And for the umpteenth year in a row, my holiday will have been spent either cranking away on some project in my office in the happiest, beefiest place on Earth or at home with my favorite people under five feet.
Though Iím still a few days before the big bash, I do know what I wonít be doing. I wonít be sitting in a crowded bar somewhere throwing back green beverages and singing loudly with my arm around some dude in flannel with pretzel bits in his beard.
There was a time though when that wouldíve sounded absolutely brilliant.
In college I looked forward to St. Patrickís Day like a child eagerly anticipates Christmas. Iíd have my route planned days in advance. Start at the soccer house. Play a little foosball. Walk to BW3s. Walk to some other establishments with Guinness and Killianís Irish Red on sale.
Over and over. Rinse and repeat.
Oh, and make sure the last stop was strategically placed so that Taco Bell wasnít too far out of the way on the path back to my dorm. Good night out for all, indeed.
But something happens as we age. Going out on the town ó at least in such a fashion that itíll impact your entire next day ó just stops sounding attractive.
Thatís kinda where I am now. I still love big groups of people. I still love trekking around in the wee hours of the night. But itís the excess that happens in between that I just canít stomach.
Itís reaching into your pocket and finding more bottle caps than you thought you had. Itís the internal ache of one too many that sucks up a potentially productive morning. Itís the drain on your bank account that seemed like a good idea at the time.
These are the inevitable endings for many St. Patrickís Day goers. And fair play to those who still dig that.
I think, regardless of age, we all have enough foresight to know how these nights finish. But when weíre young, weíre just really, really good at tuning the negatives out.
But with age, some would say, comes wisdom. I donít know how true that is, but with age ó at least to me ó comes practicality.
We have responsibilities. We have people who count on us. We have real things that need to be handled to keep life firmly on the rails.
I donít regret those late evenings out. And fortunately I never did anything stupid enough for it to appear on any permanent record. But thereís a huge chunk of me thatís quite happy to have graduated to the point where I no longer feel the pull to participate in the madness.
Donít get me wrong. I still have a deeply rooted love affair with Guinness, Jameson and all my other Irish friends. And whoís to say I wonít enjoy one on the upcoming holiday?
But if I do, itíll be accompanied by an early bedtime and a productive morning the next day.
And Iím OK with that.
Published: March 20, 2017