Being a “grown-up” isn’t so bad. I hear people whine about it sometimes, but I like being an adult because I now have the freedom to do whatever I decide. Of course, the hardest thing about being an adult is making decisions about what the wisest thing to do for my life IS and not getting swept away with the temptation of instant gratification.
These are the things that make me feel most like a grown-up:
I run 3 days a week and try to do other stuff on my off days (yoga, hiking, helping friends move to 3rd floor apartments, etc.). I always feel great after I’m done, but I hate going. I don’t know why. I’ve had friends that are avid runners say to me, “Oh, wow. Don’ you just LOVE running?”
“No,” I reply, totally dead-pan. “I love EATING. My options are to quit eating or keep running.” I could just start shopping in the “Plus Size” department, but I don’t really consider that a valid option. Truth is, I really love how exercise makes me look and feel. The more I exercise, the better I feel and the better I feel about myself.
2. Paying bills.
This may sound really twisted, but I actually enjoy paying my bills.
I do it on-line, and get it all set up to go out on the appropriate day so I can forget about it. I love knowing that I have enough money to cover all of my commitments. I’m taking care of myself, I don’t have to stress, and I’m not digging myself into a hole. I have a good life and there is enough.
3. Cleaning my house.
I don’t do it as often as I should, but when I tear into it, wow. I am a very thorough housekeeper. I’ll dust the light bulbs and the baseboards and get behind the refrigerator.
I don’t actually love cleaning, but I love it when my environment is clean and orderly. Cleaning my house makes me feel like I’m staying ahead of the grime, and that makes me feel good.
It all boils down to this: any time I don’t want to do something (but I want the results of it being done) and I do it anyway, I feel like an adult. Babies do what they want when they want until mommy or daddy stops them. There is no self-control and there is no freedom, either. As children grow, they slowly learn to control their impulses. First they are toilet trained, then they learn to express themselves with words instead of merely crying, screaming or hitting (well, at least SOME of them do…). Eventually they go to school and hopefully at some point they learn to clean up after themselves, come home in time for dinner, and get homework done. Usually, they only learn these things if they have parents that don’t micro-manage their lives.
There are lots of people I know that love the freedom of adulthood; the freedom of not having to answer to virtually anyone, but then they abuse that freedom by not taking care of themselves. It’s like they’re saying, “Woo hoo! paaaarrrtay!” all of the time and their lives are a disaster as a result. They eat junk food continually because they like it and never exercise because they don’t like it. Sometimes they “get away with it” for a while, but eventually it catches up to them. Their homes are filthy (unless they have a spouse or maid that cleans it up for them) and the laundry is in massive, stinky piles. They buy whatever they want on credit, figuring that they’ll figure out how to pay for it later; they want it NOW. As a result, the bill collectors are like wolves at the door. Marriages frequently fall apart because people who never grow up tend to treat their spouse like their parent. This creates tremendous resentment on both sides and intimacy breaks down.
I’m glad I’m a grown-up. I love taking care of myself and doing it well.
Hey, Mom and Dad– THANKS.
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