. I think it’s important to do things that are for you. Whether it’s travel, or an activity, or a hobby, or social engagements.

Also, I think you need to be open to meeting new people and forming new friendships. Your college friends will move away or get busy with their own lives.  That’s natural. But new friends can come into your life, whether through work, or a running group, or a book club, or an art or music class, whatever. Maybe it’s the parents of your kids‘ friends or your neighbors. Foster those relationships. Find fun activities to do together. You won’t be reliving the glory days with those friends, you’ll be creating new experiences. And while it may not be as epic as sarging at the bar with your life’s version of “young Otis”, it can still be fun and impactful. 

Edited by bigbottom
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20 minutes ago, Random said:

Get new friends.  Seriously. 

All of my close HS and college friends live out of town.  Some really distant, some within a few hours drive.  Its really hard to get together over long distances (or for most simply not worth the time commitment).  Make friends with your neighbors.  Get together for NFL games, go to an away game together.  Get together as families, have nights out as couples.  Its very likely most of your neighbors are in a similar situation as you.

This is probably the answer.    I do get some date nights and I have more than enough (too many?) family get togethers.  

It's probably true that I need new friends.   Problem is I don't really want any....  Probably need an attitude change on that.    With my old friends I know where all the lines are that I can or can't cross.  It's a guaranteed good time.. just not often.

 

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4 hours ago, TheIronSheik said:

the past had a lot of crappy times, to

Those were some of Dentists best times

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20 minutes ago, Dentist said:

This is probably the answer.    I do get some date nights and I have more than enough (too many?) family get togethers.  

It's probably true that I need new friends.   Problem is I don't really want any....  Probably need an attitude change on that.    With my old friends I know where all the lines are that I can or can't cross.  It's a guaranteed good time.. just not often.

 

I'll be your new friend. Only live 30 minutes from you. I am not easily offended. I drink beer, pay my own way and my wife still looks great in a bikini.

What time does the boat launch Captain Stubing?

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same point in life, but different situation it seems.

 

1. My wife and I prioritize time together (date nites / vacations) but also time away.  I do at least a couple nights out a month, and maybe a weekend away 6 times a year with friends.  She is leaving Thurs to spend the weekend in wine country in CA with her friends this weekend, for instance.  Important to encourage her (wife) to do so, and also make it clear it's important to you.

2. If you don't have any friends that can get away, get different friends.  It's nice you have past experiences that created friendships, but without new ones those friendships wither.  Two weekends ago I climbed 4 4000-footers up in NH with a good buddy and his dog.  Kicked my ###, but that's what I was looking for.  The only thing likely holding you back is you.

3. Plan ahead.  If you and a friend (friends) put your finger on the calendar 3 months ahead and say this weekend is mine, and then you subsequently protect it (don't back off when life tries to interfere), your families will respect it.  If you try to do it with no planning it is likely to fail, and if you don't protect it it will get bulldozed.  Don't compromise on 'your time' while being supportive / encouraging of 'her time'.

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50 minutes ago, ChiefD said:

I'll be your new friend. Only live 30 minutes from you. I am not easily offended. I drink beer, pay my own way and my wife still looks great in a bikini.

What time does the boat launch Captain Stubing?

Ha!  i forgot what part of town you live in again.  

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25 minutes ago, wilked said:

same point in life, but different situation it seems.

 

1. My wife and I prioritize time together (date nites / vacations) but also time away.  I do at least a couple nights out a month, and maybe a weekend away 6 times a year with friends.  She is leaving Thurs to spend the weekend in wine country in CA with her friends this weekend, for instance.  Important to encourage her (wife) to do so, and also make it clear it's important to you.

2. If you don't have any friends that can get away, get different friends.  It's nice you have past experiences that created friendships, but without new ones those friendships wither.  Two weekends ago I climbed 4 4000-footers up in NH with a good buddy and his dog.  Kicked my ###, but that's what I was looking for.  The only thing likely holding you back is you.

