For example: I'm much more tired now than I was when I was in my early to mid-20s, when I wouldn't turn in for the night until 2 or 3 a.m. Nowadays, I'm lucky if I can keep my eyes open after 10 p.m. My energy level just isn't what it once was.
And I'm grateful for that. Fatigue is an asset, as far as I'm concerned. I can't tell you how many times this year I've used fatigue as an excuse to back out of plans. "You're going to see Pitch Perfect 2 tonight? That sounds great. What time is the screening? Oh, 8:15 p.m.? I don't know. Fandango says the movie is one hour and 55 minutes long. Add in the trailers at the beginning, and all of those credits at the end...I wouldn't return home until 11. That's too late for me. I'm sorry."
(With all due respect to Pitch Perfect 2, which I'm sure is a fine movie, I'm not a fan of musicals. I haven't seen Pitch Perfect, I will not see Pitch Perfect 2, and I have no plans to see the just-announced Pitch Perfect 3. Having said that, I have an excellent idea for a Pitch Perfect sequel: The Bellas compete against the children from the Kidz Bop music videos.)
There's a reason why I need more sleep in my life now. I have a physical need for rest, this is true, but I'm also adapting to my surroundings.
You know how chameleons change color in response to their environment? That's how I view sleep: a mechanism that allows me to, say, escape a screening of a movie that doesn't interest me. It's my body's way of telling me, "Shane, you don't want to see Pitch Perfect 2? I can get you out of this. Just leave it to me."
If I may speak honestly for a moment: my friends become more boring with each passing year. Their lives have become too different. Spouses, kids, Pitch Perfect movies...where's the fun in any of this? Where's my incentive to continue to spend time with these people?