3. Plan ahead.  If you and a friend (friends) put your finger on the calendar 3 months ahead and say this weekend is mine, and then you subsequently protect it (don't back off when life tries to interfere), your families will respect it.  If you try to do it with no planning it is likely to fail, and if you don't protect it it will get bulldozed.  Don't compromise on 'your time' while being supportive / encouraging of 'her time'.

Weekend away 6 times a year is amazing. 

I definitely encourage my wife to do these things.. and she does when she can, but runs into a lot of the same problems I do.

I am 100% in agreement on planning ahead.    In fact that's the only way stuff gets done.   With my dentist friends it's not uncommon to plan stuff 6 mo. in advance.

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4 hours ago, Gawain said:

Keep doing awesome #### now.

This is pretty much all it takes. Surround yourself with people you enjoy the company of and aspire to be. Make sure you find ways to interact with people younger than you. Mentor people who want to be where you are and learn from those who are where you want to be. And, get engaged at the civic level. You can make a change in your own backyard.

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2 minutes ago, bentley said:

This is pretty much all it takes. Surround yourself with people you enjoy the company of and aspire to be. Make sure you find ways to interact with people younger than you. Mentor people who want to be where you are and learn from those who are where you want to be. And, get engaged at the civic level. You can make a change in your own backyard.

Sorry,  my schedule is mainly taken up watching old reruns on tv.

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6 minutes ago, Leroy Hoard said:

Sorry,  my schedule is mainly taken up watching old reruns on tv.

With the golden age of television upon us? At least waste your life watching the new stuff on Netflix/Amazon/HBO.

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27 minutes ago, Dentist said:

Weekend away 6 times a year is amazing. 

I definitely encourage my wife to do these things.. and she does when she can, but runs into a lot of the same problems I do.

I am 100% in agreement on planning ahead.    In fact that's the only way stuff gets done.   With my dentist friends it's not uncommon to plan stuff 6 mo. in advance.

52 weeks in a year. Basically you’d be asking for 10% of those to be for you. Say wife gets 10% for herself, still leaves 80% as family. 

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1 minute ago, wilked said:

52 weeks in a year. Basically you’d be asking for 10% of those to be for you. Say wife gets 10% for herself, still leaves 80% as family. 

I have to do about 3 continuing education trips a year as it is....  that's the tough part.  That's already time away albeit for mostly business

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Yup, vacations are important.  Get out of your comfort zone.

We each take a few weekends away with our friends.  Also we take a long weekend together away from the kids.  And family vacations (occasionally with neighbors).

Edited by Random
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48 minutes ago, Dentist said:

Weekend away 6 times a year is amazing. 

I definitely encourage my wife to do these things.. and she does when she can, but runs into a lot of the same problems I do.

Not everyone is like this. My wife and I honestly don’t want to be apart that frequently, and we think our few friends who are constantly taking vacations away from the family are a little weird. Different strokes. 

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About the same age and situation as you, but pretty happy with my life. Kids test my patience regularly and drive us bananas, and I wish my wife and I had more time away just the two of us (it’s happened once in the past 8 years or so?), but overall my life right now is way better, and I’m far “happier,” than when I was single Otis hangin with the guys and trolling the streets for girls. 

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3 hours ago, mr. furley said:

guys need camaraderie :thumbup: 

 

I have a pretty large group of close friends. We used to do regular Wednesday night poker game for 20 years. The last five we have crossed over to ping pong night. Get a little light exercise. Don't drink quite as much. But still the act of getting together with 8-12 friends weekly is very refreshing. Throw a few brauts on. Have a few pops. Play some pong. it's good. I realize most dudes don't have that many tight friends.  

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May the best days of your past be the worst days of your future! :grad:

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I wouldn't trade my "wild oats" days for anything.  Some of the funnest times in my life happened in my late teens-early 20s.  

But then life happens.  I also wouldn't trade the absolutely chaotic and maddening days of having two kids under 3 years old.  Or all of the exhausting nights and weekends of baseball/soccer/football/wrestling practices/games/tournaments.  Not to mention school events, projects, and homework.

Even though we are still pretty busy, the wife and I are almost empty-nesters.  We probably don't have as much alone time as we'd like since our work schedules don't always mesh but compared to when our kids were dependent on us we have plenty.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, OrtonToOlsen said:

I wouldn't trade my "wild oats" days for anything.  

:thumbup:

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A man is no better than his craft.
 

Those were the glory days of my Internet work for sure. 

Edited by Otis
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Nothing is ever going to be as important or memorable as raising your kids.  Still find time for yourself and the wife.  But always remember your kids are only kids for a little while.  Spend as much time with your boys as you can.  In a few years they will be driving and wanting to spend more time with their friends.  Set a good example.   With all that being said it helps to keep finding things to enjoy.  For me it was my kids sports.  Coaching and later going to their games.  Most of our adult friends now are from my kids sports one way or the other.   Instead of knocking back brews with college buddies it is BBQ with new friends and hanging out.  

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4 hours ago, gianmarco said:

Welcome to the ultimate bad beat known as life. 

Poker related joke:

God calls Satan.

"Hey, I think we misplaced an engineer and he ended up in Hell."

"Yeah, Carl. He's been doing a wonderful job.  We finally got an AC system up and running and the heaters are fixed. He even designed an auto-poker for the pitchfork teams."

"Send him back here, he belongs in Heaven."

"Yeah, no."

"I will sue you for breaking contractual obligations."

"And where are you going to find any lawyers?"

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2 hours ago, Dentist said:

Ha!  i forgot what part of town you live in again.  

Maybe your memory is the real issue here.    I bet if we talk to all these friends of yours that you claim to be inviting to go boating, none of them will say they've ever been invited once.  

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4 hours ago, gianmarco said:

Welcome to the ultimate bad beat known as life. 

The older I get the more this seems to be what's going on.  I am currently mired in the whole "getting older, my life was awesome years ago" thing.

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7 hours ago, Dentist said:

Been thinking about this a lot lately.  I'm about to turn 42 and during college and for about 4-5 years after that I had what I would consider some of the greatest times of my life.  Good base of friends, lots of weekend partying, poker tournaments, football games, lake weekends, Vegas trips, etc.   It was a good run for me.     As with all things,  they end.   Friends got married, I got married, kids, etc.

It's to the point now where it's been over a decade since any of that.   My fantasy football league with many of those guys is breaking up at the end of this season.   It's tough to get together for anything anymore.. it's just less and less all the time..  I"m sure it's a familiar story for many.

I mostly enjoy being a dad to my two boys,  I enjoy my wife, and my business and finances are very solid though not stellar by any means.. but good enough.

Maybe the past gets romanticized.. but even the most fun and adventurous things I try to do just don't seem as awesome as the past..  is this inevitable?  Is there a switch I can flip?   

When I get together with old buddies... it's hard not to fall into "glory days" talk.. with very few new memorable memories being created.     Any advice from the senior bruhs on managing this?   I've found this bumming me out more than usual lately.

I'm 52. I had my run with lots of ladies, lots of drinking and weed, parties, epic weekends. Lots of memories.

The last 18 years or so is when marriage and family took over. At first you have these young kids running around, they're so damn cute and they become the highlight. You also tend to be in your peak earning years from say 35-55. So life gets easier, the vacations more fun. Your new standards of glory are centered around the family and your professional success.

During this period i purposely devoted time to golf, drumming and skiing. I also read a lot and watch a lot of history and science stuff. My theory is you have to keep growing, no matter how old or successful you are. 

I'm a better golfer, drummer and skier at age 52 than age 32. I'm living my current glory years.  So to avoid being the guy that gets stuck in the past I would say concentrate on today and tomorrow, keep learning new skills, keep reading, expose yourself to new experiences, be a dad and husband, like really be there. That's all I got

Edited by tommyboy
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5 hours ago, Random said:

Get new friends.  Seriously. 

All of my close HS and college friends live out of town.  Some really distant, some within a few hours drive.  Its really hard to get together over long distances (or for most simply not worth the time commitment).  Make friends with your neighbors.  Get together for NFL games, go to an away game together.  Get together as families, have nights out as couples.  Its very likely most of your neighbors are in a similar situation as you.

This. And revisit what qualifies as fun. Sounds like the OP is in a rut of continuing/trying to recreate fun things from the past. If he tries something new (preferably including his spouse and kids), he'll likely meet new people in the process. 

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3 hours ago, Otis said:

About the same age and situation as you, but pretty happy with my life. Kids test my patience regularly and drive us bananas, and I wish my wife and I had more time away just the two of us (it’s happened once in the past 8 years or so?), but overall my life right now is way better, and I’m far “happier,” than when I was single Otis hangin with the guys and trolling the streets for girls. 

Sounds like the core issue is no time away with the wife. What’s stopping you on that front? No one willing to watch the kids? 

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Our (the wife and I) close friends are the parents of our kids' friends.  Schedules usually work out for socializing/vacationing together.  We're all in the same neighborhood (location-wise, and money-wise), more or less. 

Sure, we've had to vet them out, and go through multiple groups as the kids get older (it gets weird when you're friends with the adults still, but the kids are no longer hanging out together), but it has generally worked out. 

Our current circle usually hangs out 2-5 times a month (both with kids and sans kids), we've gone on week-long vacations together (already planning one for next summer).  My oldest daughter now babysits, so she's making some scratch "watching" the kids when the grownups go out, it's awesome.  I like the dads, my wife likes the moms, and we all like big wonderful juicy hazy IPAs. 

Oh yeah, and the kids all get along too. 

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In our younger years we are always chasing down the things we want in life.  Whether that is a girl, fun, a job, a lifestyle, or whatever it may be.  Then we find ourselves looking where we are...and we have those things that we constantly had in our thoughts and we were always chasing.  We think...now what?  Where is the big payoff?

The lack of "fun" is just a byproduct.  You need to find something in life that is purposeful and fulfilling.  That can be a new challenge or a new hobby, devoting yourself to your family, or helping others.  I know this probably all sounds cliche, but at the end of the day, what is this all for if we aren't doing things we feel proud of and/or helping others in some way.

Edited by xulf

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2 hours ago, nirad3 said:

The older I get the more this seems to be what's going on.  I am currently mired in the whole "getting older, my life was awesome years ago" thing.

Yikes. What is preventing life from being awesome now?

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6 hours ago, TripItUp said:

The main reason I haven’t got married or had kids.   I have no interest in stopping the glory days.   Every weekend is the adventure I want it to be.  I’ll never give up that freedom. Society frowns upon my decisions but I don’t really care.

6 hours ago, TripItUp said:

It is a weird/interesting existence though...it feels like not many guys I know have chosen this path.

I am right there with you. I think it is a product of me seeing both my parents struggle with the concept of marriage, and then easily realizing that marriage is literally a monetary contract, has nothing to do with love, and is a precursor to having kids. I've always loved falling in love, so to speak, and I always keep that option open to myself as a result. What I have noticed is that I am really into personal discipline and trying to learn about things that exist beyond the five "known" human senses. There are so many interesting questions about life and existence - and those topics take long, uninterrupted thought sessions to be able to even come close to - or approach - some type of understanding. Learning about the world, the universe and everything in it, and bounding into it with an unbridled, open mind wouldn't be possible if I was stressed about kids or a wife on the side.

Anyway, I kinda drifted away into something right there, but what I really wanted to know is why you said that bolded part about society frowning on you.

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8 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Maintaining friendships as you age is very difficult, but I think very important to happiness and mental well-being.  Above all, it takes time.  It is honestly hard work, but very important to your happiness.  My dad was a very social guy. Growing up, his friends were always around us.  As he got older, he moved around a lot and I think maintaining those friendships became very difficult for him in his late 60s and 70s.  He was still very socially active, but I think that began to tail off as he could not maintain genuine friendships.  Eventually, I think he gave up.  I think this is an important topic.  I know there's schtick potential, but I would say depression and even suicide is a bigger issue for white male middle-to-late aged guys than we acknowledge.

I think this is an excellent post.  But I also think this is an area where different personality types go down different paths.

When I read the OP, I was kind of like "What's the problem?"  I'm extremely introverted, and I sincerely don't care that I don't have a lot of close relationships with other people.  I'll never have a "Glory Days" conversation because I haven't spoken to anyone I know from college in at least 20 years and I'm not going to start now.  I derive a lot of value from my family, but otherwise the sources of personal satisfaction in my life are all of my own making, and always have been.  If anything, I've embraced my own introversion over the last few years in the sense that I don't try to pretend otherwise anymore.  This is all incredibly fulfilling for me, and I know I'm not alone in that -- most introverts would benefit from doing the same.

Also, introverts tend to be planners.  I've been mentally imagining what old age would be like probably since my late 20s, so being within sight of 50 (currently 47) isn't scary.  None of this freaks me out the way it might others, and there's not going to be a mid-life crisis.

I sincerely think that aging is an area where introverts like us have it easy relative to extroverts.  

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High school sucked fat donkey nuts for me, but I do miss my college friends sometimes. Still, life is a series of transitions, and trying to recapture the past is only going to lead to disappointment. Go out, make new friends, have new good times, that's better anyway.

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1 hour ago, ChainsawU said:

 

Anyway, I kinda drifted away into something right there, but what I really wanted to know is why you said that bolded part about society frowning on you.

I get questions all the time “why aren’t you married”, “why don’t you have kids”.  

I come off as a pretty normal, successful guy so it surprises people that I don’t lead the traditional life and I think there is even a notion that “not sure I can trust a guy that isn’t a family man” sometimes.   People don’t say it but I sense it.   Moreso here in conservative SoCal than when I lived in SF.

 

Edited by TripItUp
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58 minutes ago, TripItUp said:

I get questions all the time “why aren’t you married”, “why don’t you have kids”.  

I come off as a pretty normal, successful guy so it surprises people that I don’t lead the traditional life and I think there is even a notion that “not sure I can trust a guy that isn’t a family man” sometimes.   People don’t say it but I sense it.   More so here in conservative SoCal than when I lived in SF.

 

You'd be practically ostracized here. 

While most of us quietly envy you.

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1 hour ago, Kal El said:

High school sucked fat donkey nuts for me, but I do miss my college friends sometimes. Still, life is a series of transitions, and trying to recapture the past is only going to lead to disappointment. Go out, make new friends, have new good times, that's better anyway.

Same. College was awesome. HS, not so much. 

Your point about life being transitions hits home big time. This is the longest I've had (essentially) one workplace and one home, since high school. It's bittersweet staying in the same place, I can definitely see where if you haven't moved much you'd really miss the glory days. Life isn't exactly boring, but it's mundane.  

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Warrior. Struggling. To remain. Relevant. Warrior. Struggling. To remain. Consequential. 

Cry aloud. Bold and proud.

Of where I've been. But here I am. Where I end.

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11 hours ago, Gawain said:

Keep doing awesome #### now.

This. Create new awesome memorable events.  We constantly have stuff on our calendars. FF draft, Ryder Cup format annual golf trip, debauchery in Del Mar weekend, umpteen concerts, vacation together sometimes, etc. Granted we do more now than when our kids were younger. More free time. 

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13 hours ago, Dentist said:

Been thinking about this a lot lately.  I'm about to turn 42 and during college and for about 4-5 years after that I had what I would consider some of the greatest times of my life.  Good base of friends, lots of weekend partying, poker tournaments, football games, lake weekends, Vegas trips, etc.   It was a good run for me.     As with all things,  they end.   Friends got married, I got married, kids, etc.

It's to the point now where it's been over a decade since any of that.   My fantasy football league with many of those guys is breaking up at the end of this season.   It's tough to get together for anything anymore.. it's just less and less all the time..  I"m sure it's a familiar story for many.

I mostly enjoy being a dad to my two boys,  I enjoy my wife, and my business and finances are very solid though not stellar by any means.. but good enough.

Maybe the past gets romanticized.. but even the most fun and adventurous things I try to do just don't seem as awesome as the past..  is this inevitable?  Is there a switch I can flip?   

When I get together with old buddies... it's hard not to fall into "glory days" talk.. with very few new memorable memories being created.     Any advice from the senior bruhs on managing this?   I've found this bumming me out more than usual lately.

Occasional relaxing get-togethers with glory days talk is acceptable, but also mix in some things to make new memories.  

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